Tips for Having a Great First Week

August 20, 2019

Demolition of building - construction Have a great first week!

When does the semester start?

Saturday, August 24 is the official first day of the fall semester; Saturday classes and some online classes start on this day. Most classes hold their first meeting between Monday, August 26 and Friday, August 30.

Looking for open classes?

The class schedule search is the easiest way to get real-time, current information about which classes are open.

Construction and cellphone charging

  • There is construction underway on the main campus that will impact walkways so please plan for a little longer walking time. In addition, the student drop-off zone in front of Davies Hall is not available. There are other drop-off locations on campus.
  • Need to charge your cellphone? Courtesy charging stations are now available in the Student Center. The Learning Resource Center also has a small charging station in the Student Tech Center.

Before you get to campus

  • Do not assume that your classes meet at the main campus. Check your class schedule for locations. If your schedule says "Off Campus," that class does not meet at the main ARC campus. For example, "Off Campus Natomas" means the class meets at the Natomas Center. "Off Campus McClellan" means the class meets at the McClellan Center
  • Bookmark the Wayfind map app on your phone; this will help you navigate the main campus.
  • If you're driving to the main campus, plan to arrive at least 30-45 minutes early (more is better) to find parking. Start with the parking garage as that is your best first bet for a space. If the garage is full, the stadium lot is your best next option.
  • If you're using public transit, make sure to give yourself plenty of time. Build in enough time so that missing a bus won't make you late.
  • Be prepared. Bring a notepad and pens/pencils. Bring snacks in case you do not have time between classes to buy food. Also, stay hydrated; bring a water bottle and use one of the many refilling stations around campus.
  • Do not miss the first class session - you risk being dropped. Show up on time for your classes, too. This is true whether you are enrolled in a class or on a waitlist.
  • Purchase your textbooks and class materials in advance if you can.
  • If you have an immediate need for a semester parking decal, do not purchase one online through eServices. Parking decals purchased through eServices will be mailed and this can take up to two weeks. Parking by semester decal or daily parking permit is enforced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days out of the year. Parking decals can be purchased at the Business Services office on campus.
  • Check your Los Rios Gmail regularly for campus/class updates.

Once you're on campus

  • Use the new Wayfind Campus Map App to find your way around the main ARC campus.
  • Do not park in staff spaces - you will be cited.
  • Your patience is appreciated, as there will be long lines in various locations. Our goal is to serve you to the best of our ability, so please hang in there.
  • If you are having trouble logging into the campus WiFi network or have questions about Canvas, visit the Student Tech Center inside the Learning Resource Center (LRC).
  • Don't be shy - ask questions and get the help you need.
  • To pay fees or pick up your parking permit, go to the Business Services office in the Administration Building.
  • If you can't purchase your textbooks right away, ask your instructor if they can place a copy of the book on reserve behind the circulation desk in the library.
  • Read your course syllabus the first week, to become familiar with add/drop deadlines. If necessary, add/drop your courses by those deadlines (the academic calendar has a full list of dates).
    If you no longer want to take a class, you must drop the class. Do not expect that an instructor will drop you from a class. If you do not drop a course you no longer want, it can affect your Financial Aid and/or GPA. The refund application is online.
  • Stay hydrated and make sure you remember to eat. Take care of yourself!

What about waitlists?

If you are on a waitlist, go to all classes you are waitlisted for - and be on time. Don't purchase books until you are enrolled in the course. The bookstore website has more information on textbooks.
Most classes will require a permission number from the instructor to add a class. Go to class and get that number so you can register. If you are already enrolled in a class, you do not need a permission number.

Related Links

Waitlist Information and Tips
Even if you are on the waitlist, there is still an opportunity to get into the class you want. What can you do in order to increase your chances of getting into your class? Here are some helpful tips and information about waitlists