5 Things You MUST Do After Your First College Class

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Hey everyone! Who's excited for the first day of school? I am, but I know that will be short-lived since I'm about to get a new round of syllabi from project intensive courses. But this year is going to be more of a breeze than my freshman year, thank God. I'm going to be real with y'all: My freshman year was rough. Like, really rough. To put it in perspective for you all, I took 15 hours (5 classes). This was because my brother took 15 hours his first semester too. However, my brother knew how to be prepared for class and keep up with his assignments.

I did not.

So I ended up failing 3 out of 5 classes, and did the same thing the following two semesters. This was because of three main things: First, I didn't know how to study. I never had to in high school. Secondly, I didn't do my homework. I usually never had homework in high school, but if I did, I always was able to retake it. And third, I'm pretty sure I "lost" all of my syllabi after the first class. Big mistake.

Now, some of you are reading this and thinking, "Why didn't I go to her high school? I would have died to not have homework!" I'm telling you, it hurt my education more than you can imagine. Others of you might see some similarities and are thinking, "Wait, I can't breeze through college? I thought it was like that ABC Family show Greek." You'd be very wrong.

But thank God I have my head screwed on straight now (I've made the Dean's List for the past two semesters and have been accepted to several honor/leadership societies) and have learned a few things about staying organized in college. Mind you, I am one of the least naturally organized people I know. Meaning I had to learn how to be a more organized person. So I'm sharing 5 things I feel you MUST do after you go to your first week of college classes.

5 Things you Must do after your classes start

1. Print/Copy your syllabi. These are literally your lifeline when it comes to school. I keep a copy of each classes' syllabus in a folder which sits in a magazine file on my desk as well as a copy in each classes' corresponding folder/spiral. Seem too much? NO. Often times, your professor will make changes and you'll need a copy on you. As for the other copy, not only will you have a spare should you ever lose your other copy, but you'll see my other reason later on in the post!

2. Check the online structure. Every single class I am taking this semester has some form of online component, whether it's online quizzes, tests or discussions. Most universities are leaning towards this. You need to know exactly how this functions, because computer issues are not an excuse for not getting your work done. Plus, most of my professors post grades online, so you'll want to know exactly how to access that.

3. Buy your necessary materials. Go buy the textbooks you actually need, buy a couple of spirals, pens and pencils (although you'll probably have needed those for the first day of class), whatever you'll need. You need to try to have these by your next class because your professor will definitely get started quickly. Not having materials by then will not be an excuse!

4. Create a central location. My roommates didn't have a desk (well, one that they used, anyway) throughout college. I have no idea how they knew where they kept their stuff, but they seemed to keep up with it. Anyway, the point is, you need to have a specific place where you put all of your school things. It will be much easier to keep track of all of your things for class.

5. Create a weekly homework list. Remember when I was talking about that other set of syllabi I keep at my desk? Here's why. Every week I go through my syllabi and write down every chapter, every discussion, every upcoming assignment in a notebook (right now, I'm using Maybooks). By doing this, I never miss an assignment. Plus, it's fun to have a list to check off every week.

One last thing you should do after your first college class: take a deep breath. The first week is always overwhelming, and it looks extremely stressful on paper. One of the main skills you learn in college is time management. You can absolutely handle this! And if you're a senior, like me, countdown the semesters!

CollegeCourtney Kincaid