Here’s the Deal: College Classes Are What You Make Them
If you’re anxious about stepping into a college classroom for the first time, you’re not alone. Luckily, keeping these clutch tips top-of-mind will have you kissing those first-day jitters goodbye in no time.
1. PROFESSORS ARE HUMAN TOO.
They’re here to challenge you, but also to help you grow through those challenges—and they get the struggle. If you don’t understand something, see your prof after class or go to their office hours ASAP so you don’t fall behind.
2. MOST CLASSES ARE SMALL.
Most of your classes will be small with plenty of opportunities to engage in one-to-one connections and ask questions—AKA, close-knit settings that are intimidation-free. You may have a handful of the large lecture-style classes that you see in movies, but even most of those will come with a weekly small-group lab or meeting, so you don’t ever have to fear getting lost in the shuffle.
3. LISTEN UP.
Every professor will have their own twist on classroom policies (attendance, grading, late assignments, etc.) which you can find on the syllabus you’ll get on the first day. (A syllabus is like a mini-guide to a class where a professor details the topics, schedule, policies, grade breakdown, etc. of a course.) Don’t stress—just keep your syllabi handy, pay attention and reference them often.
4. YOU’RE NOT AN ISLAND.
You will struggle in some classes. Choose to grow from that struggle by taking advantage of all the help you can get—like (free!) tutoring and the Writing Center. And keep in mind: bonus help isn’t just for when you’re failing a class—it’s for any student who just wants to boost their skills in a subject.
When it comes to college classes, you get out what you put in. It’s up to you to push yourself and create the future you want. Nobody is going to do it for you—but that doesn’t mean there isn’t support to help you through the tough parts and celebrate with you when you ace an exam. There’s nothing to fear if you’re open to guidance and ready to stretch your abilities.