10 Ways to Make Your First Weeks Count
How do I schedule an appointment with my academic advisor? When is the add/drop deadline? Where can I buy used books?
The first few weeks of college can seem overwhelming as you’re surrounded by new faces in a new environment with new rules and ways of doing things. It’s very important to make good decisions when you first arrive at school because your actions now can really impact your overall college experience.
Set yourself up for success by learning 10 ways to make your first few weeks in school count:
- Go orientation. Tour the campus, tour the career center, find out how to sign up for a tutor. Make sure you know where all your classes will be held and how to get from one building to the other in enough time for your next class.
- Get to know people. If you’re living on campus, keep your door open every once in a while for a casual “hello” as other students walk by. Talk to your RA (residential advisor) and go to the different group activities your dorm offers. Attend a sporting event or join a club.
- Talk to your academic advisor. Meet with your academic advisor and make sure you understand the requirements to get a degree or certificate. Your advisor is there to help you create a plan to graduate. Write down their contact information for anytime you may need help.
- Get organized. Unpack thoughtfully. Make your room look nice and prepare a comfortable place for studying.
- Develop a routine. Okay, this might be hard during the first few weeks while you’re still getting the lay of the land, but keeping to a schedule and managing your time wisely is one of the BEST ways to do well and have fun in school.
- GO TO CLASS. Go to EVERY class. Take good notes and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Print and read the syllabus for every class. Write down important deadlines in your calendar or planner.
- Get the books. Get your textbooks as soon as possible. If you can’t afford to buy them, check out www.chegg.com to rent them, or ask your professor if they’re available online (read more tips on buying textbooks). Stay on top of your reading and your homework from the very first class.
- Meet your professors. Meet with each of your professors to talk about his/her class. Bring along the syllabus and write down any questions. If your professor knows you as a person and not just a sleepy-eyed face in the crowd, you won’t be known as an “average student” throughout the semester and throughout your college career.
- Take some time for yourself. Take a walk, relax, exercise, or listen to your favorite music. The first few weeks of college can be very stressful and you need to recharge your batteries.
- Stay in touch with FC2S/ETV. We’re here to help you. We’ve been there and done that, and our only goal is to support you through to success.