10 Tips for Your First Week as a Freshmen

After months of anticipation, it’s finally time. You’re starting your first week of Clemson classes! It’s exciting – and intimidating- but you’ve got this. With these tips, you’ll soar through your first week and become the tiger you were always meant to be.


1. Read the Syllabus

I can’t stress this enough. Your professor has just handed you the key to success in their course, so use it! You don’t want to be the person who forgot about the midterm and gets the dreaded “read the syllabus” email from your professor. Plus, the included calendar will make time management so much easier.

2. Find Your Classes Before the First Day

Clemson geography can be a bit tricky (I spent an hour looking for Poole Agricultural Center once), so unless you want to be late to your first day (again – guilty), find your buildings beforehand! Bonus points if you find the classroom, too. Google Maps and the MyClemson app can help you navigate your new home at Clemson.

3. Find Food You Like in the Dining Hall

The dining hall may seem exciting today, but I promise, you’ll be over it in a few months. Investigate the food options now to avoid ending up in a rut later. It will also make your days easier when you’re short on time but still want a good meal.

4. Prepare to Sweat

It’s true. There’s something special in these hills, and it will make you sweat! August in Clemson is hot, and walking up hills to get to class will leave you drenched. Don’t be embarrassed about your sweat. We’re all doing it. Prioritize your water to make sure you stay hydrated!


5. Don’t Be Afraid to Drop a Class

As flawless as your schedule looked at orientation, it shows it flaws in the August sun. It’s intimidating to drop a class, but don’t sweat it! It’s better to drop a class now than mess up your GPA with an 8 am class that lowers your grade with every tardy, and “Drop/Add Week” is the perfect time to change. Plus, as people drop classes, you might be able to secure the ideal time slot you missed during registration!

6. Wait to Buy Your Books

Textbooks are expensive, so before you make the investment, wait for the first week of class. You may end up dropping the course, or you may find other students you can share the cost with. Some classes barely even use their books, so take your time when figuring out what to buy. Plus, you can rent most of your books and save some cash.​  

7. Make Connections

If you’re an introvert like me, the idea of this may make your skin crawl, but I promise, it isn’t that bad! Introduce yourself to your professor and your fellow students. Down the road, you’ll be glad you did. When you’re stuck on an assignment or unsure about something, checking with another student can be less intimidating. Getting to know your professor is always a good idea, and when you have a problem later, they’ll remember you!


8. Get Ahead

I know, I know – who wants to do this? Well, later, you’ll be happy you got ahead instead of behind. If your class includes online homework, go ahead and make your student account so you have time if you need tech support. Don’t put off your first assignment until midnight the night before. You’ll start the semester with the right attitude to be successful.


9. Explore!

It’s tempting to find a routine and stick to it, and I’m especially guilty of it. Before you settle into your route, take the time to get lost on campus. Take a different path – it might even be a shortcut! Head downtown to try local flavors. Find some hidden gems on campus. You won’t regret it.

10. Relax

It’s a big week, and stress is understandable. But take a deep breath. It’s okay if you make a mistake, and it doesn’t automatically determine the rest of your Clemson experience.

You’ve got this.