Handling First Day Anxiety 101
- Scope out your classrooms before the first day
The worst thing ever is being lost on campus your first day. Make sure to go with a few friends and find the buildings your classes will be in. This will help avoid major confusion on day 1.
- Make plans for lunch
Seems random, yeah, but the first day of classes can be overwhelming and draining. Whether it is meeting up with a new friend for lunch or chilling with netflix and a sandwich in the library, knowing what you are doing for lunch will make you day go smoother.
- Get a good breakfast
Momma always said have a good breakfast. And momma is always right. What you eat for breakfast will fuel your day. Getting up and eating a solid meal before you leave will give you that extra push to get you out the door after a whole summer of sleeping in.
- Bring your planner
Believe me when I say planners are your best friend. In college, your profs are not there to babysit you or hold you hand. Oftentimes, you will be on your own for due dates and deadlines. Having your planner with you on the first day, allows you to put those dates in sooner rather than later so they don’t ever catch you by surprise.
- Check your email
Most universities have automatic email listservs for class rosters. A lot of profs prefer to send out the syllabus through email instead of printing it off and wasting paper. Although most courses will just go through the syllabus on the first day, there are a fair few who may assign something on the syllabus before the first day.
- Have your schedule ready
Download it, print it, write it in your planner. Just make sure you have your schedule and you know where you are going. Nothing is worse than having only 15 minutes between classes and not remembering where you are going next.
- Buy, Rent, or Download the books
As mentioned before, some profs like reading done before the first day of classes. Buy your books from the bookstore, rent them out, or download them from online bookstores. Having these books will alleviate some pressure and give you a good head start to your semester.
- Bring paper and a pen/pencil
Yeah, it may be syllabus day for some classes, but as luck would have it, you will have the one professor who decides to lecture on the first day. Always be prepared. And always carry extra for that senior next to you who couldn’t be bothered to bring their own.
- Show up 10-15 mins early
This one is key for grand lecture halls will 100+ seating. Arriving early allows you to make sure you are in the right place at the right time with the best seat for your preference.
- Wear comfortable clothes
“Athletic Chic” is all the rage on campuses nowadays. Students know that the days can be long and there is tons of walking to be done, especially on larger campuses. Wear whatever you want (no dress codes, remember) but just be sure it’s comfortable.
- Introduce yourself
You will be in class with the people next to you for a whole semester. They are your opportunity for study groups or getting those lecture notes you may have missed. Just a friendly “Hello, my name is…” can help you create a comfortable environment around you and create a network or study buddies, or maybe even just buddies.
- Ask questions
This is probably the most important one out of this whole list. If its your first day, you are bound to be confused at some point. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you may need. Don’t understand the syllabus? Ask the professor. Can’t find a room number? Ask another student. Don’t know if you have the right textbook? JUST ASK. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions.
- Take it all in
Don’t forget to unwind and reflect at the end of the day. These are some of the best years of your life, take it all in and enjoy the ride.