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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What Your First Day of College Will be Like

So, you made it to college? You're probably pretty excited, right? Nervous? Scared? All of the above? Don’t worry: so is everyone else, but college is a great time in your life filled with new discoveries, challenges, and personal growth. As a writer here at the Center of Math, and someone who has experienced first day jitters, I wanted to talk about my experiences and give you some advice that will hopefully calm your nerves.

You will be lost. Maybe you took a tour and think you know the campus, but trust me when I say: you will be lost. And, because you are lost, you will probably be late to one or more of your classes. Don’t worry, it’s your first day so lots of people will be late, but do you want to be one of those people? Showing up late makes a bad first impression and leaves you with the worst seat in the class.

In order to not be lost, make sure you have a campus map on you and look up the locations of your classes the night before. If you have the time for it, leave early to each of them! I remember being 20 minutes late for my first class because I was lost. And let me tell you, walking into a class of over 200 people, everyone staring at you as you hold the door open, is pretty embarrassing.

Show up to class! Yes, the first day can be boring, since it's mostly just logistics, but you need to show up. Many classes in college have a waitlist with people eager to take your position. If you don't show, your professor can drop your from the class and you will have to find another one. You also might miss out on some important information about the course and exams. I missed one of my classes and didn't know we could bring a cheat sheet for the exam: needless to say, that exam did not go very well.

You are not in a bubble. Many classes your first year will likely be those intended for freshmen, but you may find that's not the case in some other classes. Depending on what courses you take, you might be surprised by how diverse in age the class is. You may be siting next to a junior, a senior, or even someone who is 35. Just understand that you might be alone and away from the other freshmen, so don't get dependent on the people you meet at freshman orientation. Be open to meeting new people and getting out of your comfort zone. 

People are nicer then you think. Many upperclassmen enjoy meeting people of all ages and status. Don’t be afraid to talk to people or ask for help, because you will be surprised by how nice everyone is in college. 

Your first day of school can be scary, but it should also be exciting. I hope these tips have given you some insights on what you might experience on your first day.

Need some fashion inspiration for your back to school style? Check out our Pinterest board all about math swag.  

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