Pre-class advice to start the semester on the right foot

By Chandresh Nandani

As much as I would like to postpone the inevitable, class is coming and there is nothing (legally) we can do to stop it. 

However, instead of being blind-sided by the upcoming semester, a little research can help put you in a better position to tackle the semester. 

Almost every course on campus has some type of website. Check these sites out and look up the syllabus from past semesters. The syllabus will tell you the expected workload, the grading structure, and might even include a breakdown of the topics that the class is going to cover. 

This way you can mentally prepare yourself for that test you have in three weeks or know that a particular professor has 50 points of your grade dedicated to pop quizzes.

Also, a bunch of professors on campus have a profile page online. If you check out your professor beforehand you can get to know the professor’s interests and background. It might feel better going into class knowing more about a professor than just their name. 

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If you want to be really ready for class, check out Rate My Professor, a website where previous students have posted their opinions and tips for how to do well in that class or with that professor. It has been an invaluable resource in my experience. 

Keep in mind that the posts on Rate My Professor are made by students and not monitored. However, if 10 students tell you to read the book before class, you might want to heed the advice. 

Finally, check your University email. Sometimes a professor or course coordinator will email you before class starts with information about what to do before the first day or sometimes even a simple welcome to the class. Either way, it is worth it to check out your email. 

Hopefully with these tips you will be better prepared and confident and start the semester out on the right foot.

Chandresh is a junior in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected].