First Day of Classes Checklist

Hopefully you’ve all had a nice, relaxing break, ’cause tomorrow we hit the ground running with this semester’s first day of classes! Before you head to class tomorrow, make sure you’re well prepared with:

  • A writing implement of some kind. Don’t be that guy who has to ask to borrow a pencil. This isn’t high school.
  • A notebook. But just one. Given that you’re likely still shopping classes, you don’t necessarily need to have everything perfectly organized yet. Just make sure you have something you can write on so that you can take notes! Once you get your schedule nailed down, you can come up with a more permanent solution (e.g., one notebook per class).
  • A clear idea of where your classes are and how much time you’ll need to get there. I still remember the panic of realizing seeing “VVO 110” pop up on my schedule freshman year and having no idea what it stood for. (Spoiler alert: it’s the Van Vleck Observatory.) Take a few minutes to come up with a battle plan. Even just to bring you some peace of mind. Look to the building codes and campus map for guidance.
  • Questions. Not sure if this class counts for the major requirement you’re hoping it counts for? Wondering whether there will be opportunities for research into a particular subject? Jot down some questions before the start of each class; after all, you want to learn as soon as possible if this is the course for you!
  • A copy of your schedule. Some Professors will pass out sign-up sheets for papers or group assignments as early as the first day. Bringing a copy of your (tentative) schedule with you can help you make more informed choices. Along those lines, make sure you record all major due dates for each course in one location. That way, you’ll have a comprehensive road map of the semester ahead to inform you when making other commitments.
  • Previous communication with the Professor if you are not officially enrolled in the course. If you’re planning on shopping a course you’re not actually enrolled in, send a quick email to the Professor first to let him or her know that you’ll be there! If you were in communication with the Professor last November during adjustment but haven’t been in touch since, it doesn’t hurt to send another quick reminder that you’ll be showing up to class.
  • Enthusiasm. Yes, the first day of classes means that break is officially over, but this is exciting: there are so many opportunities waiting for you! Get into the spirit!

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