Monday, August 26, 2013

College Firsts: Top three things to do on the first day of class

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Below are the top three things to do on the first day of every college class, every semester:

1) Sit in the front row
Sitting in the front row sends a strong message to the professor that you are ready to learn and engage. It also forces you to pay better attention because it's more difficult to text when your professor is just a few feet away from you. 

You'll also put yourself next to the other students who are serious about their education and unafraid. Those are cool people, and you should be one of them. 

2) Set syllabus reminders in Google Calendar
Each syllabus you get the first week of classes is like a treasure map to an A. On the first week, decipher the map and create reminders in your planner or favorite online calendar. My favorite is Google Calendar.

On the first day of each class I would take the syllabus and make note of every single due date and exam date. Then, I'd choose a new color code for that class in Google Calendar, and create a new event for every due date. 

Under the reminders section I would set SMS (e.g. text) and e-mail reminders to remind me at many intervals before a due date (e.g. 4 weeks before, 2 weeks before, 5 days before, 2 days before, and day of).

I could breathe easier at the end of the first week knowing I would not forget any important assignments and would always be ahead of the game. 

3) Break the ice
Start conversations with the people in class and get to know your professor that first week. Engage in discussions. Compliment someone on their outfit. Ask someone if they want to study with you for the first exam. Visit the professor during her office hours and ask her for advice. 

When you break the ice the first week of class you set the tone for the rest of the semester - and trust me, classes are much more fun when you have friends to talk to and a professor you know. 

Good luck!

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