Don't worry about how you look. You will be more distracted by finding the right buildings and classrooms to be perfectly honest... And besides, there will be hundreds of other students that are in the exact same position.
Upper classmen can pick a freshman out of a crowd without any problems. It's not a bad thing though! Remember, everybody was a freshman once! The confused look in your face as you hold your schedule up is the most common give-away. So avoid doing that and that will help your image. Memorize all your classrooms, buildings, and teachers before you go (but carry your schedule just in case). Also look at a map of the school campus so you know where you're going. That will help A LOT. Asking for directions is a give-away too, but don't be afraid to ask if you are lost. It's better to ask how to get to Masters Hall and have people know your a freshman than try and find it on your own and walk into class 20 mins late.
As for materials, you won't need much the first couple days. No books or anything. Just bring a folder or small notebook for each class to take notes in (like the teacher's office hours), and stick your syllabus into. And definitely don't forget pens and pencils (bring more than one in case you lose it or something).
Do NOT buy binders or trapper keeps! lol! Binders do not fit on the tiny little desks. And trapper keepers, while cool and very organized, frankly are for elementary school kids... Stick to folders and notebooks.
I have one folder for each class with a bunch of pieces of looseleaf paper in it, and that has worked great for me. I can close the folder and take my notes on the looseleaf paper on top of the folder, which maximizes the minimal desk space. Just make sure you date and number your looseleaf pages in case they get mixed up. Spiral bound notebooks also work well with the minimal desk space.
Personally, I recommend you get the two-pocket kind of folder with the three-prong things ("fasteners") in the middle and get a pack of page protectors.
Put your syllabus in the page protector and put it on the prongs. You will need to look at that paper more than anything and this makes it easy to find.
The one thing I love most about college, is that syllabus. It tells you the date of every single paper and test. So don't lose it!! Most teachers also list the topics you'll be covering, homework assignments (if there are any) and the readings on the syllabus, so you will know exactly what you're doing and what you'll need every single day for the whole semester.
I answered a question on Answers for someone last year about their first day of college. You can check out my answer for that too. It will also give you a ton of tips and reminders. Some of the other answers she got were helpful too.
"Any advice for the first day of college?"
**PS: Buy your books online!! The bookstore will rip you off. You rarely need books within the first two weeks, so go to the bookstore and write down the ISBN Numbers of the books you need, then go online as soon as you can and order them (before everyone buys up the cheap ones)!! I save an average of $140 a semester by ordering them online. Depending on your major, you might save more or less. Don't worry too much about the condition of the book. You won't need to keep 90% of them anyway so at the end of the semester it won't even matter.
basically...ur goin stick out no matter what...they have classes designed specifically for freshmen..
as for starting material...just bring some paper and a pen/pencil...most teachers dont make you do much on the first day..they just go over the requirements for the class...
and u may even get out of classes a little bit earlier...
when ur out of classes try gathering at the local spots on campus..they basically where ull meet the upperclassmen.
on your first day just bring your book, a notebook and something to write with, during your first class the professor will go over any specific items he or she wishes for you to have, so don't waste your money on a whole lot of school supplies until after that first class, every professor is different and will expect different things. Good Luck, don't be nervous, college is the best, it's so much better than high school!
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