• MUD

10 Small Things Freshmen Should Know Before the First Day of Class

Cause a syllabus doesn't cover if you should still ask permission from your professor to go to the bathroom.

Zoey from Free Form's Grownish sits in a classroom next to her college classmates looking worries.
Photo: FREEFORM/KELSEY MCNEAL

A new semester is here, and for some of you, that means starting not only at a new school but also your first week at another whole different world. Being a freshman in college can be intimidating, especially when you are away from your high school friends or decide to go to school in another state or country.


While most upperclassmen are excited to answer any questions, I know it can be nerve-wracking to even speak to someone new. Here are a few things that will help you ease your nerves ahead of the first day:


  • Generally, you don't need to ask permission to go to the bathroom unless your professor ask you to. Please don't be the freshman who interrupts class to ask this if it's not required! Just leave and come back quietly.


  • It's okay to drink and eat in class. Just don't make noise or bring something that smells. A perfect class snack can be a smoothie, cookies, or a protein bar (quiet and filling).


  • Wait til after the first day to buy your books and never buy from the Bookstore! Sometimes professors don't even require them or provide electronic versions. There are also a ton of cheaper sites to buy/rent textbooks like Chegg. Upperclassmen in facebook groups will sell old textbooks too.


  • No one cares if you eat alone at the dining hall. No one's staring either. Please don't go hungry cause your roommate or friends are not around.


  • If you go to a small school, show up early to class during the first two weeks. Most people gravitate to the same seats for the rest of the semester, so you want to get your pick.


  • Talk to the people who sit around you. While you will meet a ton of people during the first few weeks of school, making friends never hurt anyone. You never know who could become a solid friend for the entire 4 years.


  • If you have social anxiety, a good setting to meet people are school clubs! Those are more low-key and have people from all years. Besides, attending doesn't force you to socialize, it could be a sit-in and listen kinda meeting.


  • Should you raise your hand to speak? This depends. If you can jump into a lecture respectfully, you should, but if don't interrupt the professor or another classmate. If you professor asks you to raise your hand, then do duh.


  • For the first day, bring your laptop, a notebook, and a pen. Unless you're going to a lab class, you won't need anything else.


  • If you go out with new people, make sure you have at least one person who feels trust-worthy. If you need a party-buddy or someone to ride back to school with, this person could be a lifesaver!


If you have any questions that you think are dumb or silly, send us a DM. Our team is always happy to ease someone's anxiety about the first day. Remember, you will feel awkward because it's all new! There are hundreds of people feeling like you are. Always reach out for help!