During the first few days of a new semester, the bookstore is always packed full of students rushing to get their supplies. If you join the crowd, the best case scenario is that you’ll spend a ridiculous amount of time waiting in line, and the worst case scenario is that your books and supplies will be sold out by the time you get to them. You can avoid both outcomes if you get there as soon as possible, preferably a few days before classes start. And if you’re buying books online, make sure to order them a few weeks before school starts, so you can be sure they arrive in the mail on time.
The first week’s course load is at an all-time low, and your motivation is at an all-time high. Just because nothing is due yet doesn’t mean you can’t take a look at what’s coming up on your syllabus. Not only will you know what to expect, but you might be able to get a jump start on some of the work, too, whether that’s getting ahead in readings or doing a few easy assignments. If you start writing that research paper two months ahead of schedule, future you will thank you immensely, and your classmates will regret that they didn’t do the same.
Taking an early trip around campus to scope out your classrooms can be a huge stress reliever. There’s nothing worse than showing up late on the first day of class just because the room was in a weird wing of a building that you had trouble finding. If you know exactly where your classes are, you’ll know exactly how to get there, and how much time it’ll take to get to where you need to be on time. The easier it is for you to find your classes, the earlier you’ll get there, and the better seat you’ll be able to pick out on the first day.
Don’t Get Hung Up on First Impressions
A course may seem daunting at first, but classes aren’t always as hard as the syllabus might seem, and professors aren’t always as cold as they are when you first meet them (and vice versa). After a bit of time, you’ll warm up to the people in your class, and to the material in your course. It’s impossible to judge how easy or difficult a class is going to be in the first week alone, so if something seems intimidating or simply not as you expected, try not to worry about it. Swapping, adding, and dropping classes during the first week because you’re afraid a course will be too hard will cause more stress than just sticking with the class and seeing where it goes.
There’s nothing better than a blank notebook and a pack of brand new pens. Fresh school supplies will give you that nostalgic “back to school” feeling that you used to get as a child, and gives you something to look forward to when the semester starts. If you reuse old notebooks and repurpose beat up folders, you’ll feel just as worn out as your school supplies. Plus, new supplies are less likely to break on you halfway through the semester. Save yourself the potential trouble, and buy new ones now.