You’re finally on your way to being in the “real world” and just have to make it through four years of college. Your first year will be filled with confusion, chaos, and stress. But there are steps you can take in your first couple weeks of classes to set the tone for the rest of the semester.

Related9 Things to Do Before the Semester Starts

Switch Any Classes You Don’t Want

When you initially signed up for classes, you may have had little to no idea whether or not the professor or the class is right for you. Sure you can visit Rate My Professors to get an idea of what you’re getting yourself into, but the only test of whether or not you’ll actually enjoy the class is to give it a try.

Use the first couple of weeks to gauge whether or not you made a good decision when you signed up for Interrogating Gender: Centuries of Dramatic Cross-Dressing.

Get Your Books

Some people purchase all of their books before the semester begins, which is a good idea. But a lot of upperclassmen have been in the situation where they purchase their textbooks only to find out that their professor won’t even be using it throughout the semester.

Most classes won’t make you use your book until the second or third class, so you usually have some time to purchase books. Look on Craigslist,, BookRenter, and Chegg to save money instead of making a freshman mistake and getting all your books on campus.

Related5 Ways to Save on Textbooks This Year

Make Sure Your “To-do” List is Done

During freshman orientation, you were probably given a laundry list of things to do. Instead of putting them off until the very last possible moment, start going through and knocking things off the list. Some typical tasks will be:

  • Getting a parking pass
  • Getting your ID
  • Meeting with your advisor
  • Setting up your college email account

The longer you wait to do these things, the more difficult it’ll be to find time to get them done. You may think your first week of college is busy, but once you have papers due, parties to go to, club meetings, and games to watch, the last thing on your mind will be meeting with a college advisor.

Start Looking for a Job

Working during college is a very wise move, as it will help you build up your resume and save up some money. The reason you want to get started early is because there are more students than there are jobs available. If you really need a job, you can’t afford to wait.

Also, getting a job in the first couple of weeks of college will help you get your schedule figured out. Scheduling your time is extremely important if you want to avoid being an unorganized mess for the rest of the semester.

RelatedStart Planning Your College Job Search Early

Go to Class

Well, duh! Some of you might be wondering why this even has to be said. But believe it or not, it’s not uncommon for students to skip the first class, especially coming out of high school. You start thinking: “Well college professors don’t take attendance, so nobody will know I’m not there.” Or another classic excuse is “The first class is just orientation, I won’t miss anything.”

Skipping classes in the first week is a big mistake for a couple of reasons:

  • One, it starts a bad habit that’s difficult to get out of. Since college gives students a lot more freedom and requires more self-discipline that high school, a lot of freshmen will be tempted to take advantage of the ability to just not go to class. When nobody’s making you go to school, it’s a lot easier to just not go.
  • And two, you should attend all of your classes from the beginning because you’ll want to get a chance to meet other students. You’ll make new friends and in the event that you actually have to miss a class, you’ll have someone to contact to get notes and let you know what you missed. Unlike high school, you are completely responsible for your education in college, so you have to be prepared.


Image: velkr0