What Happens the First Day at College - Preparation & Myths

What Happens the First Day at College


What Happens the First Day at College

So, what happens on the first day at college? What should you expect? The answer is simple. A lot. Expect a lot in terms of emotions. You will be filled with all types of emotions, from excitation, nervousness, and confusion, to sadness.

Do not worry when you get mixed feelings; it happens to everyone, though more intense for others due to different backgrounds. We are all entering this amazing phase in our lives that we have eagerly waited for. We are going to meet new people, new infrastructure, mind-blowing concepts, and so on. Those feelings are a normal reaction of our bodies to such immense changes.

The secret to overcoming these feelings and quickly transitioning is to adequately prepare yourself for this day, specifically, knowing what happens on the first day and how to prepare for it.  This article focuses on these aspects. Reading it will make you have a boss-level calmness when reporting to college.

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What Do You Learn in The First Class?

Before we explain how you should prepare for the first day of class in college, you need to know what goes on during the first class. The first classes typically involve:

  • The lecturers introduce themselves
  • The lecturers try to understand the interests of the students
  • Reviewing the syllabus
  • Sharing of the expectations of the class.

Items about the syllabus that may be discussed include:

  • Assignments
  • Textbook requirements
  • Deadlines
  • Professor office hours

The lecturers may also mention the repercussions of missing classes, the maximum allowed, and how to communicate when you fall sick.

Now that you have an idea of what goes on during the first class, are you ready to know the myths and get tips on how to transition to college life easily? We understand that the first day at college may involve activities such as orientation and whatnot. Because there is no universal way of handling these activities in colleges, this article will major on the first day of class at college.

5 Myths About the First Day of College

TV shows, movies, and tales may have preconceived an idea on you of what to expect on your first day of college. Just know some of the information put in your mind might be unrealistic. However, this should not worry you as this section will unearth some of the myths and, resultantly, give you peace of mind when reporting to college.

The 5 most widespread myths about the first day of college are:

1. You’re Going to Get Miserably Lost

This is one of the greatest lies. You are not going to get miserably lost. The orientation will familiarize you with college dynamics. In addition, you can always ask for directions when you get lost.

2. You’ll Be Locked Out of the Classroom When You are Late

Another lie is this one. For the first days or even weeks, professors don’t lock students out as they understand that students are still learning about their new surroundings.

3. Upper-level Students Will Bully You

Bullying is rare and, most times, nonexistent. It’s difficult for someone to know you’re a freshman unless you have a label on your head, which is impossible. The upper-level students are even too busy to engage in such unruly practices.

However, there might be one or two students that are bullies in your college. If you happen to cross paths with them and they harass you, just report it to the student health counseling or resident advisor. Actions will be taken straight away as all institutions condone bullying or harassment.

4. You Will Sit in The Same Position the Entire Semester

You will not sit in the same place the whole term. Students stay in different places from one class to another. It depends on the following:

  • When they arrive at class
  • Seating availability
  • Where their friends are sitting

5. Only The Syllabus Will Be Discussed In the First Class

Many classes cover the syllabus on the first day but may cover other aspects. So, make sure you carry the essentials, which will be mentioned below, in case you start discussing the course material.

8 Ways Students Prepare for The First Day of Class in College

Transitioning into college life may be challenging, but if you are well-prepared, you may thrive from the first day of college and beyond. Below are the tips students use to prepare for college. Follow them to feel more confident and enthusiastic on the first day of class in college. The tips benefit both recent high school graduates and adults returning to school.

1. Know Your Way Around the College

Understanding the location of academic buildings, libraries, restrooms, cafes, dining halls, and student health centers, among others will go a long way in your college life. For instance, you will not arrive late to classes due to getting lost, and you’ll know the shortest route to take.

The best time to understand the college’s map is during the orientation. Utilize this time to tour the college. You may even time yourself to see how long it takes to move from one area to another, for example, one class to another. This is highly recommended if your class schedule is tight.

2. Have Your Critical Essentials with You

The other tip is to ensure you have the critical essentials before your first day of class. Not only having them but they should also be packed in your bag before D-day. So, what do you need on the first day of college? They include the following:

  • Laptop and charger
  • Notebook
  • Colored pens and pencils
  • Snacks such as fruit bars, nut bars, protein bars, and water
  • A set of headphones
  • Earplugs for noisy environments

There are several tips that you can use to avoid breaking the bank. A good number of them are mentioned in the How to Save Money in College article.

