Hi everyone! Long time no see. I apologize for my absence, but college got wicked busy and I honestly lost the time I had for blogging and journal time.
That is going to change.
My goal is to upload twice a week, and I decided I would come back with some helpful times regarding things to do to help yourself feel less stressed during the first week of classes. I honestly wish someone told me some of these tips, because they made my transition into college much easier and much less stressful. I felt more prepared for the upcoming school year when I really adhered to these tips I'm about to share with y'all!
Update Your Planner With Syllabus Information
Typically, the first week or few days of college (and even high school) are syllabus days where teachers really don't start teaching. Instead they review class policies and deadlines for the upcoming semester. This also means you'll be getting your saving grace for the semester in each of your classes: your syllabus. Treat this paper or online document as it is your child. Especially in college, professors may not answer questions because they were addressed in your syllabus already. You definitely don't want to be bothering your professors with questions they already addressed! As soon as you receive your syllabus for each of your classes, go ahead and write all of the due dates for projects, homework, and tests in your planner (...you better have a planner). In doing this, you save yourself from being caught off guard by a sneaky due date and spare yourself from potentially several all nighters back to back because of a lack of organization.
Make a daily routine for yourself (and follow it!)
One of the biggest mistakes I made was not making a routine for myself to follow during the week. Now don't get me wrong, this can change each week depending on commitments and class changes, but for the most part, it should be a schedule that is pretty consistent. In your planner, outline a set time to wake up, to do homework, go exercise, eat meals, etc. Having these seemingly basic human things to do will make you feel more calm each day as you know what you have to do, and when you have to do it. Not having a set routine means you wing each day. For some people, this works and that's totally fine! But, if you are like me and need structure in your day, time blocking and routine setting will REALLY make your life easier.
Go to your professors office hours, or stay after/before class to introduce yourself
Believe it or not, but professors remember students. The good and the bad ones. However, they won't remember students who just attend class in leave. If you want to get help from your professors and have them remember your name and face, you have to make an effort to stand out. This can be as simple as going up to them after class and introducing yourself and telling them you are excited for their course. Not only does this start to build your reputation with your professor, but who knows, maybe keeping that positive interaction with them means a few bonus points if you need them at the end of the semester :). However, after you build this reputation and pass their class, don't just forget about them! You will need professors to write letters of recommendation and it is very possible you can have the same professor for another course! Be sure to upkeep these relationships. They can potentially give you scholarship money and awesome opportunities. Besides, professors typically do pretty cool research you should want to learn more about!
Really get to know your roommates and floor mates
As an introvert, this was like pulling teeth for me. However, I went out to eat with my roommates and went to some welcome week events with them and we all quickly become fast friends! Hopefully you don't have a horror roommate experience. To try and avoid this, definitely make an effort to talk to your roommates and get to know them before you all get busy with school work. They are the people you have to live with, so you definitely want to avoid making your living situation awkward! I have some wild and funny memories with my roommates from night one! You never know who could be a life long friend!
And finally... call your parents!
The homesickness maybe hasn't kicked in yet. But it will. I thought I would barely call home and I ended up face timing my dad and sister throughout the week a lot just to talk to them and tell them about what happened during my classes! I loved being on my own and having independence, but I did miss my family interaction shortly after the first week. And if you maybe don't miss your family yet, they definitely miss you. Even if it's a short call, let them know you are adjusting fine to college. They want to hear all about how your new life is going!
Hopefully these first week of school tips will help you better prepare for your upcoming semester and make your transition if you are new to college easier! Some of these things may seem obvious, but they can be so easy to forget to do once you really get into the heat of the semester.