What to expect on the first day of classes at UNC

What to expect on the first day of classes at UNC

Happy first day of classes, UNC freshmen! Here's everything you need to know about what to expect on your first day on campus.

Above, the Old Well will not be this deserted on FDOC. Photo from the News & Observer.

Well, UNC ’21, we are just weeks away from the first day of classes! How are you feeling? Excited? Nervous? Hoping UNC does not realize they made a mistake letting you in? Do not worry, we have all been there. To ease your mind a little, here is some advice about what to expect on FDOC. (First thing to learn: FDOC = First Day Of Classes. We abbreviate everything around here.)

People. Everywhere.

Did you know that UNC has around 18,000 undergrads? Well, you will by the first day of class. At this point, you still think south campus is far from north campus, so you take the bus … then realize every single first-year is thinking the same thing. Pro tip: If your class starts at 9:30 a.m., the 9:15 a.m. RU bus will be too crowded. Go ahead and take the 9 a.m.

If you do choose to walk to class, you will be accompanied by a mass of people walking to campus … just to meet another mass on campus. Seriously, there are people everywhere. There are probably already people in the library, the poor souls who have homework due on Thursday. But hey, you wanted a big school. Just remember to watch where you’re walking (don’t walk and text!), and you’ll be fine.

A lot of information being thrown at you.

Unlike some schools, UNC does not believe in a syllabus week: We have a syllabus day. The first day of class is your professor handing you a syllabus, telling you they will not read it to you because you can read, and then (of course) reading it to you. Have your planner ready. (You do have a planner, right?) If you don’t want to forget an important date, like the midterm that is worth 30 percent of your grade, write it down as soon as you find out about it.

Flight or fight.

Because you are a first year, or maybe a transfer student, I do not have to tell you that registering for classes is like the Hunger Games. You already know. That means sometimes you go to a class that you randomly added, see the syllabus and go, “Well. This should be fun” in the most sarcastic voice your mind can muster. You can either look at the syllabus and decide it is not worth it (looking at you, random English class that was reading texts written in ancient Greek) … or you can decide that you really want to get this general education requirement out of the way and stick it out. Some of the best classes are the ones you stumble across. On the other hand, it is absolutely hilarious when someone drops a class as they are sitting in the very class. (Wondering what classes to sign up for and what to avoid? I’ve got you covered.) 

A ridiculous line at the Old Well.

As you may remember from your campus tour, there is a tradition that says if you drink from the Old Well on the first day of class, you will get a 4.0 that semester. Look, I am going to be honest with you. I have never drank from the well. I have also never gotten a 4.0, so maybe correlation does equal causation? Anyway, if you want to try your luck at it. plan some time in your schedule. People start lining up at midnight. May your patience be rewarded with all As.

No one paying attention to you.

College is not high school or a movie. No one really cares what you do, as long as you do not get in their way. We know that you are looking at the campus map on your phone, and we do not care. We get it. You did not go on the Week of Welcome event where they help you map your route to class. You wanted to seem cool. Now you are lost. Just please do not stand in the middle of the walkway trying to figure it out, then we will think annoyed thoughts about you in our head. It’s like internal road rage, except we are walking. Also, it is okay to ask for directions. Ignore us if we awwww at you. We are old and reminiscing when we were young and lost on campus. You will get the hang of it by the next week.

Seriously, you will be fine. Before you know it, your first day is over, then your first week, then your first month, then your first semester, then your first year … and then it is time to move out. Just kidding, kind of. Enjoy your first day of college!

Morgan Howard
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