August 24, 2014 / 4:18 pm

Helpful Hints for the First Week of School

The end of summer is a sad and exciting time. Poolside freedom, internships, summer classes or jobs, adventures far out of your comfort zone and romances close to your heart might all be all be winding down as the school bells begin to ring. It seems as if summer had only just started before it blew by in a beautiful instant. Getting back into the rhythm and rhyme of an educational schedule can be incredibly stressful and uncomfortable to manage. Whether you are returning to your university or about to attend a brand new school it is nice to get some help up into the driver’s seat. So, if you’re missing the summer sun and want to make it through your first week of class without any tears follow some of these tips. We are trying to avoid #summertimesadness.


Keep Track of the Syllabi

You will be so happy come late September that you still have the original assignment calendar for the semester. Many professors give points for just having them printed off, so it is a great way to start off the semester.

Jessica’s tip: highlight dates when there are quizzes, tests, exams, papers due, WEBWORK (forgetting about webwork is probably one of the top 5 worst feelings)

Print/Write out Class Schedule

Don’t be stuck 2 minutes before class trying to dig through your slowly loading email to find the room number of whichever class you are taking 8 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. It’s much too early for that.

Jessica’s tip: don’t take class at 8 a.m.

Walk or Map the Academic Buildings before the Big Day

Especially for newbies on campus, this can be a stress saver. Even after a few semesters, it is still good to have a quick refresher of where the buildings are and how long it might take to get from one to the other.

Jessica’s tip: Although it is possible to get from Woodburn to Union Street in 15 minutes, I do not recommend it #freshmanmistake

Plenty of Writing Utensils

Black Pens or Blue Pens? The ultimate debate that has torn friendships apart for much longer than the ‘Edward Vs Jacob’ debate. Mostly kidding – the color of pens haven’t been that hot of a topic since the glitter scented pens of middle school – but make sure you have a solid supply for thorough note taking. A few #2 pencils are highly suggested since many teachers grade via scantron and can even take attendance with scantrons too.

Jessica’s tip: don’t lose your pens. Somehow, always, come mid-October all my pens are gone

Keep your Eyes Peeled for Student Involvement Fairs

College has a little of something for everyone, so check out the involvement fair and join something you’re interested in. From student media (hollah WIUX) to Greek life to philanthropy to intramural sports and everything in-between you are bound to meet cool people who share your interests. Involvement fairs typically happen the first week or two of classes so plan to stop by during your busy syllabus week study schedule.

Jessica’s tip: Join WIUX

A Day Planner

Use it to keep track of exams, assignments, social engagements and extracurricular meetings from the get go so it doesn’t become a jumbled mess three weeks in.

Jessica’s tip: thanks Sarah for this tip

Attend Campus Spirit Events

This is one of the best ways to feel at home. Get pumped and rowdy with your friends – remind yourself how truly awesome the university you go to is and why you picked it to begin with. Be proud of the school you go to, and make it proud to have you.

Jessica’s tip: go to tailgates, there’s nothing better

Stop Playing on Your Phone

Yes, 2048 is addicting and technically teaches you math and sure Angry Birds could be biology or maybe physics but you need to but your phone down. Not only will you miss out on what the professors are saying, but you will miss out on interacting with real people in real life. You will avoid a strong case of FOMO (fear of missing out) if you check social media less frequently. Real life is vivid and beautiful (even without instagram’s ‘Nashville’ filter) and will only show more of its intricacies when you pay attention to it.

Jessica’s tip: learning is fun and phones distract you in class and out of class and in college you learn outside of the classroom too

Go to Sleep Early the Night Before

Staying up until 3:30 a.m. the night before your first day of school is bad news bears. Unless of course your first class doesn’t start until the afternoon at which point even being vaguely nocturnal you could still get a good 8 hours of sleep.

Jessica’s tip: sleeping is important because you don’t want dark circles and puffy eyes if there’s a ~total hottie~ in your classes

Eat Breakfast

Are you a pancake person? Cereal Consumer? Morning time Bloody Mary advocate? Whatever your breakfast of choice might be, build time in to your schedule for the quick bite. It’ll not only keep you from falling asleep in class but insure that you are awake and alert with plenty of time to get to your first class on time.

Jessica’s tip: last year my roommate bought a 10-pound bag of pancake mix for our apartment. If you are a pancake person, or a person with taste buds, I suggest you do the same

Bring a Non-Perishable Snack

Bring a non-perishable snack so that if the cool new friends you made in class invite you to grab a bite in the food court you won’t feel bad about the banana slowly smushing itself on the bottom of your backpack. Granola bars are great, since they will keep in good condition for days.

Jessica’s tip: goldfish

Stay Hydrated

Many problems can be made a lot better by a drinking a tall glass of water. It’ll sooth a sore throat, calm a raging headache, and improve concentration in class. While it won’t prevent you from missing things that are far away at least you can think “Wow! I am so hydrated! What a great role model I am!”

Jessica’s tip: get a camelback bottle cause they’re great and last forever and decorate it with WIUX stickers