Being a college student you should already be involved in many activities. If not, yoga should be on your short list of classes to sign up for. Doing your daily task and making sure your assignments are done on time is difficult work. College should not be all about work, it should provide you with other activities to blend in with your peers, and provide for ways to also stay in shape.
That is where yoga comes in. Most people think that you should already be flexible and in shape to begin class. Beginners also think that a lot of new equipment and gear needs to purchased. That is far from the truth, if you already have one of the best college backpacks there is no need to acquire another bag just for yoga. Also, new clothes do not have to be purchased. Tasteful warm ups or gym clothes could be worn to class.
As a yoga instructor, I am approached by a lot of students for advice on how to prepare for studio classes. I try to be patient with them, but some of the question are unconventional at times. If they have never set foot in a studio before, then they do not understand that yoga classes are not the competitive events that many other physical disciplines are, and that our atmosphere is quite different than the world outdoors where people are constantly judged. I tell them that they do not need to be flexible before they do yoga, because that is counterproductive. People do yoga to restore their agility, not because they have it.
Now mind you, there are students that challenge themselves in class, and we encourage people to aim for certain poses, but it is done for growth, not glory. Even though we might highlight or applaud folks that attain certain poses, we do so to inspire all students to continue practicing, not because we want a room full of swans. Even as a professional teacher, I am physically incapable of doing some of the very poses I teach.
I do encourage students that are new to arrive early and let the teacher know if they are new to yoga. The teacher can provided assists and also keep an eye out on the new practitioner throughout the whole hour. I also suggest they try out classes like deep stretch, yin, slow flow, or even restorative. Classes where poses are held for multiple minutes allow the student a chance to really sink into a pose and get to know the mental and spiritual sides, which is where the real yoga experience is.
The slow flow classes I absolutely adore. There is some regular movement, but the pace does not overpower people. I am happy for yogis that love the power and superflow classes, but those movements are simply too fast for new students who do not know the poses and are not used to moving between them that fast. Slow flow classes are a great mix between easy and deep stretch, where a new student can learn the poses but also have a chance to experience the stretches they provide while still learning sequencing and conscious breathing between them.
Other than that, I recommend new students drink a lot of water and find a good massage therapist. It is also recommended to bring a good backpack and mat to class. The effect of yoga on your inner body can be a new experience, and water and a pair of healing hands keep you coming back to your mat.