Sunday, August 11, 2013

First week of classes at UT Tyler

Here, at the call center, we've been counting down for the fall semester on Twitter.
We're counting down to the start of Fall 2013!

I know a lot of our incoming freshmen are nervous about the upcoming fall semester. You went to orientation, you've downloaded the campus map, you've got your parking permit paid for, you have your student ID and you've gone over what you need for the first day of class.

However, the first week of class (you're trying to get used to your schedule for the day) is pretty odd compared to the rest of the semester. There's a few things you should know before you begin to freak out about college.


If you paid for your parking permit, you can pick it up at campus police department any time before the first day of class. August 22nd and 23rd, you can pick them up in the UC. If you want to wait until the day of, you can pick up your parking permit at the UC, as well.

The first few weeks of the semester are when you'll find the most cars in every parking lot. Students aren't accustomed to when they're supposed to arrive for their classes (we are a commuter school, after all), so they arrive super early and just stay on campus the whole day.

After a few weeks, the congestion clears out and more people carpool, find out when the best time for is them to arrive on campus and to leave, and those within walking distance can walk to class without worrying about dehydration from the sweltering temperature.

This semester, the university is going to try a few different things for parking. During the first  two weeks of the semester, campus police will report when there are 5 or more open spaces in a parking lot and post in on the campus police facebook page. There will also be "Lot Full" signs once parking lots no longer have any open spaces. 

You should plan to arrive on campus as early as possible to find the best possible spot, however, you might have to park in a lot further away than expected. Wear comfortable shoes in case that happens.

What to wear:

I mentioned in a previous post that you should dress more comfortably than fashionably for college. Classes start on August 26th, so you should dress coolly for the Texas sun. Remember to check the weather before you leave in case there's a chance of an odd storm hitting that day (you don't want to be stuck in rain while carrying your class items any day of the year, regardless).

If you dress for the warm weather, bring a cardigan or light jacket because there are some rooms where the temperature is drastically different than the outside. Chill-bumps while in class aren't cool.


If you find out that you're lost, don't freak out. Just take a deep breath and ask the next person you see. One of two things will happen: they'll tell you where to go (and be sympathetic because we were all freshmen at one point) or they'll also be a freshman and they will be just as lost as you are (and you can become best friends after that; maybe not best friends but it will be a nice story one day).

Find out where your professor's office is. Yes, their office is posted on the syllabus, but they'll usually tell you on the first day exactly where their office is located. Write it down. During the first week or so, it's a good idea to just walk to the offices and see where they are. Maybe even say hi. You don't want to try to speak with you professor later in the semester and be late to your appointment if you can't find where it is.


Depending on when your classes are scheduled, you want to bring some snacks. Having a bottle of water during the day will also come in handy. If you have a meal plan, get into the habit of using your dining dollars; that money will only be available to you for a certain amount of time. If you paid for it, take advantage of it.

Don't go overboard with the vending machine snacks, save up those quarters for laundry (or just save them). Give yourself a small allowance of how much you can spend on drinks and snacks while you're on campus if you don't have a meal plan. Stick to it. It's really easy to burn through all your money on a soda everyday between classes.

Student life:

Starting the Friday before classes, Patriot Palooza will begin. The entire week, there will be activities and opportunities to meet your fellow Patriots (and maybe even get free stuff). There will also be tables set up around campus for different organizations. They will offer information (and sometimes bottles of water) for passerby students. You will not be bored the first week of class, unless you completely want to be.

You're all set for the Fall 2013 semester. Make sure you have your supplies and get enough sleep. You're going to do great.

No comments:

Post a Comment