On your first day of class—especially as a freshman—it’s extremely easy to overlook some of the essentials to tote to class. Similarly, for others it may be hard to forget something. If you are anything like me, you had everything you could possibly ever need crammed into your backpack (except for the kitchen sink and the stuffed animal laying on your bed that you deny sleeping with on your first day of class). Likewise, everyone remembers to wear pants, even though we may have nightmares of forgetting them at times, and we all remember to take our books. But, there are a few things that we may overlook.
- Okay, so call it cliché, but number 1 is definitely a no-brainer. Let’s all say it together… a pencil! If we are all being honest, Day 1 is sometimes notorious for being boring. Freshmen (and sometimes upperclassmen even if they won’t admit it) get so nervous to show up to a class that will only last a fraction of the time. It’s true that your first day will likely be the one and only easy day you have, but you should still come prepared. A pencil may seem like a “DUH” item and some of you may be saying, “What is she thinking, who forgets a pencil?” But you would be surprised! After going over the syllabus for the last 20 minutes and pretending to laugh at your professor’s attempt to tell a joke, there are usually agreements your professor will make you sign. Trust me, you don’t want to be the kid sitting in the second row from the back who has barely had a pulse the whole time and has to look over and ask for a pencil. It doesn’t set a good example. Be prepared and show your professor you are ready for the upcoming semester.
- College is definitely a whole different ballgame compared to high school. Everyone has told you and you’ve probably spent the last two months of summer break psyching yourself up for the moment you walk on campus. But the truth is college is totally different. Classes are all throughout the day, you have no one telling you what to do in your free time, and of course, classes are EVERYWHERE across campus. No one wants to end up walking around campus nonchalantly for 30 minutes pretending to know where they’re headed while in reality they’re panicking inside because they don’t want to be late. Truth is, even though you may think it’s severely uncool to carry around your class schedule, sometimes it’s just necessary. That’s why number 2 is your schedule. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, at some point everyone has to look at their schedule. Even though you may think you have it memorized down to every last word, it’s very possible as soon as the reality of, “Oh my goodness, I’m actually doing this!” hits you, the probability of you forgetting is pretty high. So whether you want to hold your schedule up proudly or be a little more inconspicuous about it by taking a picture of it on your iPhone or jotting it down on the front of your notebook, don’t forget your schedule. It’ll make your first day a breeze.
- So numbers 1 and 2 were pretty easy to guess but number 3 may not be as straightforward. What is it, then? I’ll give you a hint… you probably use your phone to replace it. Give up? Number 3 is a watch. I’m fully aware that we all carry around our phones and as soon as we need to know the time we just check it. But in college there will be more professors who DO NOT allow you to keep out your phones then there are that will. Honestly, they are a distraction… to you, your fellow classmates, and even your professors, so it’s just easier to obey the rules and keep it put away. But what do you do when there isn’t a clock on the wall and you need to make sure you get out of there before you’re late to your next class because your current professor is apparently on a different time schedule? The truth is sometimes professors go over and you need to let them know you have other classes that mean just as much as the one you’re in. Other times, you just need to know how much longer you’re going to have to sit and listen to them drone on about the migration history of the African elephant. Staring at your watch will hopefully get you through that last 20 minutes.
- Number 4 just may be back on the “DUH” list but it is a college essential–a folder. Your first day of class your professor will be handing out class schedules, essay prompts, syllabi, and important contact information. All of these things are important and if you just aimlessly let them float around in your backpack for the next few weeks the likelihood of them staying there without getting ripped or lost isn’t very good. Make sure you get a folder for every class you’re going to have and keep all of them separate. You don’t want to be caught in a mess ready to hand in your photosynthesis paper in your World Civ. class and realize you gave your take home quiz on ancient Mesopotamia to your BIO professor!
- Last, but definitely not least, comes number 5. Drum roll please… a planner! So carrying around a planner definitely takes us back to our grade school days where we had to bring them home and let mom and dad sign it every night or we lost recess. That may be true, but it is CRUCIAL, and I repeat, CRUCIAL for you to keep a planner. Whether you purchase one from your university bookstore and support your team, (GO RACERS!), or you just buy a generic one at Wal-Mart, you need to make sure a planner is at the top of your school supply list. Even on the first day professors will be throwing all kinds of dates around: days for quizzes, book reports, essays, daily homework assignments, and the dreaded final exam! Make sure you get down EVERYTHING! Personally, there is not one day in my school planner without ink all over it. I have notes about anything and everything that may be important written down. It’s better to be safe than sorry because in college there is no second try. Write it down the first time and there will be no chance of forgetting.
If you head to your first day of classes with all of these things, you’ll be prepared for just about anything that comes your way. Good luck!
Kayla Todd is a sophomore at Murray State University, a Calloway County Alum and “just your average girl.” Her experience at MSU has been a good one and she’s learned quite a bit along the way. She hopes to lessen your college woes and help make college life enjoyable for you, too!