Tips for Making a Great First Impression and Making New Friends Your First Week on Campus

People form an impression of you in class
Your professor and your fellow students will respond to you and perhaps judge you by how you act in your classes. If you're late all the time or if you don't go to class, they notice. They also notice if you come prepared for class, or slink to the back of the room to sit, pay attention, ask thoughtful questions or doze off or spend the class texting.  In high school slack behavior might have been cool; in college it will get you ostracized. Each class has a different set of “rules of engagement,” so be aware of the size, structure, and instructors preferences for behavior.  Learn your classmates’ names and use the formal title to address your professor, for example, “Dr. MacEnulty.”  Last impressions are critical as well so occasionally stay after class and attend your instructor’s office hours and ask questions and initiate discussions around the class topic. It is easier to set a positive impression at the beginning of the semester than try to erase a bad one.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at