Many students skip orientation and thus contribute to their not so great experience on their first day of college. Starting your first day of college can be a very freighting experience.
You may be nervous and don’t even know what to expect. No need to panic. I have been down that road and can relate to what you might be feeling or even thinking.
It can be stressful but here I will be sharing the top seven things that are likely to happen and how you can get through it as easy as possible. I hope that these seven possible expectations with solutions will help you to be prepared and on the calmer side than being nerve recked.
#1 You Will Get Lost
First thing is that you will get lost. This is 99.9% likely to happen. No need to panic though. College campuses are normally huge but most places have a sign. Still, people get lost. While you seek to find your way to class, an office, library or wherever you intend, see it as an opportunity to discover new places.
Finding those places when you need to will not be so much of a problem because you saw them on your discovery. To solve being lost is pretty easy, just ask someone for directions. Anyone you see in the hallway.
Getting lost can result from a change of room on your schedule that was unannounced. Look for a notice on the door for where the class was relocated to or visit your department for the new information.
Many colleges have a campus map, website or app that will help you find buildings on campus so this should also be of much help. If you are assigned a freshman advisor you could just give him or her a call to get some help.
#2 Being Laughed At
You will feel a little nervous when you go to some classes as well as when you walk along the hallways.
It might seem as though everyone is pretty much confident and beaming but that does not mean they are aren’t shaking on the inside.
Remember that it is the first day for many of the students that you will be seeing as well. If you make silly comments or ask the obvious in class, spill something in the cafeteria or trip over your toes you may be laughed at or face some embarrassment.
The best thing to do is to smile or laugh it off. Everyone does silly things sometimes. You may just be viewed as funny. Wait until you are an “A” student and people come asking for help in the future. Then he who laughs last laughs best. Don’t take it personally though.
#3 Being Late For A Class
It could be that you set your clock to wake you up and you still woke up late. Being late happens to everybody but should not be a habit. This is not a good impression for your lecturer but no need to freak out. Most lecturers are normally easy with new students when this happens the first day.
If you are late, rushing or driving fast will not make you early because you are already late. When you get to class finding a seat in a jam-packed class could be the next hassle in drawing attention to yourself.
One thing that you can do the night before is to ensure that your clothes are ironed, a bag is packed, you go to bed early and things are in place for a smooth process in getting ready to head out on your first day. I must tell you that there is no remedy for being late than arriving early.
#4 Bringing Wrong Supplies To Class
On your first day leaning over to borrow a pen so that you can write your name on the register is a common thing for many new students. Think of college the same as you do in high school when it comes to packing your bag. Just not so many stationaries.
Many students arrive at class, take out their gadgets such as tablets, phones, and computers ready to take notes only to hear a no phones or computer rule announced. No book or pen what do you do?
My recommendation is that you ask someone to give you the notes at a later date or allow you to take photos of their book after class. Hopefully, you can read the penmanship.
Be prepared by packing a variety of supplies to take notes like book, notepad, paper folder. Another thing you can also do that may help you in the future is to record the lecturer. When you don’t get everything said the first time in class you can have it to listen. You may need to ask the lecturers permission to do this.
#5 Having Parents/Guardians Fuss Over You
While some college students feel as if they were dumped or sentenced to college by their folks, others have to be running away for dear freedom. Whichever situation you are in, that day when they drop you off and your first day will be something to remember.
Your folks will be all fussy about how things are going with you. You just can’t avoid it. All you can do is allow them to fuss. They are scared whether you will be able to manage on your own which would be dependent on if you were babied by them.
Give your folks a listening ear. Listen to him or her murmur and be all anxious. Make time to talk with them. You will have free time between some classes so give them a heads up. Even when you can’t see from their perspective make an effort. And remember to try not mention anything too bad unless they can help you solve it.
#6 Feeling Out of Place or Lonely
It is totally normal to feel somewhat awkward your first day. After all, you are in a new environment that you will need to get used to. Sitting in the lobby you can strike a conversation as you feel impressed with your colleagues.
You may want to hang out with your roommate at lunch if you really matter what people think but you shouldn’t. Don’t spend your free time staring on your phone. Make eye contact and be sociable.
You may not know where to sit with when at lunch. If you are bold you can meet some new people and sit with them. Sitting alone is not bad either. There is no need to feel embarrassed. No one will think you are friendless. Believe me when I say there will be days when you wish you could sit alone and eat with some peace and quiet.
#7 Different Types of People
I was once told college is one of the places where I will meet the largest variety of people. There will be people from different parts of the world. Get acquainted with those who come off as okay to you. You never know who they will turn out to be in the future. Just to add that it is a good place to find a potential life partner.
I often hear when persons see people on the television they say oh, I know him or her. You know we went to school together! College is the place where you will meet the good the bad and the ugly. Some are kind, others are rude. If you become friends with an international student you teach them to have a better understanding of the culture.
One thing that my university does in the holidays like Christmas, is to encourage islanders to take their friends home if they did not plan on going home. They would experience other parts of the island and join in some fun instead of spending their holiday alone on the dorm.
The first day may come off as overwhelming but very soon you will get the hang of everything and college days may soon start looking like another day packed with school work or boredom. Don’t be scared to seek help when you need it.
Ensure that you plan out your day. There is no guarantee that you will have your best day. You have all of 3 or 4 years to make up for what whatever went wrong your first day. Stay organized and manage your time wisely.
Additional Tips To Bear In Mind
- Be prepared before leaving home.
- Check your timetable for classrooms and class times.
- Finalize your mode of transportation and routes to school.
- Have at least a book and pen for your first day.
- Read your course outlines for upcoming assignments, readings etc.
- Ask for help when feeling stuck.
- Know and connect with your professors.
- Arrive early.
- Pay attention-Listen.
- Show Up
Tell me how your first day in college went in the comments below. Have a great first day.
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