In light of it being my first week of a new semester of classes I thought I’d share my tips on how to make the most of it! We call the first week of class Syllabus Week here at OSU and I’m sure a lot of other schools do as well. The first week is always spent going over the syllabus for the course. There’s no classwork, homework, or lessons, at least if you get a nice professor who follows Syllabus Week. So the first week is the easiest week that you will have of the semester.
Unfortunately for me, in my Math class today we actually had a lesson. (although it wasn’t hard because it was review for high-school math, but still! That should be illegal during syllabus week). My other classes have been sticking to tradition, thank goodness.
1. Map Your Routes
I advise to do this one BEFORE classes start so you know where you’re going ahead of time. This way you don’t run into any problems and end up late to class because you’re lost and don’t know where your classroom is. When mapping your routes you want to actually see the fastest way to walk to all your classes either from your dorm or from the class that’s before it. Next you should actually walk your route to time yourself so you know when to leave. When you get to your building you should go inside and see where the classroom is so that you know for sure where you are going inside the building. Sometimes class numbers can get confusing.
2. Annotate Your Syllabi
During your first week I recommend printing out all of your syllabi from each class and thoroughly read through them all while highlighting important information inside. I recommend using different colored highlighters for different information. For example: pink for Exams/Midterms/Quizzes/Finals, green for contact info, orange for homework assignments, blue for important info, yellow for grading scale and point systems, and anything else you feel the need to highlight.
Once you highlight all the Finals, Midterms, Quizzes, and homework assignments you can start organizing your planner to add these items inside so you never miss a due date.
If you can’t print out your syllabi you can go your school’s website for you classes and, If your laptop allows you to, download all of your syllabi and make notes and highlight electronically like I did down below.
3. Gather Your Materials
This semester I have decided to wait until the first week of classes to ask my professors personally weather or not I need the required textbook or lab manual because in the past I have bought my books ahead of time just to find out we won’t ever mention the book in class and I ended up wasting my money. Sometimes you are able to see in the course syllabus ahead of time weather or not there is reading assigned that you’ll need a book for, but if not personally ask your professor so you do not waste money on a book that isn’t needed.
Also listen to things your professor may mention that they want you to have for the course such as a composition notebook, index cards, a calculator, etc. and be sure to pick those items up the first week of school.
Helpful Tip: Look on Amazon for your textbooks. You can rent textbooks from Amazon for WAY cheaper than you could from your university bookstore. You could also look on a Facebook page for your university. For example: OSU Class of 2019 has their own Facebook group that I am apart of and people post books they are selling on their for cheaper, so definitely check to see if your class/university has a Facebook group where people could be selling used books for less.
4. Be Well Rested
Get sleep! Sleep is important. This first week of class is for perfecting your sleep schedule for the rest of the semester because you won’t be up until midnight doing homework (because it’s syllabus week and your professor shouldn’t be giving you any). So go to bed on time and don’t nap throughout the day. Treat this first week like a normal week of classes and get your body on a schedule while it’s still easy to do.
5. Introduce Yourself
Personally introduce yourself to each of your professors. Lecture halls can have up to 500 people in them sometimes and It’s good to get your face recognized and noticed. At the end of the first day just go down and say hi and tell them how excited you are about the class (even if you’re not!). By introducing yourself you’re making your face recognizable to them. If this class is one of your major classes they can offer you internships, tips, help, resources, and so many other things when they know who you are, so make yourself known! If you just sit in the back and never engage with your professor they can’t help you! Be seen!
6. Set Goals
Write down your goals for this semester. Weather you want to start working out, eating healthier, study a little everyday, go to sleep on time, have more ‘me time’, whatever it is write it down and pin it up where you will see it everyday. I mean, new semester, new you right? Now is the perfect time to start some good habits!
I hope these tips can help you make your first week of classes an easy and smooth one! Share some of the things that you do during the first week of classes down below to add to this list!