Starting College Classes – Tips For College Freshmen

Ok college freshmen, chances are the first exciting weeks of freshmen orientation, dorm hall icebreakers, and pre-football rallies are starting to wind down. That means it’s time to pack your lap tops, zip up your back packs, and head to class.

But if you’re never attended a 300+ person lecture, or the follow-up discussion session, you may be wondering what you need to do to prepare yourself. Here are some tips to get ready for class and make the most out of your first semester:

Tip #1: Show up for the first day of class
We know, it’s tempting to hit the snooze button and skip that first 9:00 a.m. biology lecture. But first classes can be surprisingly crucial: it’s when professors often announce changes to the reading, changes to the schedule, and decide which people on the wait list are going to be admitted.

For those professors that prefer to communicate in person rather than online, it’s especially important to show your face. Believe it or not, some even take attendance, meaning not showing up can impact your final grade.

Tip #2: Sit at the front of the room
Lecture halls can be big-really, really big. And while it’s tempting to sit way in the back where no one can see you, these are the spots where you’re most prone to MLNS-Mid-Lecture Nap Syndrome. If you sit in the front where the professor can see you, you’re more likely to stay awake, take notes, and get your money’s worth out of each and every lecture.

Tip #3: Don’t buy the books until after the first day
Sometimes a particular class or professor can sound absolutely amazing-until you sit down and try to listen to him or her talk for an hour. So it’s best to wait to buy the books until you’re sure you want to take the class, so yourself a trip back and forth to the bookstore. Professors have been known to change/add/drop books at the beginning of class too, so make sure the list is finalized before you make your purchases.

Tip #4: Come to lecture and discussion prepared
Yes, those scenes from “Legally Blonde” are true. While you may not be in law school, you could very well be in a lecture, class, or discussion where the professor or instructor randomly calls on students during class. Some even throw pop quizzes into the mix. So do yourself a favor and make sure you’re current on your reading

Tip #5: Make friends with someone in your discussion
If you’re in a big class, it can be hard to meet people. But the discussion sessions held in conjuncture with lecture can be the perfect time to connect with someone in your class for study sessions, group projects, and paper editing. Who knows-a current classmate could even become a future colleague or employer in the future.