The first day of college classes can evoke feelings of both nervousness and excitement, which is completely normal.  Here are five things you should do on the first day of college classes:

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  1. Arrive On Time: You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so do not be late to your first college course. Not only is tardiness a distraction for other students, some professors may lock the door to teach a lesson on promptness to those who show up late. Give yourself an extra 20-30 minutes to get to class in case anything unexpected happens along the way. If you are worried about getting lost, walk your schedule the day before.

  2. Be Prepared: Show up to class ready to learn. Bring a notebook, writing utensil and be intently listening for important information to jot down. A laptop is a great tool for taking notes, but can easily be a distraction if your mind is prone to wander. Sit front and center!

  3. Meet the Professor: Introduce yourself to the professor on the first day of class to ensure he or she knows who you are. Some lecture classes can have upwards of 300 students in one room, so you want to make sure you are not just another number. You will feel more comfortable asking questions during class or visiting office hours for extra help by forming a personal connection.

  4. Connect with Classmates: The other students in class can be a valuable resource throughout the semester, so be sure to make some friends on day one. Your classmates can help answer questions on assignments should you ever need clarification late at night – chances are they are awake working on the same thing. A study group is also valuable and can make a class experience easier.

  5. Spend Free Time Wisely: The biggest way college is different than high school is that your class schedule does not last all day. Some students might only have one class their first day, and it might not even start until two o’clock in the afternoon. Be very careful with what you do with all your new free time.

Most importantly, feel proud of yourself for everything you have accomplished leading up to your first day of college classes.  Not everyone has the opportunity to attain a high education, so stay focused on earning your degree and put your best effort forth every day.