Why Syllabus Week Stresses Me Out More Than Exam Season

Why Syllabus Week Stresses Me Out More Than Exam Season

Syllabus week causes me immense stress and many struggles.


A lot of college students love the concept of syllabus week. The first week back to class at the start of the semester can be peaceful for many. This week is add/drop week, meaning that classes have no work deadlines. You have 0 commitment to the courses until the end of that week. For many, this is fabulous news. They see it as a time to party and relax until reality strikes the following week.

If you're anything like me, you know that syllabus week can come with a ton of stress that can't be quelled easily. I find this week to be easy in a way, because yes, I have no work to turn in, but I am stressed for multiple reasons.

Reason 1: I have to decide if I want to keep it drop some courses. Each semester, I've had this experience. I choose 18 credits worth of courses, and then I drop one or two during syllabus week if I think it will be too much for the semester and I want to push it to the following semester. This decision process can be extremely stressful for me at times. Sometimes I am torn between courses and don't know which ones to take and which ones to drop.

Reason 2: The start of a new semester turns my life into a whirlwind of confusion. I get so used to my school routine from previous semesters and then have to adjust to a completely new schedule. This is difficult for me because with change comes anxiety. I have to learn to manage my time once again so that I don't miss assignments or fall behind in a course. I also have to manage my classes around clubs and activities that change with each term.

Reason 3: Syllabus quizzes. That's right. The cute little quizzes professors put on canvas during the first week, to ensure that you've thoroughly read through their syllabus. I don't like these one bit. Maybe most people have had great experiences with them and have gotten easy points, but that has rarely been the case for me. Many of my classes have had quizzes that you had to get 100 on to move on to the course, and many of them had issues on the quizzes. Some questions had the wrong answer set as the right answer on canvas. So each time I submitted it with the correct answer, as said on the syllabus, I would receive a 98%. I've had many of these frustrating experiences.

Although the rest of the year is full of stress and slight procrastination, I prefer it over the first week. I like to be settled and know where everything goes on each canvas page. I like to have my planner and calendar filled out with my homework and exam schedule. I like order and peace and that is something I simply don't feel during this week.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...


I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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