The first week back to school can be stressful. The very first week of college for freshmen, definitely stressful. As an incoming senior, I've come to find that it is important to start off the school year on the right foot. If you come into it unprepared, you really are making things harder for yourself. The following tips have made the transition from summer into fall so much easier for me, and even if you already know about these tips, let this just be a helpful reminder.
1. Visit your classroom before your actual first day of class.
I've come to find I'm much more at ease the first week back at school if I've already found my room prior to the first day of class. Some buildings are ridiculous to navigate, such as the Armory, or Davenport, and I would much rather know which halls I have to wind through or which staircases I have to trudge up compared to scrambling from a previous class and showing up late because I couldn't find the room.
2. Keep your syllabi in a folder.
Whether this folder is electronic or paper, always know where your syllabi are. It makes you feel so much more organized when you know exactly where to go if you forget when the deadline is to finish the first book assigned for the semester.
3. Get your books the first week of class, and if you can, go with friends.
It's best to just get your books the first week of class, after your professor has made it explicitly clear that they aren't cool enough to be like" yeah forget what the bookstore website says, kids, go out and buy yourselves something nice with the hundreds you thought you were going to have to drop on a supposed necessary book," because saving it for the weekend can be a mess. The bookstores may be out of them and it's very likely that you will need it by that next Monday of class. Also, who wants to trudge to the bookstore on a Saturday afternoon if they don't have to? Definitely not me. As students know, the lines can be horrendous and sometimes they make the agony worse by playing horrible music. Go with friends so that the pain is a little less for everyone involved.
4. Make friends.
Don't be antisocial and keep to yourself. Be open and friendly because you never know who you will meet in class. Plus, it's always nice to have someone who can tell you what you missed in class if you were absent or will readily pair up with you for a project.
5. Bring water and snacks.
A little pre-schooley, but necessary. I would compare walking to class in August and early September to one of the nine circles of Hell. It is important to hydrate, especially because you really do not know how poorly air conditioned the building will be. I do love me some Davenport Hall sweat sessions. Plus, let's be real, I'm sure you weren't in bed by 11 last night anyway. Try to look less like a degenerate, at least during the first week, if you can. Snacks are also very useful, especially if you are dealing with a lot of back-to-back classes. It is possible that your professor has a no eating rule, but you can always try to eat in between classes or sneak it. I don't judge.