There are many who will begin their first day of college in August, many will be away from their families having to get used to a new lifestyle and new surroundings all on their own.

I began attending classes at Cameron University at the Fall of 2009, I was a fresh graduate of Eisenhower High School. My first day at Cameron I was excited and terrified at the same time.

College is a very different environment from high school and is more different than what you see in movies. I wish I knew how to carry on through my first year, but I had to learn everything as I went on. From how to act in the classroom, appropriate supplies, studying and creating my schedule, these things are imperative to surviving college throughout the years. Although intimidating at first, it is really not that bad.

How to Act in the classroom

No, I’m not going to tell you how you should behave in the classroom, but more along the lines of surviving it. In the classroom it’s a good idea to find a friend or two that you can hold study groups with as well get a copy of notes and any homework if you miss class that day.

If you don’t understand something ask questions during the lecture. Professors are more than happy to answer them and will even sometimes give you more detailed information about the matter in question. If asking questions during a lecture is something you wish not to do then wait after class and ask and again, they will be more than happy to answer.

The syllabus is your bible for classes; they will give you professor contact information, room number and office hours. Some syllabuses will even have a rough tentative lecture schedule as well as due dates for the whole semester. Knowing what’s coming up ahead of time is always a plus so you know what to expect or read up on before entering the class.


As mentioned earlier the syllabus will contain the necessary supplies you need for that particular class, but there are some supplies that will come in handy in every class.


Pens, Pencils, binders, notebooks, highlighters, erasers, loose-leaf paper are always a must, there a few extra supplies you might find useful that could come in handy.

Planners will be your saving grace, you can mark test dates, homework and what to study.

Did your pencil break or that pen run out ink and you have no extra. No problem, keep a voice recorder in handy to not miss any notes during the lecture.

Having your own printer is a plus, it will always beat having to pay a small fee at the library.


I recommend finding a good place to conduct it. The library on campus will often provide a quiet environment for you to hit the books. Your dorm room might come in handy; however I recommend you use your dorm room for homework assignments rather than cramming for an exam.

If you live at home then do what works best for you.

On assigned homework try to do it the day it is assigned, that way you can stay on top of your assignments and not overload yourself pushing it on to the last minute.

Creating Your Schedule

Creating your semester schedule can be a time consuming task. When creating your schedule remember to:

  • Give yourself enough time to do homework and to study
  • If you have a job make sure none of your classes will interfere with work time. If it does see if you can re-arrange your schedule to take other necessary classes or see if your employer will change your work schedule.
  • Make sure you are taking the classes you need with professors you want
  • Check to see what others say about the professor on the class
  • Your degree check sheet is your best friend, keep a copy and mark all the classes you have taken so you know what you still need to take.

If you remember these four steps you can handle the college environment. Manage your time wisely and you can handle anything that is thrown at you.

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