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Success First Day of School

Show up to school early. Now I don’t mean go overboard and show up an hour or two early. But arriving at school a good 15-20 minutes before the first bell will prevent you from feeling rushed as you go to first period. Some schools give students their locater cards a week or so before school begins while others hold them until an advisory period the morning of the first day. The first day of school traffic is also hard to gage. There is nothing wrong with having 5 or 10 minutes to spare so you don’t have to run to class before the bell rings on the first day.

Know your schedule. If possible get a copy of your schedule before the first day. Most schools do some type of new student orientation where schedules are handed out. Once you get your schedule you can walk the campus and find your way to each class before the first day. This is just one more thing that you won’t have to worry about.

Practice opening your locker several times before the first day. If your school still has lockers available for students, opening them on the first day of school often causes stress for students. Most of the time, these lockers are very old and can be tricky to open. When you add this to the fact that there is a limited amount of time in between classes, you have a recipe for potential disaster. If you are going to put things in your locker on the first day, be sure that you can open it at least three times with no problems. Otherwise, keep your belongings with you and practice opening your locker after school when there isn’t a time crunch.

Show up early to each class to have your choice of where to sit. Most teachers allow students to pick their seats on a “first come, first served” basis. If you have friends in a class, you may want to sit near them. The best way to make sure that this happens is for you and your friends to show up as soon as possible to find a few seats together. Also, I would recommend not sitting in the back row or class. There is plenty of statistics that show that the majority of students who sit in the first 3 seats in each row score better than the class average.

Write down any assignments you are given. With the exception of AP and honors classes, you won’t have much homework for the first night. However, you still may need to get a syllabus signed or complete a small assignment. To make sure that you start of the class on a good note, write down any assignments as soon as they are given to you. This would be a good time to also ask your teacher if you can use your cell phone to keep track of your homework. There are several great apps out there if you have a smart phone, but even a quick memo to yourself on a flip phone will do the trick.

Ask questions if you have them. Don’t hesitate to ask questions when you have them. It could be asking someone on campus where a key location is (like the nearest bathroom). It may be asking your teacher if they can use Twitter or Facebook as a way to let students know about homework and upcoming tests. The bottom line is don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Be friendly to others. If you implement the tips above into your first day of school you will be more prepared and ready to succeed than most of your classmates. This will allow you to be yourself and relax throughout the day. Trust me. You will see students with the “dear in the headlight” look. If they need help or are overwhelmed smile and be friendly to them. You never know where your act of kindness may take you. You might be saying hi to your future BFF.