Arriving on a college campus and taking your first college classes can be very intimidating. You’ll suddenly be expected to engage in thoughtful discussions with your classmates and professor. You’ll have new homework and study habits. You’ll also have an entire class schedule change from high school! But no fear! I am here to help you through the stress of taking your first college class!
My biggest piece of advice is to participate. Many classes have a participation grade, which are easy points to get. Also, it allows your professors to get to know you and they’ll see your interest and effort that you’re committing to the class.
It is also important to stay on top of your work. This is something everyone will tell you. Take this advice seriously! It is very easy to put things off for when they are more pressing in the future. However, it will make your life much easier if you just do things when they are assigned and don’t allow them to build up.
Get to know your classmates. Classmates can be very helpful when studying and they can be great sources of new insight for the work you are doing. Make an effort to try to get to know at least a few people in each of your classes.
Go to class. You’re in college, and it may seem really easy or nice to just sleep in and skip that 8:30 class one morning. Don’t give into these thoughts! Always go to class, unless you’re really unable to, because showing up means you will actually learn from your professor and will help you in the end. You are paying to go to these classes, so you should attend them! Also, at Furman, your professors will know if you skip due to the small class size, and that reflects very poorly on you.
Finally, take classes that interest you. College is supposed to be beneficial for you, so while taking classes for your major, also try to take any that look interesting outside of your major. It will give you a better college experience, but will also give you a more well-rounded and complete education.
By: Isaac Wetherill, ’20