1st Week of Classes: Some Guidance

The first week of class is always a bit stressful–no matter who you know, how long you’ve been here, or how great your outfit is. But, hopefully you’ll recognize some fellow MAPHers in your classes, which should put you at ease a bit. And, we here at MAPH Central are, of course, around to provide nice warm cups of coffee/tea throughout the week and to help ease your mind in various ways.

But, if you can’t make it into the MAPH Office today to de-stress, here is some (hopefully) helpful advice for the first week that will get you setup for an organized first quarter.

First, if you are shopping classes (see Ben’s helpful post on the Add/Drop period) do yourself a favor and decide on a set schedule by early next week. It’s way too much work to keep up with extra class reading for more than a week or so, and you’ll make the professors happy by not screwing up presentation schedules or chalk post groups, which are generally finalized by week 2. If you’re having trouble deciding between classes, come talk to us and we can give you some guidance.

Second, if/when the professor passes around a class presentation schedule for the quarter, sign up for an early slot…even for the first slot if you want to be really nice to yourself. This might feel stressful now, but when everyone else is preparing presentations the last few weeks of the quarter and trying to write final papers at the same time, you will be incredibly pleased with yourself. (More mentor words of wisdom after the jump…)

Next, visit professors early in the quarter to introduce yourself (definitely by the end of week 2). This will be invaluable when you need to sit down with them about your paper in week 5 because they’ll already know your face and, consequently, will feel like you’ve built a basic rapport. This doesn’t have to be a long or anxiety-ridden meeting. Just stop by, quickly introduce yourself and maybe ask a question about something you’ve already read or comment on how the class lines up with your personal interests. Usually, they’ll start chatting and put you at ease right away. If they don’t, just stick to the brief introduction and they’ll at least remember your face.

And finally, no matter where your class is on campus, there is probably a coffee shop nearby where you can fuel up before your next class. If you’re somewhere near the MAPH Office, that’s even more perfect because the coffee can be free (or you can dart upstairs to the newly remodeled Classics Cafe for something more fancy). If not, there are coffee shops in the basements of Stuart, Cobb, and the Divinity School with regular daytime hours. There’s also a great student-run cafe outside of the Harper Reading Room (3rd floor) and a Starbucks in the Barnes & Noble on 58th and Ellis.

If you’re looking for any other words of wisdom or are just feeling overwhelmed and want to drop by, our Fall Quarter office hours schedule (and these are our hours set aside just for MAPHers) is as follows:

Whitney, Wednesdays 11-1

Ben, Thursdays 3-5

A-J, Tuesdays 3-5

We are also, as always, available via e-mail.

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