1. Unlike in high school, getting to class requires walking outdoors, sometimes across the entire campus. This means that you do actually need a raincoat, umbrella, and either rain boots or old shoes. Dress for the weather.
2. On a related note, you may be surprised to learn that your backpack isn’t waterproof. Always carry empty plastic grocery bags in your backpack so that you can wrap up your textbooks if you get caught in the rain. Bags don’t take up much space, and textbooks can be several hundred dollars each, so it’s definitely worth it to protect them from getting ruined.
3. Locate the student health center as soon as possible. The last thing you want to have to do when you’re so sick and dizzy you can hardly walk is wander around campus searching for it. You will inevitably get sick- it is a part of living in close quarters with thousands of people with varying degrees of hygiene.
4. Your dorm cannot hold your entire wardrobe. Leave your winter clothes at home during the summer, and vice-versa. You may also want to invest in some under-bed storage containers.
5. Make a friend in every class so that you have someone to get notes from if you miss a day. Many professors will post their PowerPoint slides on the class website, but a lot of the test questions will be from things not listed on the PowerPoint and not mentioned in your textbook.
6. You do actually need to read the textbooks. Every test will have a certain percentage of questions geared to ensure that you have to do the reading. If you read a little every day, it will seem a lot less overwhelming.
7. Keep your old flashcards and study guides. Final exams are usually cumulative, and not having to remake these saves time.
8. Your college professors do not care if you are sick. If you miss class, you miss class, no excuses. Most professors have an attendance policy that allows for a few absences, but be sure you know the policy, as some professors’ policies are such that you fail if you miss more than 4 days.
9. On the first day of class, your professor will hand out the class syllabus. Do not lose this. It has reading assignments, homework assignments, essay topics, your professor’s contact information and office hours, and test and exam dates. It is your key to success in any class. Refer to it before each class to make sure you are caught up.
10. Check your campus email regularly. This is where all of the important announcements from both university administrators and professors are sent. You will also receive emails about upcoming events and ways to get involved on campus. Also keep I mind that email is the easiest way to get in touch with a professor if you have a question.