Dos and don’ts for the first week of classes

Media Credit: Camille Ramasastry | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Wait on buying your books at the GW bookstore or online to avoid high prices.

Updated: Aug.28, 2016 at 10:50 p.m.

Everyone experiences headaches during the first week of classes. For some students, the headaches are from a week full of partying. For others, the headaches are caused by the stress of going from class to class. No matter the root of your ailments, here are some do’s and don’ts to survive the first week of classes:


Find a friend
Having a go-to friend is key to staying motivated in your classes. No matter how optimistic you are at the beginning of the semester, you’re sure to hit snooze a few times. Having a friend to tell you what you missed is crucial.

Get organized
It can be daunting to receive a syllabus for each class, and you may be tempted to quickly tuck them away in between pages of your notebook. But take this week to get organized before big assignments start piling up. Copy key due dates into a planner and get all the school supplies you need once you read over your syllabi – you’ll thank yourself when midterms come.

Speak up
No one wants to be the student who raises his or her hand every time the professor takes a breath. You don’t need to be a teacher’s pet, but you can still get in the habit of speaking up in classes during the first week. Getting your voice out there will help your professors get to know you, and talking about class material will help you learn it better.


Stay in bed
After a long night of reuniting with your friends and partying a little too hard, it can be tempting to stay in bed. The professor is just going to hand out the syllabus, right? This tip is simple: Don’t give in, and just go to class. It’ll help you get back into a school routine, and it’s the way to be sure you like a class before the add/drop period is over.

Race to the bookstore
Walking into class and finding out you have a 50-page reading assignment due on the second day of class is scary. But hold off on buying books if you can. You’ll avoid huge lines at the bookstore – and higher prices – if you order your books or even rent them used online. Plus, once you get a chance to look at the syllabus, you may realize you don’t need that $200 special edition textbook and can buy a different version online.

Limit yourself to old friends
The first week back to school is the easiest time to make new friends. With new classes, dorms and activities, you are surrounded by new faces. Take advantage of the fact that no one wants to be alone in class – or at lunch – and branch out.

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