7 Ways to Make the First Day of Class Less Stressful
Whether you’re a social butterfly or a shy introvert, the first day of classes comes with a load of anxiety.
Maybe you don’t know anyone in class. Or you doubt your ability to keep up with class material. Or your professor is legendary… for failing his students.
There are many reasons why the first day of classes is both exciting and distressing. So here are 7 things you can do to make the day go smooth.
1. Wear comfortable clothes. Yes, it’s important to look nice, but an elaborate outfit not only takes extra time in the morning (will you be sleep deprived or late to class?) but often also causes you to feel more anxious. Don’t wear anything brand new, because if you haven’t worn it yet it may or may not be as comfortable as you thought it would be. Super tight clothing will reveal every sweat stain and fat roll that you want to conceal. Go with somewhat of a relaxed fit. Look fresh. And don’t overdo it with jewelry.
2. Come prepared. Usually you’re not required to bring your textbook on the first day of class, but be sure to bring a notebook and a pen. In my experience, professors often presented short lectures half way into class. Textbook or no textbook, you want to take notes on what the professor says. Even if your professor chooses to go over the syllabus for the whole hour, it’s better to come prepared than to try to get notes from other students whom you don’t even know yet.
3. Don’t bring snack. First day is all about first impressions, and few things annoy students more than loud chewing during the class. And it will be loud, especially if you’re the only one eating.
4. Sit in a T. The best place to sit in a classroom, in terms of learning, is the front row as well as the row perpendicular to it that divides the classroom into two halves. These rows form a T-shape. To make getting good grades easier, try to sit in a T or as close to it as possible, as learning diminishes the farther away you sit from it.
5. Put your phone on vibrate or silent. Even if your new ringtone won’t bother the students, you don’t want to get on the professor’s bad side, especially not on the first day.
6. Smile. You want to look approachable and friendly, it’s the easiest way to make friends in a crowd of strangers. Try to maintain a relaxed expression on your face: don’t frown, don’t bite your lips and don’t purse them together either. Keep your lips full and slightly smiling (but only slightly). This will give your face a friendly and relaxed expression, a sign of confidence and openness.
7. Finally, remember – everyone else is just as nervous as you are. For some reason it is comforting to know that other students are too busy freaking out about their own flaws to really notice yours.
Relax, take it easy, and have a great first day of class!