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5 Ways To Get Ahead During The First Week Of College

by Kaitlyn Wightman
Marketing Specialist

January 09, 2015

Myth: The first week of college is the easiest. 

Fact: The first week of college is never easy—but it’s also the best time to get ahead, especially for non-traditional students like you. Adjusting your work and family schedule to fit in your commitment to your college courses is quite the feat. 

And it can be done. 

With the right student resources and the right attitude, you can get ahead during the first week of college. Try these five strategies to keep from falling behind this semester. 

Say Hi To Your Instructor

Even if you introduced yourself during class, it’s always worth the effort to personally introduce yourself to your instructor. Stay after class to shake your professor’s hand and introduce yourself. Explain why you chose to take the class and ask questions you were unable to ask during class. Talking to your professor one-on-one now will make it easier to do so later in the semester. 

Taking the class online? Write a short email to briefly introduce yourself and explain why you chose to take the class. If you feel comfortable, include a professional-looking picture of yourself so that your professor knows your face and your name. 

Read Your Syllabus

Review your syllabus—then read it again. What are your assignment deadlines? Can you keep up with the scheduled readings and class sessions? 

Get out your planner or calendar and mark all dates listed on your syllabus. What can you do now to make room in your schedule to study and complete your upcoming class assignments? Seek out tips on time management so that strategies become healthy habits. 

Check Out Your Library Resources

Whether you take classes online or at a campus near you, you always have access to your college’s online library resources. You can research online databases, access course reserves, request research assistance and even ask a librarian your questions. Learn how to navigate your library’s online resources now so that you're a pro when the time comes to writing college papers and studying for tests. 

Decide If You Need Online Tutoring

Read your syllabus closely. Are you in for a tough semester? 

If you don’t excel at math or composition, take advantage of free tutoring services at your college or university. Come in for a 1:1 tutoring appointment, drop by for a weekly group tutoring session or schedule an online tutoring session

Connect With Your Academic Advisor

You are assigned an academic advisor once you’re admitted to your university. Your academic advisor is your personal success coach who supports and guides you throughout your degree program. 

Don’t wait until you apply for graduation. Reach out to your academic advisor as early as the first week of college. That way, your academic advisor can help you:

  • Identify your career goals
  • Enroll in the right courses for your degree program
  • Locate resources to enrich your academic and professional success
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