The Fall 2012 semester is getting ready to begin. Everyone thinks they are ready but you just never know.
I have a couple of suggestions for you “Before” you head off to class,
1. Check you campus email address for last-minute instructions, campus alerts, or just to be informed about what is going on.
2. Bring your textbook, Pen and a pad of paper to the first class. This sounds like an obvious one but you would be surprised how many students ask to borrow a pen or paper. Also they will wait to get their books and then find they could have gotten a better deal by planning ahead by buying used textbooks or ordering online. If you get the wrong one, all that is lost is time because they will give you a refund.
3. Arrive in plenty of time so you can find a parking space and relax a bit before class. Arriving late always makes a bad impression on the first day.
4. Do not skip the first day of class. Yes this does happen! That is your chance to get to know the instructor, other students and get organized. It shows disrespect to skip the class because you think “nothing is going to happen the first day”. I give a pop quiz for points on the first day!
5. Turn off your phone. I know several professors that take points off for attendance if you phone goes off! My favorite is the professor that requires you to bring treats for the whole class the next class period for a ringing/buzzing or disturbance in class.
6. Never Text in class. Most teacher can tell when you are putting dates in your calendar which is a good idea, but if you are clicking away, you are aggravating the students around you and We know that too! Because the other students will tell me and I can hear you.
7. Put gas in your car, check for bus money, set your alarm, etc. Excuses are not good for the first day of class, you do not want to set a precedent for a teacher to evaluate your behavior.
8. The first day of class is usually very relaxed so take the initiative to sit close to the front of the room. Students that sit up front usually do better in class, this has been researched. If you decide you want to learn give your self the best view-point.
9. Make up a list of questions the night before that you have about the class, how much homework? types of Exams? when are assignments due? Then when the teacher asks if there are any questions you will be able to scan through them and ask any that were not covered. Shows you are really interested in doing well in the class.
10. TAKE NOTES! there is nothing more annoying to an instructor than to have a student sit in a seat while they lecture and do nothing. This tells me you don’t care about learning the material. It usually means that student will be lost when test and quizzes come up or you will have to borrow notes from another student. I find I’m more willing to help a student with notes than one that asks me to explain something that they can’t show me they were even paying attention.
College is not like high school. If you don’t go to class it’s your business, and if you fail a class it’s your problem. You pay to be there so get the most out of the experience that you can! There are plenty of other people who would love to go to college that can’t.
Enjoy the first week of the semester!