first week of classes

Overwhelmed With Classes on the First Week?

You’re not alone.
September 7, 2019
6 mins read

So, the first week of classes came and went. For most of us, that week went by smoothly and with no trouble whatsoever, but if you were me, you were overwhelmed by assignments and schedule issues — and the sad thought that summer is over, and now you now have multiple things to do that all have deadlines.

I wish my first week went better because that would’ve definitely helped with the transition from summer to school. Either way, by the end of the week, things had resolved themselves and I was able to breathe.

The first week of classes can be intimidating, even as a senior (it’s not just freshmen who feel overwhelmed). It happens to everybody, and there are ways to survive that hectic first week. One way is to take things step by step, and getting through your first class is one of those steps.

On my first day, in my very first class, I was already overwhelmed by all the assignments due for just that one course, and that kind of threw me off for the rest of the day.

That class is just the first of many, so remember to breathe and keep your head clear of any stressful thoughts. Although that seems inevitable, it is possible. Listening to music is a good way for me to clear my head of anything that is bothering me, so find what works for you and use it to get through the semester.

Schedule problems might arise and suddenly make you feel like you have no control of your classes for the semester. Well, there is an answer to that, too: It can be a bit tricky to find the time, but sit with your advisor and talk to them to see what they can do to help.

If you need to drop a class to accommodate your schedule, do it, but speak to your advisor first. I had to do that this past week, and I felt so much better and more confident in how my semester was going to shape up once I dropped a class that wasn’t ideal for me. This year, do what’s best for you.

The start of school can be stressful no matter what your class standing is, so it’s important to keep your mental health in check. Even on the first week, it’s super important to keep in mind, especially if you feel like your classes will be extra challenging this semester.

Right from the start, think of things to do in your downtime so you don’t burn out. Here is a list of different activities if you can’t think of anything. Even during the first week of school, it’s good to have other things you can do, so you’re not completely drained by the end of the week.

Generally, the first few days of class tend to be pretty easy; however, if you have professors who like to kick things off with assignments right off the bat, then the first week of classes isn’t so relaxing when you already have things that are due the next class period.

The start of the semester varies from person to person. For me, it was crazy, but things are better now, so if you’re still struggling with getting used to the rhythm of classes and projects, don’t worry; school just started, and there are other students out there who are just as stressed as you are.

There are a few things that can help you academically, not just for your first week of classes, but for the rest of the year. One of them is to arrive to class on time. It sounds like common sense, but life happens and sometimes you’ll be late to class. By getting into the habit of being punctual, you’ll demonstrate to your professors that you make the time to show up, not just because you are required to, but because you know how important your time there as a student is.

You should always come to class prepared; make sure you’ve done the work and the reading beforehand, because you don’t want to come to class not knowing what’s happening. (I’ve been there myself once or twice, and it’s not a fun experience.) If anything, showing up to class unprepared can make things much more stressful.

You might not like this next tip; I know I don’t. But you should try to sit at the front of the class. It sounds daunting, but it never hurt anyone to make that effort, and by sitting up front, you have the advantage of knowing that your professor will be able recognize you, which especially helps if you’re in a large class.

There are plenty of other useful tips here that can help you succeed academically and make school life less stressful. While these might seem like they’re aimed at those brand new to the college scene, it doesn’t hurt to have these reminders every now and then.

The first week of classes is hectic, but the rest of the semester doesn’t have to be, even if things get out of hand. It’s important to stay levelheaded that first week to be able to get through the rest of the year, as hard as that can sometimes be.

Don’t feel like you’re the only one who has no idea what’s going on. It’s college; usually, nobody knows what they’re doing half the time. The first week can be intimidating, yes, but things will get better on their own if you’re not constantly stressing and overthinking it (which I do, more than I’d like).

And once that first week was over, I was able to breathe and get on with the second week, no matter how much I didn’t want the weekend to end.

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