Warning: this post is going to poke fun at being a college freshman. I totally have the authority to do that now that I am a sophomore, right? (Well, I am going to poke fun at that, too–so hopefully that makes it sit better with you).
Now that my first day of school (aka two pretty brief classes) is over, I decided that I would leave a note to future freshman based on what I have seen. As someone who was a freshman once upon a time (last year), I understand what it is like to be in a new place with new people and have no idea what college classes are like. It’s terrifying. All you know about school is now futile, because this is the major leagues. There isn’t a school bell to tell you when you should be in class. The teacher won’t be checking in to make sure you did your assigned reading. And for the most part, you won’t be held accountable for doing any work until you get your final grade.
I hope no one actually fell for this. Freshman get this is a joke, right?
This one would be cruel if you fell for it, because the first week (especially those first few days) was pretty brutal. Fans are a must.
There a few things you should know before the first day of classes:
+You must show up to class at least a half hour before it begins.
+Make sure you go to all sections on the first day of classes (even if you got an email that it was canceled)–this is your first test.
+Have a notebook and pencil (#2 preferred) ready at the beginning of lecture. Make sure to copy down everything on the screen. After all, syllabus week is super important.
+Professors will be able to recognize all 350 of their students, so don’t even try to miss a lecture. He/she will notice.
+Bring all of your textbooks to your first classes. You want to make sure you got the right ones. (Oh and have them covered–says someone who used the aforementioned hashtag)
+If you don’t think you are going to make it across the road on time, run! You cannot, under any circumstances, be late to class. You might as well just go back to the dorm if you are.
+Think of cheesy ice breaker-games you can play with the people around you before class starts.
+By any means possible, avoid asking anyone where a certain building is. If anything, stay glued to your smart phone with the GPS volume cranked so that everyone knows you are self-sufficient.
An Obviously More Experienced Upperclassman*
*I just finished freshman year a few months ago. It wasn’t that long ago that I was in your position, too. So keep your head up. Make friends. Go to class. Freshman year was a whirlwind of crazy fun experiences, so don’t spend too long being nervous or scared. Be excited, because before you know it you will be looking at all the incoming students, knowing that they are about to have one of the best years of their lives.
+If you took any of these seriously (or felt that they were pejorative), I am sorry. Since you got into college, I already know you aren’t dumb, and no one thinks you are. We truly want you to feel welcome and comfortable on campus. But college is a big adjustment. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or embarrassing yourself by not knowing something about it. It takes time to make the transition, and you will get through this.
For actual tips on what you want to know before freshman year, check out “11 Things I Wish I Knew Before Freshman Year.”