September #ReaLife 2014: Surviving First Day of College

  1. Be organized

If you survived high school with barely any organization then you should rethink your strategy.

Professors leave you to it.

They give you their daily course outline of when what is due and completely expect you to do the readings or homework assignments. College isn’t a harder version of high school. It’s really a freer version of high school. But what might constitute as freedom also means a lot more responsibility and expectations being thrusted upon you.

They won’t tell you when the small things are due but will definitely give you plenty of notice when a big essay is due or when the draft is due.

Learn to be organized. My recommendations is get yourself a planner and never, ever leave your room without it! I survived high school and my planners were always my best friend, no matter what I said. That’s how I survived high school and I know that’s how I’m going to survive college. If you’re not used to using a planner, I suggest you buy a planner that motivates you to use it. Of course, not always the most expensive planners are the best, but sometimes the most expensive ones make you more invested in using it (despite what I learned today in microeconomics). Also, appearance helps in the useful factor. I bought a Lilly Pulitzer planner and I adore it because it’s so feminine but also so organized at the same time. Use your planner. It is much better than holding onto four sets of syllabi in one go and always flipping through pages to know what your next assignment is.

  1. Be early

Going to attend your class on the first day is like having a job interview. You want to give off a good impression that you are on time, and willing to begin right away. No professor will have a good impression of you if once he or she has started teaching that you walk in apologizing.

Some students might think they will be early if you get there five minutes before class, but the professor determines if you are “early” or “late”. If he/she starts class three minutes before the allotted time, then you are still technically late.

Don’t give your professor the chance to hold it against you and recognize your face first in a bad way. First impressions count. That’s the rule in life.

  1. Introduce yourself to your Professor after class

Yes, there will be a line. And yes, you will have to wait.

But I suggest that even just introducing yourself to the professor is a lot better than walking straight out of the classroom. It would be even better if, after you introduce yourself, you engage in a conversation about his teaching or just general questions you have about his or her class.

Don’t just tell him your name and walk away. Because that’s like not telling him/her your name in the first place. If he can remember you after that talk, that’s what matters.

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously

If you go to a highly selective school, then all the students there were highly competitive and extremely smart for their grade. So it’s okay that you don’t do as well as you think you can compared to others.

Because I do that too. I meet so many girls and wonder why I was accepted in the first place. It still makes absolutely no sense to me.

But I know that I’m a hard worker and is willing to keep my place here.

Don’t be scared. College is an experience and it’s an experience that will help you grow and mature as a person. Sometimes stuff happen and we just have to accept that maybe, high school was too easy for us and the real deal is really college. Learning to let yourself go and accept things is what matters in college. Because do professors expect you to get all A’s in their class?

  1. “It will all be okay.”

Remind yourself that.

Maybe your first day didn’t go as well as you thought it would be, and maybe you freaked out about stuff that you shouldn’t have. Just remember that professors know you’re scared, worried and super nervous to be in college and that they will be accommodating in the beginning.

You just started college, do you really want to begin your journey by freaking out?

No. Learn to let things go. Because in the end, everything will be okay. So maybe you didn’t give off the impression you thought you would, you’ve got the rest of the quarter/semester to make it up. Don’t fret. Just know that in the professors time of teaching, you probably weren’t the worst.

  1. Go to class expecting to be overwhelmed

If you’re not overwhelmed on the first day of class, then your professor isn’t doing their job correctly.

Like I’ve previously said, high school and college are different. High school teachers are chill and are generally more slow and help you transition from summer to school somewhat slowly. But college? Nope. They jump right into it and expect you to follow. Get used to it as soon as it happens. Because it will only get quicker, not slower.

  1. As questions.

Don’t be scared to ask questions. Don’t be worried that you’re the only one not understanding. Because trust me, I bet there will be others who have the exact same questions as you. And you know what? You or your parents are paying for your college education, so don’t waste your/her money on not understanding and keeping quiet just because others are keeping quiet.

Don’t care about what others think of you. You’re in college and you’re in college to learn. Learn to the best of your ability, and if that means asking a ton of questions and getting an evil eye from your peers? Then so be it. Just don’t be too smug when you understand more than them for the next quiz/exam that happens.

  1. Don’t give up

College is intimidating, there’s no denial. But when you persevere and gain strength from being challenged, that’s when you start standing out.

You’ve come far enough to get a college education, now don’t give up! You’re paying, so keep it up.

Don’t forget to SM:)LE today!


∞ sofieyah ∞


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