3 Important Things Freshmen Learn in Their First Semester of College

There are things you'll learn during your first semester of college.

Flickr user Newman College

There will undoubtedly be plenty of “lessons” for you to learn at college, even outside the classroom. Some come as you get older, but there are actually a few that you’ll even discover in your first semester of college. Here’s a head start on three of those.

The laundry room may be a battleground

It depends on your dorm and even potentially your college, but you may find yourself extremely annoyed when it’s time to do laundry. This annoyance will go beyond just having to lug your dirty clothes down the stairs.

Laundry rooms at college dorms can seem to be a dimension that lacks courtesy. You may come down to find that someone removed your clothes 30 seconds after your wash had finished, unceremoniously throwing the wet items on a dryer or table on the other side of the room. The same goes for 30 seconds after the dryer has completed. Your clothes could potentially be in a heap on the table, drying with plenty of wrinkles. Stolen clothes and even loads taken out halfway through the wash (so they can steal your washer or dryer) aren’t unheard of either.

To combat this, especially if your dorm room is particularly bad when it comes to the laundry, you may want to take a book down to study during the cycle. However, in most cases, you will be fine as long as you’re arriving at the laundry room as soon as your wash or dry has finished. This is also a courtesy for those who are waiting to use the machines themselves.

There will be good and bad professors

Just like there were good and bad teachers from kindergarten to 12th grade, there will be good and bad professors in whatever subject you take. Sometimes, it can’t be helped, especially if the professor is the only teacher for a particular core class or you need to take a course for a major.

However, if you can, searching on review sites for professors can help you plan out your next semester and avoid the more troublesome or “bad” teachers.

Wait to buy your books

It’s no secret: College books are expensive. You can easily drop $100 to $500 or more a year on textbooks alone. Buying online or used helps in some cases, but what helps, even more, is waiting until the syllabus is released or your first class.

Not all your teachers will have you crack open your book more than once if that. Speaking from experience, I dropped $90 on a textbook in my first semester of college. Wrapped in cellophane with the words “Not returnable if opened,” I ripped off the packaging before the first class, thinking if the teacher requested, we must be using it. During that first class, our professor told us to not even buy the book as we will never use it. The school had simply required him to request a textbook when he designed the course. $90 down the drain. This will probably be the case for some of your classes as well.

These are only a few lessons that will be discovered during your first semester of college. There will be plenty more! Hopefully, these three will help you get a head start in the fall.

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