Schooling in Basics

Image Source: Rebecca Giansante

School’s back in and summer vacation is over.  It’s either back to our college careers, or for some, the first time doing this (and congratulations to all of you).  The tips I’m going to share about preparing for an upcoming semester will hopefully work for all levels of students in their college careers.

  1. If possible, get your books in advance.  

It’s become more common for professors to post their syllabi online before the start of a semester, and most of the time, the syllabus has a list of the books you will need, hopefully with the ISBN numbers. Take advantage of that to get as many as possible before classes start. If the professor has not posted a syllabus a few days before the class, email them to ask about textbooks.  Also be sure to get the correct editions, even if you have to pay more.

  1. Find your classrooms before the start of classes, or go early the day of class to find them.

If you can, locate the classrooms you will be in before the official start of the semester, so the first day you can go straight to them instead of wandering around looking for them through the crowds.

If you can’t do that, go early the day of class to find them.  The best time would be when you know there are other classes in session so you don’t have to fight your way through a sea of students also looking for their classrooms.

  1. Use RateMyProfessors!

I’m not sure how obvious this tip is, but I will include it anyway.

This website can be a lifesaver.  It has more than once saved me from a teacher who could have been my worst nightmare and made my semester horrible.  Occasionally, there is the unfortunate circumstance where you won’t have a choice in professors, but when you do, use this tool.

Hopefully I’ve listed something that will be a help, will save time, and will save you from some unneeded stress. If you’re new to the college experience, you will learn quickly what works for you on how to best get ready for classes, and if this is another of many semesters you’ve done, you’ll just get better at preparing each time.  Good luck, and I know you’ll do your best!