3. Check Your Class Program and Syllabi Before Your First Class

Reviewing your class schedule is essential as it lets you know where your classes are and map out the routes you will use to get there. So, ensure you review your schedule for each semester to streamline your college experience.

Another item you need to look at is the syllabus. This document shows you the assignments and projects you will handle in the course and helps to indicate when you will be quite busy in the semester. It will make you organized.

4. Work On Appearance

You should try to look your best when going to your first class. What does this entail?  Well, it entails you getting enough sleep, then putting on something that looks nice and makes you feel good.

5. Get to Class Early

Wake up early and get to class ahead of schedule on the first day of college. You’ll gain a lot by doing this. For instance:

  • You will quickly get a seat that works best for you
  • You will not disturb the class
  • You will get the chance to introduce yourself.

Also, it shows the professor that you value their time.

Consider reading the Tips to Introduce Yourself in an Online Class article to become better at the introduction speech.

6. Sit in Front of the Class

It may seem weird, but sitting up front does wonders. It is because you will hear and see better with minimal distractions than if you are in the back. Some critical things the professor may say are deletions and additions to the syllabus. So, try as much as possible to sit in the front or closer to the front.

7. Pay Attention

On top of going through the syllabus and getting to know everyone, your lecturer may jump directly into the course material. You thus need to pay attention from the word go. Ask questions when you get them. However, the professor may not be able to answer all questions if the class is too big. In this case, write them down and approach the professor after class.

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8. Network with Others

Forming connections with your classmates on the first day is valuable as it will greatly help you as the semester progresses. It is because these people could:

  • Become your study buddies
  • Assist you with challenging assignments
  • Join you on team projects

In addition, it is a good thing to have some familiar, friendly faces in the classroom. Also, befriend your neighbors if you are residing on campus. These friends can support you both academically and socially. Some may be taking the same classes as you; they may offer you advice about the tough lecturers to watch out for and the interesting classes.

How Do Students Prepare for The First Online Class?

The education sector has immensely changed in recent years. The prominent change is the massive adoption of online classes, which goes by other names, such as virtual learning or e-learning. A student's chances of enrolling in an online college in this era are significantly high. Due to this, we will give out tips for making the most of the first online class.

The popular belief is that online classes are easier than physical classes. But this is not the case. Although you don’t have to attend an actual classroom, you need attention to detail and organization. Below are the four major tips that can help you prepare for the first day of an online class and ways to make you excel in an online college.

Check out our guide on Essential Skills That Online Students Need to prepare you further as you join online college.

1. Understand The Learning Platform

You are expected to perform several tasks during the first online class, such as checking a message, video messaging your lecturer, or sending an introduction message to the discussion board. You can’t perform all these well if you are not conversant with the learning platform. You thus need to familiarize yourself with it before you attend the first online class.

2. Create an Effective Disruption-Free Study Space

You will need to have a dedicated study space to provide an online class the attention it deserves. The space should offer a studious environment that assists you in staying alert and attentive. You can select a place that is free from distractions and comfortable.

Do the following to eliminate the distractions:

  • Silence your phone or put it in another room
  • Set a timer to show you when to break and end the study
  • Switch off the TV
  • Let your roommates, family, or friends know about your class schedule

It is also beneficial to note your class study on your calendar so as not to miss any and be well-prepared.

3. Be an Active Participant in Class

Some online colleges require students to participate in online classes; others even grade them for participation. So, ensure to interact with your classmates and instructor during the first class and all other classes if possible. Items you can post include:

  • Asking questions about a lesson: this normally starts a lengthy discussion among classmates
  • Posting insights about a topic you read

Regular participation shows the instructor that you are attentive and eager to learn, creating a good impression of you.

4. Seek Help with Coursework

One of the gravest blunders you can make in an online class is assuming you cannot ask for help. Many students avoid seeking help in this kind of class because of the lack of person-to-person interactions; they feel like it is a burden. But this should not be the case. You are supposed to ask for help when you need it. If you don’t, you will be doing a disservice to yourself. Seeking help depicts to the professor you are vested in learning, and a good image is formed.

Pro tip: you should know that you need to understand the professor's preferred method of communication. Some professors prefer being sent an email to posting on the discussion board. Just ask the professor the means of communication they like.

In A Nutshell

The first day at college holds so much. Expect to have mixed emotions. The good thing is that with the proper preparation, you will easily overcome the emotions and easily transition into college life. This guide has provided you with details of what happens on the first day at college, myths about the first day of college, and preparation tips for in-class and online colleges. You can place an order with us if you need an expert to assist you with your coursework.

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