First Semester Checklist

Expand the timeframes below to see what we suggest in order to make the most of your first semester!

  1. Attend New Student Bearcat Bound Orientation
  2. Learn technology skills needed for college. 
  3. Set goals for the upcoming year. 
  4. Develop a stress management plan. 
  5. Make contact with your roommate(s). 
  6. Transfer long-term medications to local pharmacy. 
  7. Have parents/guardians make hotel reservations for New Student Convocation & Family Weekend
  8. Develop a college budget. 
  9. Finalize housing arrangements
  10. Preview your Welcome Week brochure and highlight several possible activities you will attend. 
  11. Try not to schedule your courses back-to-back when you register during Bearcat Bound Orientation. This will prevent you from having to run from one end of the campus to another between classes.
  1. Bring necessary health information.
  2. Get prepared to move in. Review list of items needed (and not needed) for college.
  3. Bring Bearcat Bound Orientation Folder, Academic Planner (from Orientation) and Welcome Week Brochure. 
  4. Get mailing and email addresses of relatives, high school friends and loved ones. 
  5. Read through the first year students’ resources
  6. Review information in your Bearcat Binder, including the Keys to Success Booklet on various student services. 
  7. Review financial aid options, policies and procedures. Read and re-read UC's policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress
  8. Consider the differences between high school and college. 
  9. If you had an IEP or 504 Plan in high school, schedule an intake appointment with the Accessibility Services Office.
  1. Attend New Student Convocation. 
  2. Participate in Welcome Week Programs. 
  3. Check your schedule on OneStop for possible building/room changes. 
  4. Walk the campus with your schedule of courses in hand. This will lessen the likelihood you go to the wrong class on the first day! Print off a map of the campus(es) on which you will be taking classes. 
  5. Attend College Day program. This is mandatory for all incoming freshman. 
  6. If you instructor uses Canvas, print and review the course syllabus. Write any questions you have regarding the course content. 
  7. Sign up for peer tutoring services.
  8. Find your campus resources. For example, where are the computer labs, what are their hours of operation and what software/hardware do they have? 
  9. Find the name of your academic advisor, their phone number, and email address. 
  1. Eat breakfast! 
  2. Get to each class 5-10 minutes early.
  3. Sit in the front row, be attentive! 
  4. Introduce yourself to your classmates and exchange phone numbers with 2-3 students in each course.
  5. Take notes. 
  6. Review the syllabus and ask questions.
  1. Continue doing all of the items listed under First Day of Class.
  2. Establish weekly and term-long plans for studying and managing your time. 
  3. Find a quiet place to study. 
  4. Use your daylight hours to study.
  5. Study the hardest subjects first. 
  6. Use your Bearcat academic planner to make note of important dates and deadlines. 
  7. Review your goals for the academic year. Put your goals in a place you can see them each day. 
  8. Review your notes daily for each course. This should be done immediately after class when the information is still fresh in your mind. 
  9. Review your syllabus before each class. This is so you will remember what was last discussed and what the lecture will cover on that day. 
  1. Continue doing all of the items listed under First Full Week of Classes.
  2. Check in with parents or loved ones once a week to let them know how you are doing. 
  3. Visit your professors frequently during their office hours. Ask what they are working on and whether they have advice for you on your work in the class. 
  4. Start to develop an idea of the courses you will take in Spring. Your academic advisor will inquire about your semester thus far and ask about the courses you plan on taking Spring Semester. 
  5. If you are thinking about dropping a course, consider the financial aid repercussions first. 
  6. Your first round of tests may begin around the beginning of October. If you have not done so already, sign up for Peer Tutoring or begin attending Supplemental Instruction sessions. You should also consider seeking Academic Coaching. Lastly, review the Accessibility Resources related to test taking strategies and others that you may find useful at this time. 
  7. Do all suggested problems from your syllabus or that you receive in class and do the chapter review questions in the back of each textbook. These are study aids that will help you learn the course material and increase your confidence in your knowledge of the material. 
  8. Upon receipt of your midterm examinations, review the test with your textbook. Make a note of the problems you missed and in which section of your textbook they can be located. Review this material each day until you have a solid understanding of it. Most professors provide cumulative final examinations, so you will more than likely see the same material again. Lastly, remember if you are taking a sequence of courses, you will need the foundational knowledge from the previous course. This means the information needs to become a part of your long-term memory!
  9. In October, some students become overwhelmed and feel depressed. Please seek assistance immediately. UC's Counseling and Psychological Services has a variety of online resources for students, though we feel it is best to go there and talk to someone as soon as possible! 
  1. Continue doing items 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 from the "October" list above.
  2. When you go home for Thanksgiving break, spend at least 3 hours studying each day. Studying is defined as reviewing your notes and preparing for final examinations which will occur a few weeks after your return from break. 
  3. Schedule a meeting with an Academic Coach to prepare a final exam study schedule and review Learning Commons resources on how to prepare for exams!  
  1. Prepare for your final exams. Good luck with final examinations! 
  2. Make plans to go home for break and determine when you will return.