What to Expect on Your First Day

For those transitioning from high school to college, the experience can be quite overwhelming and nerve-wrecking. You’re out of your element and everything is much bigger. Here are some things to expect on your first day of college.

Depending on which university you attend, the first thing you should anticipate is very large class sizes. On average, lecture classes contain about 50 to 400 students. Smaller courses usually consist of about 30 students, but you will not register for those type of classes until you begin to take upper division coursework or when you register for labs where you’ll need more individual attention and guidance. On your first day, professors will hand out a syllabus outlining the course and assignments. Test dates will already be included. While you really won’t get a feel for the class until the second or even third day, this syllabus will give you a glimpse into what will be expected of you. Some professors take the whole class time to review and read the syllabus. Others dive directly into lectures. So make sure you bring writing utensils to take notes.

You’ll also notice that the class times vary depending on what you registered for. Standard classes alternate between Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and are about 50 minutes in length. Others that fall on Tuesdays and Thursdays are about an hour and half long. There are other classes that last up to 3 hours, but those usually commence only once a week.

You might also expect to get lost on your first day and that’s perfectly okay. It’s best to print and carry a map of the campus. A day or so before, try to locate your classes beforehand to prevent any confusion on your first day. Even if you do this, you can still get confused on your first day because after awhile all the buildings start to look the same. Always remember that it’s ok to stop and ask other students if they know where your building is at. Most upperclassmen are more than happy to help because they were in the same position as you not too long ago.

During the first day or so, you can also expect to be bombarded with fliers and free goodies, trying to persuade you to join certain school organizations. Take this opportunity to get some cool new gear for your room, some free lunch and time to make new friends. Joining an organization can truly change your college experience for the better.

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