Surviving Your First Day of College

Independence, responsibility, promptness, and sense of adventure are skills/traits that will suit you well on your first day of college. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Anticipate you will be delayed looking for parking and for your classrooms, so get to the college as early in the day as possible to find your way around and explore the campus.

  • Use the SMC GO app to help you navigate the campus using the Maps feature.

  • Arrive to your class a few minutes early to get a seat. Many non-enrolled students "crash" the class hoping the instructor will add them. Arriving late not only sets a bad impression, but you may end up sitting on the floor. Sit at the front to avoid distractions!

  • First day of class is sometimes known as "Syllabus Day." Your instructors will provide you a syllabus describing what the class is about, including when tests will be administered, grading and attendance policies, etc. The syllabus tends to be covered at the beginning​ of class and you don't want to miss it.

  • Do not skip class. Not showing up to your first class may result in your getting dropped and your seat given to another student.

  • Come prepared! Purchase your books and note books ahead of time; bring pencils and pens. If you use a laptop or tablet to take notes, be sure to know the instructor's policy on their use. Some instructors prohibit use of electronics.

  • Introduce yourself to the instructor. Your instructor can be your best advocate for your success, but they need to get to know you. Become familiar with the instructor's office hours and meet them there.

  • Introduce yourself to other students and share your contact information in the event you later need notes for a class you missed. Solicit interest from other students in forming a small study group.

Challenges and Suggestions for Dealing with First Day Issues