The very first class of freshman year is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of any college student’s career.

You want to get through the day unscathed by embarrassing moments. No one wants to be that kid who walked into the wrong class late, because it happens and it’s scarring. So what do freshmen need to know to avoid embarrassing moments and survive class this semester? Here’s a simple guide.

First and foremost, know where you have to go. Got that down? Now you should also make sure you are there on time to avoid being called out by a professor or accidentally creating a ruckus when you unzip your backpack. If you don’t care about being a nuisance, being late might sound acceptable to you, but no one likes the class nuisance.

Where to sit in a lecture hall classroom is one of the most mindboggling issues for freshmen on their first day of class. Some students fear sitting up front will label them as a nerd, but in reality, it is completely acceptable. Let’s face it: Michigan is composed of nerds — students striving to be the leaders and best.

So over the next four years, don’t overthink being up front and center. It’s the right choice, and will put you in eyesight of the professor and make you feel more inclined to give him or her your attention.

Now, you might be wondering how you are supposed to pay attention to lecture when there is such great people-watching to do instead. You aren’t. No one is going to pay attention for every second of each lecture, but if you find yourself needing to hear more of what the professor is blabbing about, here are some tips:

Say goodbye to social media — we all love it, but if you need better grades, it can wait. Your friends will not forget about you if you are dormant for an hour or so. I promise.

When it comes to note-taking, go old-fashioned. That’s right: pen and paper. Not only will you avoid the temptations of social media and online shopping, but you will also benefit academically from writing. Writing is proven to increase memory retention of the material being lectured, and it also forces you to identify the important things the professor is writing. Even doodling has been shown to benefit recalling lecture material.

Keep all these tips in mind, and you are sure to exit your first semester unscathed by bad grades and embarrassing moments.

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