First day of classes — read your syllabus

The term feels long and full of potential on that first day of class. Whether it’s your first semester or your last one at university, always take the time to review your course syllabus, understand the course requirements, needed materials, break down of assignments, midterms and final exam. Review the academic integrity policy and missed test and assignment procedures. Ask questions, don’t wait. This is an integral part of your success. You do not want to have any surprises.

In high school, you get a course syllabus and teachers will often remind you (sometimes personally) during the term of some of the details, such as what happens if you hand in an assignment late. This may not happen in first-year. With hundreds of students in some first year courses, your professors will expect you to read and understand the expectations on your own.

 The course syllabus is your contract with the course instructor for the remainder of the term. Always have a copy of your syllabus on hand; either saved onto your hard drive or as a print out. If you transfer to another program or to a different university, a course syllabus is required to obtain transfer credits.