To add to the list above, here's how to make friends and meet members of the opposite sex on the first day.

First off, you should already hopefully know at least one person who has taken this class already, hopefully with the same professor. Ask around, post on a campus message board, whatever, just find out the skinny on the class. This person should be able to answer at least these three questions about the class.

  • Do I need the book?
  • Is the professor any good?
  • Is the class hard?

Armed with these three tidbits of information, you are ready.

Steps for a good first day
  • Show up early. It's the only time you have to do it the rest of the semester. Find the room in plenty of time and loiter outside until the class is almost ready to begin. Do not enter the classroom yet. Take stock of the people around you. Identify past classmates, friends, etc.
  • Once you see all of the people waiting on the class to begin, pick out the most attractive member of the opposite sex and approach him or her. I'm going with her for the rest of this writeup, because I'm a guy. Ask her "Is this insert class here?" Even if you know it is, ask her anyway. Strike up a conversation, and then, when you go inside the classroom, you've already made a friend and you have someone to sit by, probably for the rest of the semester. If you want to sit at the back of the class, take the lead when entering the classroom and choose an appropriate seat. Get her to follow you by keeping the conversation going. Later on, having her sit by you can act as a reason to keep coming to the class.
  • Ok, you should be inside now, and the class should be starting. Try not to fall asleep on the first day. Collect all of the necessary paperwork, like syllabus, homework requirements, etc, and store them in your folder. (you did bring a folder, didn't you?) You'll need these later for when you sleep through the class and need to know if you have a test the next day. You probably won't need to take notes the first day. Nothing super important is going to be covered on the first day that you won't have plenty of time to write down later. Listen to the standard opening class lecture, which is probably written on the syllabus already.
  • Ok, at last. The prof's finished. Take a look at whatever time piece is in the room and notice if he likes to talk over time, or is more likely to go under time, or if he pretty much nails the amount of time in the class. You can't tell a whole lot on the first day if he's under or right on time, but if he's over, look out. If you have another class after this one, head for it. Notice if any of your classmates are heading for the same class. Remember that cute girl? See which way she heads after class, especially if it's off with her big football player boyfriend. If, by chance, you do end up walking in the same direction as another classmate, strike up a conversation. Using the tidbits you've gleaned from your other friend, the one who had the class before, you should be able to have a conversation long enough to guage the personality of your classmate. Make friends as soon as possible, especially if there are going to be study groups, lab partners, or any sort of collaborative effort in this class.

Hopefully, by following these simple steps on the first day of class, you will be able to make some friends and enjoy the class. Remember, happy minds learn more!