Five Things To Keep in Mind the First Week of College (for Students)

If you are entering college in spring semester, you may feel more nervous than if you were starting in the fall. You look around and think that everyone else knows where classes are, how to get books, how to log in to course shells, etc. But relax. Keep these five things in mind:

  1. In college, things are always changing, so you are never the only one who doesn’t know how to do something. Over semester break at our college, the course management system was upgraded, several textbooks went to new editions, and the entire parking lot changed.  So just relax and realize that your not knowing something may have nothing to do with you and everything to do with the ever-changing college world.
  2. One day, you will forget something important. It is inevitable. Just accept it. It might be your course schedule that tells you the location of your classes. It might be your notebook. It might be your pen. It might be the calculator that you paid $100 for. I will now admit something to you: In my long, long history as a student, more than once, I rushed into the classroom on the first day, relieved not to be late, only to realize I’d left my pen on my desk and, for some reason, didn’t have any other writing implement on me. So I sucked it up and asked the person next to me to borrow one. And there were times I took notes in pencil or some sort of lilac ink. And yes, I was a little embarrassed that my classmates might think I was unprepared. But I got over it. And so will you.
  3. Ask for help. Now as the Jolly Librarian, I am inclined to recommend that you make friends with your college librarians. In our office, we’ve been known to give out pens, pencils, paper, and folders, even contact lens solution. There is a secret that more people need to know: Folks like to help. They like to be given opportunities to prove that they are helpful people. I’m not making this up. Scientific studies have been done. So get in the habit of asking.
  4. Buy a calendar or use the one on your smartphone or computer. As soon as you get your syllabus, write down when everything’s due. You might think you’ll remember. You won’t.
  5. Give yourself a theme song. Think about every movie you’ve ever seen. When heroes embark on a journey that will change their lives, music swells as you see their backs head off into the sun. Pick your song. Put this song on your iPod, phone, or whatever, and play it every time you feel a little lost or out of place. You too are embarking on something heroic. 
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