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The first week of classes can be daunting for anyone, but it can be especially tough when it’s your first first week. Gone are the days of test reminders and study guides – you’re in the big leagues now. 

If you’re in your first-year, you’re likely taking five courses this Fall. That means five study groups, five sets of deadlines and five exam schedules to keep track of. So, how can you set yourself up for success right from the beginning? The short answer is: read your syllabi.

During your first class, your professors will probably take you through their course’s syllabus. This document will serve as your guide for the entire semester. It will include textbook information, deadlines, midterm dates and a breakdown of how your work will be evaluated in the course, including how heavily your assignments will be weighted. 

One of the first things you’ll want to do once you have all of your syllabi is put all of those due dates and deadlines in one place. This can be in a paper agenda, a digital calendar, or even just a running Word document. This way, you’ll know exactly what each week looks like at a glance and you will be able to prioritize your work accordingly. 

Second, you’ll want to take a look at your required textbooks. While it’s always a good idea to stay one step ahead, it can be valuable to wait until the first week of classes to buy your books. This is because some courses use online platforms like Connect, WileyPlus, and MyLab for evaluations. Knowing which resources you’ll need can help you decide which version of a textbook to buy and whether or not you can get a second-hand copy. 

If you do want to get ahead on purchasing your books, keep an eye on the Campus Store website, as the Fall Booklist was released on Aug. 6, 2021. Instead of combing through hundreds of names to find your course, you can log in using your Brock credentials and find all of your required textbooks under My Course List

Finally, it’s always a good idea to take a look at major end-of-term projects or assignments and establish a game plan early on. For group projects especially, it can be difficult to align schedules once the term has begun. Establishing a set timeline can help alleviate some of that end-of-semester stress and keep you from scrambling at the very end when you’ve also got exams on the go.

The first week of classes brings a lot of change, which can be scary. You may find yourself quickly feeling overwhelmed by quizzes, assignments, deadlines and homework. It’s important to know that this is completely normal and getting yourself organized early on can be really helpful in alleviating some of that stress. With all of that said, good luck and happy studying!

If you find yourself in need of academic support, you can connect with Brock’s A-Z Learning Services at any time for free tutoring and other study resources.