How to Rock Your First Week Back

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Fall semester is finally here, bringing both excitement and stress to thousands of students across campus. If you want to ace your first week of classes, follow these quick tips to make the transition from beach week to lecture halls a little easier. 
 
Map out your schedule
We have had our schedules planned for months, but unless you know the campus, you don’t know how much time it takes to get to class, much less where it is. The simplest way to find out which buildings your classes are in is to check out the personalized campus map on isis.ufl.edu. The map will show the buildings, classrooms and distance between classes based on your registered schedule. Check out the time it takes to get to each class so you can plan ahead, especially if you have two or more in a row.
 
Check out your professors
 The first week of class is like a trial period to test out the waters of your class. Students use the week of drop/add to scope out the structure and lecture style of their classes before deciding if they want to stay in it. Check out your professors at ratemyprofessor.com, where you can check out what other students think of individual classes and the professors who teach them. You can even see the level of difficulty!  But take the reviews lightly. Everyone has different opinions on classes and teachers.
 
Get to class early
Sit in the front. Not only do you get a better view of whatever is on the screen, you also can turn around behind you before class starts and see if there’s anyone you know. Also, class can be stressful. If you get there early, you have time to relax and not seem completely flustered.
 
Make study buddies
 Even if you have friends in your class, make sure to take the opportunity to make some new ones. Try and get numbers from at least two people who can help you throughout the semester. They may even become life-long friends.


 
Network 
Teachers, advisors and upperclassmen in your major are great resources for advice. They can help you with your class while also proving to be great mentors. Professors want to interact with students, so talk to them! Go to office hours, maybe not during the first week, but definitely afterward. If you haven’t talked to an advisor and are worried about your schedule, do it before drop/add ends. Upperclassmen (if you know one) can help you throughout the semester and introduce you to important people and staff within your college.
 
Don’t bring your laptop the first day
Some professors hate the use of electronics in class, but others find it useful. Do yourself a favor and don’t bring your laptop on the first day. Wait until you hear what your professor's policy is. Plus, you won’t be lugging it around campus for no reason.
 
Dress up the first day
You never know where a cute guy may be. Dress up the first day, see if there are any potentials, but after that, don’t worry about it. Wear sweats to class if you want. No one will care.
 
Actually go to class
 Your friend may have told you that the class was easy and you never have to show up or you plan on dropping the class anyway. Ignore the temptation and at least show up the first day to get the syllabus. You may find out it’s not what you expected.
 
Check out your college’s resources
Even if you don’t have a class in your college building, go there. There will be signs for events and clubs related to your major. Take advantage!
 

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