First impressions are important. They’re super important on dates and they’re make-it-or-break-it when it comes to job interviews. And first impressions are definitely important on the first day of school. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been going to school with the same people for years or you’re starting completely new. Those impressions count.
You don’t want to be known as that student by your teachers or fellow students before the class has gotten underway. Because it’s usually something that someone does on the first day of school that earns them a nickname that sees them through to the rest of the year. Think showing up late, wearing something ridiculous AF, or tripping over a table.
Unfortunately, we can’t avoid klutzy moves, but what we can do is manage things that we have control of. To avoid a regrettable first day of school, check out the things you should never do on your first day back in class.
1. Not have your lunch planned.
Keeping fueled throughout the school day is important. The first week is always weird so don’t assume you will be able to buy lunch. Some places might not be open or you might not be able to find one near your classroom. Pack something to be safe. You’ll be glad you did when you get hungry at 10 AM and you still have two more classes to go until lunch. And if you’re going to buy something, make sure you have cash on you. You never know what places won’t accept cards.
2. Wear a super-trendy outfit.
It’s great that you want to show off your personal style, but there’s trendy and then there’s so-trendy-you-cannot-sit-in-your-desk-properly. School is not the Met Gala. You want to look smart but you also want to be comfortable so you can read and write notes without it being really difficult.
3. Skip breakfast.
Don’t try to give me the excuse that you’re not hungry in the morning or that you don’t have time. Your brain and body need fuel, especially for the first day. You do not want to be lightheaded when you’re trying to figure out where your Physics class is. And you definitely don’t want to be the person passing out in the hall.
4. Not having a copy of your schedule printed out.
Get ahead of the curve and print out your schedule before the first day so you know where to go. Don’t assume that someone will have a copy of your schedule. And don’t assume that you will remember it. Even if you have a photographic memory, stress can do things to the brain, and you don’t want to be panicking about what class you have third period.
5. Show up late.
Just no. Don’t even consider this a possibility. In fact, don’t consider being late a possibility for the entire year. Make it your motto to be early every day. It’s understandable if you get lost between classes, but you really want to avoid being the person who shows up 20 minutes after the class has started.
6. Leave all of your school supplies at home.
The first day of school just means a general orientation and then you can leave, right? Not necessarily. Some teachers like to get straight into things so make sure you have all your supplies. You don’t want to be sitting there looking unprepared by trying to bum a pencil off of your neighbors.
7. Forget to turn your phone off.
Argh. You don’t want to be the person who the teacher makes an example of because your phone starts chiming “Despacito” while they’re talking about the importance of English. Turn that phone to silent…or better yet, turn it off.
8. Take liberties with the school dress code.
The first day doesn’t count, right? Not exactly. Make yourself look good by following the rules from day one. TBH, even if schools are lenient on the first day of school, there still are some things that are big no-nos that will get you sent to the office or sent home to change.
9. Show up with a hot breakfast and a coffee.
Do you want to be known as the girl who brought a bacon sandwich to school on the first day for the rest of the year? Didn’t think so. Some professors might be cool with having food, but they normally draw the line at anything smelly. Plus, a smelly breakfast is distracting to everyone around you. And you also don’t want to be spilling anything.
10. Challenge the teacher.
Are you pissed off that you have to take that mandatory course? Do you not understand why you have to take it? Sorry, but you’re going to have to suck it up. Don’t use the first day of school to ask your teacher what the entire point of the course is. That will make you look like a jerk and your prof will definitely remember you for the wrong reasons.
11. Show up with gifts for your teachers.
I know that it might seem cute or like an act of kindness, but no one really does it. Even if you have the best intentions, it will probably come off as bribery to your profs and to all of the other students.
12. Start making demands.
It’s understandable if you have special requests because of a disability or impairment. What you don’t want to do is go to your teacher and start scheduling one-on-one sessions already to discuss your coursework and what you’re going to do. Chill. You haven’t even started the class yet so there’s really nothing to discuss yet.
13. Forget your manners.
This applies to everyone you come in contact with. Remember to show a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T to fellow students, teachers, janitors, principals, parents. You don’t want the stranger you yelled at in the coffee line to turn out to be your TA. Cringe. Plus, you never know when you could need that person or who else could be watching.
14. Decide you’re dropping a class.
The first day isn’t a good day to decide you’re dropping a class because it’s not really a proper day of school. At least wait one more day until you’ve seen the lesson plan and/or talked to the professor about the direction of the class is going.
15. Leave the class early.
This goes with the above point. Even if you realize the course so isn’t for you, stay to the end. It looks very rude if you leave early. I don’t care if they’re doing silly get to know you games. Suck it up and play along.
Have you ever done something really regrettable on the first day of school? Let us know in the comments!
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