All right. You've made it this far. You've busted your ass since high school to walk that stage, and now summer break is drawing to a close.
Then the panic sets in. What should I wear? What should I bring to my classes? Never fear, I'm going to give you a quick rundown on the do's and don'ts of your first day.
Do these things:
1) Eat a reasonably healthy breakfast. Don't go "to hell with it", and eat something sugary and fatty. Yes it's making you hiper now, but what about two hours from now in the middle of orientation? You want to be able to keep up with the tour group, rather than passing out halfway through.
2) make sure your classes were entered and that the bill is paid. So your college shows it online? Excellent! log your butt in and check the status of every class.
3) if you have the opportunity head for the campus a few hours early and walk around. If you're living in a dorm, try to get to know you're roommate so that you'll have a friend in case you ever need help.
4) Lay out your clothes the night before. Lay out something clean and either pressed or at least unwrinkled. We want to look presentable, so also do the other students a favor and embark on a journey of showering, brushing your teeth, etc.
5) Wear something modest. I don't care if you're male or female, please dress decently. Save the raunchy stuff for the frat parties.
6) make sure your bag is packed. Need a notebook, binder or laptop? Put it in your bag the night before.
7) Get plenty of sleep the night before. I know you're excited, maybe even a little nervous, but do yourself and your professors a favor and get plenty of rest. If you have to, take an appropriate remedy of your choice. As long as it's legal.
8) Call your family. This one's entirely optional, but especially if you live far away, call your family and talk to them. If they say encouraging things, it can bolster your confidence a great deal.
9) make sure you're organized. This one I'm still working on. I'm a very disorganized and chaotic person by nature, so it's difficult to get myself into a new routine. But do it. Purchase a calendar, a PDA, enough sticky notes to last all semester, however you choose to be organized. I should mention here that writing on your arm is not really acceptable for your syllabus, reminders about financial aid, etc.
10) straighten your apartment, dorm room, etc. If this sounds counterintuitive, let me clarify. We're not doing a full scale whirlwind spring cleaning. We're just sweeping or vacuuming, dusting, little things. Pick up the obvious trash and throw away any reminders of the debauchery you overindulged in all summer. We're gonna buckle down, so not having reminders around is good.
11) Get some classical music. If you think this will help you study, go for it. The theory is that classical is instrumental, so there aren't any lyrics to distract you, but furthermore artists like Mozart are supposedly timed to the human heartbeat. I haven't tried this out yet, but I do personally find creative writing comes more naturally when listening to instrumentals.
12) Wake up on time. If you have ten minutes before class starts and it takes you fifteen to get there, you're going to be late. First impressions, sadly, are very important.
13) Listen to inspirational or motivational music. Here are a few suggestions, though find your own if these don't suit you.
Time of my life by David Cook
It happens by Sugarland
If today was your last day by Nickleback
You've gotta kick a little by Lonestar
Mountains by Lonestar
Snakes and Ladders by Artisan
Do not do these things:
1) Show up late, hung over, drunk, stoned, etc. You want to be there, don't you?
2) Try not to forget anything or arrive late. Allow an extra few minutes for unexpected events, such as traffic accidents, lazy bus drivers, etc.
3) No smart mouth comments. I know, if you're sarcastic by nature, this may be hard. Do your best to be unfailingly polite, even to people who are unequivocal assholes to you.
4) Don't string yourself out on caffeine. A cup of coffee, or tea, or something similar is fine. But no triple quadruple shot caramel mochas, lest you fall over sound asleep in the classroom.
5) Don't let your cell ring in class. Please at least turn it to vibrate or off entirely. Very few things are that important.
6) Don't forget your pleases, thank yous, yes sirs and Ma'am, Prof or Dr. Politeness goes a long way.
7) No listening to music in class. the professor has gotten up early and busted his or her butt to impart wisdom to you. Please show them a little respect and listen.
8) DO not wrap your gum or wipe up that spilled orange juice with your syllabus. This thing can be a life saver, or at least a grade saver. Keep it in the folder/binder for the class in question.
9) Try not to sleep in class. Okay, so your upstairs neighbor was throwing a ten-thousand strong booze bash right above your bed, and the tromping of the elephant that turned out to be someone dropping the stereo down three flights of stairs kept you up. This is the only time you may caffeinate yourself to the point where you're shaking. Just go to bed a little early tonight to catch up.
10) Don't neglect yourself. If you feel run down, go take a walk, a nap, do some stretching, scrub yourself with herbal soap, whatever works.
I know some of these suggestions may be obvious, but you'd be surprised what you can forget because of anxiety.