It’s your first day of college
the first day of the next several years of your student career. Knowing exactly what to expect on your first day of college will help you to be prepared, to calm those nerves, have fun, and a successful first day! Here’s what to expect on your big first day.
It’s okay to be nervous!
Remember, it’s everyone’s first day so know that you probably aren’t the only one with first-day jitters. Even upperclassmen and teachers can feel those nerves on the first day of a new semester! One way to help is not to rush into everything at once. Make sure not to put too much pressure on yourself for your first day — you have all week to do things like get started on textbook readings, make friends, and set up your perfect study routine!
Be on time
If you are taking classes on campus, do a walk through of your classes the day before to know your route and how long it will take you get between buildings. Don’t be afraid to ask someone if you get lost.
For online classes, set up a good study area (more on that below). Double check your internet connections and make sure to log in before classes start and that your username and passwords all work.
Coordinate with your roommates or family for the day of, especially for shared kitchens, bathrooms, or cars. Make sure your family, roommate, or housemates are all aware of each others’ schedules for a smooth first morning.
Many online universities such as University of the People let you study anytime you want. If you study at home, you can do it when the kids are asleep or whenever you can snag a quiet moment!
If you need to be up early for classes, make sure to get a good rest and do as much as you can the night before, such as choosing your clothes, packing your bag, or setting up your workstation. Talk to a student advisor beforehand to answer any questions you may have, and don’t be surprised if you have homework assigned on your first day.
Pre-planning your meals and snacks can be a big help. Here’s some easy first-day snack ideas to keep your brain fueled:
- Dried fruit and nuts (add in some chocolate chips too!)
- Yogurt with fresh fruit and granola
- Apple slices and peanut butter
- Carrot, celery, or cucumber sticks with hummus
Make some goals for your first day. Goals can be as simple as be on time, introduce yourself to one person in each class, read through syllabi. Don’t overload yourself with things to do on the first day.
Making friends in college is easy — and can be done online or in person. The amazing part of studying online is that your classmates will come from all over the world, which leads to unique discussions and a multicultural learning environment. You may end up making friends with someone across the globe!
Take breaks between classes and have lunch or coffee in open areas where you can meet people. Leave your schedule open for the first day, even the first week. While it might be tempting to visit old friends or make frequent calls to family, leave open plenty of time for unplanned social meet-ups.
First Day of College Essentials
Getting you all set for your first class at college!
The Ideal Workstation:
Whether studying from home, a cafe, a library, or elsewhere, you’ll want to make sure that your workstation is well-equipped for your perfect first day! Take note of what environment you study best in. Whether it’s a quiet space, the perfect lighting, large windows, or inspirational art displays, figure out what you need to focus and be productive, and then tailor your workspace to fit your needs.
Here’s a checklist to get you started:
✓ Enough space
✓ Snack and coffee area
✓ Laptop, phone, or e-reader if you prefer to read textbooks this way
✓ Close to an outlet (make sure you have your chargers)
✓ Good lighting (not glaring bright, but enough to see what you are doing!)
Check out these beautifully designed personal work spaces for some workspace inspo!
Where to Study:
The fun thing about studying online is that it can be done from anywhere! You choose the right study environment for you, and you can choose places with amazing views, and change it up! Try studying in different places every once in a while and you won’t get bored.
Here are some ideas:
✓ At home, in a quiet area where you can concentrate
✓ At a local coffee shop
✓ In a local library or nearby college campus library
✓ Outdoors at a park with wifi on a sunny day
✓ Co-working spaces that allow free days
✓ Some tech companies such as Google and Microsoft also have open days where you can study on their campus for free!
If you know you’ll be on the move to get to your classes on your first day, pack your bag the day before, early enough to grab some last-minute items you may have overlooked.
Also, when gathering materials for the new year, remember that you don’t have to break the bank in order to have the right gear. Check around the house or with friends for things that aren’t being used, such as used but high-quality backpacks, or notebooks with only a few pages penciled in. Use what you already have, it’s better for your wallet and the environment.
Here are some items to make sure you’ve got in your bag before you go:
✓ Laptop and Charger
✓Pencils, sharpened or with extra led
✓Colored pens and notebooks if you prefer to take paper notes
✓ A good set of headphones
✓ Earplugs for noisy environments
With the right amount of planning, you won’t need to worry about your first day of college. Your first day can and will run smoothly, and you’ll be off to a great start for the rest of your academic career!