Top ten tips for navigating the first week of school

August 24, 2014

The first day of classes tends to be a hectic and difficult time, whether it’s your first semester or your fourth. Whether it’s finding a spot to park, getting into the classes you want or just figuring out how to get the textbooks you need there are various things that must be dealt with. Don’t worry though, The Connection staff has you covered.

Below you’ll find the top ten tips from the staff of The Connection to get through the insanity of the first days of school and beyond.


textbook-tips1. Choose the best way to get textbooks for your budget

While the bookstore offers every textbook you’ll need for classes, sometimes the cost just isn’t viable for all students. Luckily there are other ways to gain the books you’ll need. In the campus library most professors keep a book on reserve for their class. To get a book on reserve, search for the book on the catalog computers in the library, take the dewey decimal number to the librarian and they will find the book for you. Reserve books are generally good for an hour or two of use. If that doesn’t work for your schedule, check the library catalog and the books might be available at another campus where you can check them out for three weeks at a time, and they’ll even ship it to your campus library to pick up. Also make sure to check your local public libraries, as they keep many books in stock that very well might be used as a textbook for your class.




2. Take advantage of your student access cardStudents board a Regional Transit bus at the front of Cosumnes River College on March 11.  Riding public transportation helps students save money on rising gas prices.

The best time to get your student access card is on friday or saturday early in the morning or a day you don’t have class so you can wait in line. The student access card gives access to print at school, gives you the option to check out books at the library and it given you access to public transportation after you purchase your bus pass.


3. Get your parking pass as soon as possible

To avoid all of the hustle and bustle of the Admissions Office before the semester begins you can order your parking pass online! Start by logging onto eservices using your student id and password. Once you are logged on use the drop down box at the top of the page and set it to ”purchase items.” Select your semester parking pass, enter your credit card information and be amazed at the convenience of the pass in your mailbox just a few days later. Just be sure to leave enough time for the pass to arrive at your house!


4. Use the research databases offered through the campus

Cosumnes River College’s library website offers a helpful resource for writing papers and researching topics in the Ebsco Research Databases. These databases can be found at under the “Find Articles in Research Databases” link. Following the link, students will see various different options for specific databases. The Academic Search Complete features the broadest results, and all of these databases can be accessed by simply entering a valid Los Rios student ID and password. A student access card is needed to access the databases off-campus.


5. Make your counseling appointments as early as possible

If you need to talk to your counselor about your classes and academics or if you just need someone to talk to about anything, the counselor’s office is always open. It is located in the Library building (L-200) on the 2nd floor. Be sure to make your appointments early! Counseling services are open on Mon.-Thurs. from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. And on Friday’s at 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can schedule appointments in person or you can call them at (916) 691-7316. They will send you text reminders of the date and time of your scheduled appointment. To avoid the long lines and waits, make sure to call ahead of time.


6. Get all the test materials you’ll need ahead of time

Tests, something students either dread or love but are inevitable in most classes. When it comes to taking tests in most college courses there are two documents that needed to succeed for most tests. Scantrons, the bubble filling slip of paper most have been using in some form since they started school, are available in the bookstore for the most part. If you can’t make it over to the campus store, there is a very helpful vending machine located in the library that holds everything from scantrons to pencils and pens for sale. The other document you’ll probably need at some point is a Blue Book, which is generally green in color as of late, which has notebook style pages in it that are used to write essays and they are available in the book store.


The door of the kinesiology,   health education, and athletics department at Cosumnes River College bears the Safe Space sticker, showing that faculty and administration in this department are allies of the program.

7. Make use of office hours

While there is a lot that can be learned during the time of any class, sometimes a student needs a little bit more help to understand a given concept. That’s where office hours come in. Every professor has hours outside of their class times that are designated for them to meet with students in their office, to give students that extra help. Office hours are printed on the class syllabus and are generally located outside of a professor’s office. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, professors put aside this time so that they can help their students succeed and welcome the interaction.


8. Plan ahead to get to campus

The first day of classes can be stressful for many reasons, but the first obstacle students face is getting to campus. During the first week of classes bus times will run late, so plan to take a bus that is scheduled to arrive at CRC at least 20 minutes before class. If you are driving to campus come early to find a good spot or park in the multi-level parking structure.


9. Don’t give up if you’re on the waiting list

If you’re on a waiting list, show up to class on the first day, and subsequent class days as some of those who are registered for the class may not attend and will be dropped from the class. If you show dedication to be in the class you are more likely to be able to ask the professor for a permission number to allow enrollment in the class.


10. Get to know your campus

Familiarize yourself with campus. On the campus website,, there is a campus map you can look at or print to help yourself get used to the campus. Buildings such as the SOC, Southeast Office Complex, might sound like they are a class building but instead it’s a building entirely full of faculty offices. Also on the maps it’s easy to locate the campus store, cafeteria, buildings where classes might be located as well as the areas on campus that are designated for smoking, which are the only places where smoking can be done on campus. Walking around campus is the best way to get to know the campus where possibly the next two years or more might be spent.




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