How to Prepare for Your First Day at the UniversityDecember 22, 2017

You might be engrossed in National Rugby League, if not counting the rolling waves on your favourite beach. You're wishing for an Indian summer, but reality bites you. The term is about to start soon, and you haven't prepared for it. A huge mistake if you procrastinate on it.

The transition to university life will be a bumpy ride unless you have done your research. You have visited the university before submitting your application form, but there's more to familiarising with the buildings. You may ask tons of questions, but it won't be enough. Remember that the semester might start earlier depending on your professor. Don't assume otherwise. (It will be a mistake to ask your coursemates, as you might be blindsided by the responses.) And there will be some changes that you should know ahead.

Let's have a look.

10 Things to Know Before Your First Lecture

Remember the time and venues of your lectures. You might get more nervous, as the first day approaches fast. You would tend to forget the lectures, where the lecture rooms are located, and how far you must stroll (or run) from your flat. If you write it down on a piece of paper, then you don't have to worry about it. Place it in your pocket. Leave your room early, as a relaxed stance will enable you to think properly (during lecture hours). You must arrive twenty minutes before the start of the lecture.

Bring a laptop (or iPad). There's nothing wrong with a notebook, but you may not keep up with the pace of the teaching of your professor (during your first day). You will be forced to write fast, and your handwriting may be not legible enough for you to read it. A gadget may be forbidden in your local high school, but it won't be the case in the university. Make sure that you ask for the WiFi username and password before going to the lecture room.

You must submit your essay assignment on your first day. Some professors might do it, as there are lots to cover on the syllabus. And composing your first essay (of two thousand words or more) is not a walk in a park. Check your inbox if you don't want to procrastinate before your first day. You want to make a good first impression, so don't falter on this one.

Be familiar with the syllabus. It's a must if you're studying literature. Think about the authors and their best works. Think of history, which provides the backdrop for the stories. Think of the additional reading materials, which will help you write your essays. You have lots of ground to make up if you don't do it during the days before the big day.

Keep an open mind about your coursemates. Don't judge them on first look. Hold your tongue after your first conversation. They may feel the same way like you. They're hoping to have new mates (like you). They need the camaraderie, which provides support during those trying moments. It can happen on that first day.

Don't be intimidated by your professor. The knowledge can overwhelm you, not to mention the serious look. Get used to it. If you have a prior conversation, then it doesn't mean that you should approach the lecture with a laidback stance. You may be left behind after ten minutes or so.

Listen intently. You won't be asked to introduce yourself, which is supposed to be an icebreaker. There won't be any time for it, as the scope of the module will be wider than you think. If you tend to get sleepy in the morning, then have your fill of caffeine. If it's not interesting to you, then let your curiosity help you (become interested in the lecture). You can get acquainted with your coursemates afterward, though.

Leave your cell phone. You can keep your cell phone in silent mode, as your parent(s) might make an emergency call.

Prepare a set of questions. The syllabus might not explain the rules of essay writing properly. There won't be any notes on how to prepare for the examination. And you don't have a clue on the titles on the secondary reading list. Don't expect your coursemates to do it, as they may have a different set of questions. (And you may be too slow to think of one before the end of the lecture.)

Focus on the coursework. You'll get a head start if you try to do it before your first week (in the university). It's easier said than done, so practice on it.

What have you seen lately?

The lecture can be compared to a movie. There will be moments of intense concentration, also bored looks. Someone will ask a question, which may lead to a debate. Anything can happen, so you should be ready for whatever happens during the lecture.

You should know that your professor will be rooting for your success. If your tutor hasn't told you about it, then you must get the hint during your conversation. You can have fun, but don't lose your concentration. After all, learning requires hard work.

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