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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An Open Letter To Those Not Graduating On Time

Graduating college in any number of years is an accomplishment to be proud of.

To the person that isn't graduating on time,

It sucks, and I won't lie to you and tell you it doesn't. The day you walk out of Advising, head hanging down because you aren't going to finish in four years, makes you feel ashamed of yourself. You did well in high school; you were always told you were smart, expected to be smart, so why couldn't you make it out in four years like you were supposed to?

You know you're going to have to tell your family, so you begin preparing yourself for the worst reactions possible. And telling your friends you won't be graduating with them will only add to that sense of hopelessness.

Soon, you'll see photos and posts from people you left high school with, talking about graduation and the wonderful lives they are about to begin in their new careers. You'll wonder how they did it, and you'll feel like a failure.

But you're not.

Graduating from college is a huge deal. It really is. And it will be no less of an accomplishment in five, six, or 10 years.

"According to the Department of Education, fewer than 40 percent of students who enter college each year graduate within four years, while almost 60 percent of students graduate in six years. At public schools, less than a third of students graduate on time."

Things happen. You might change your major. You might have financial troubles. You may take a year off to figure out exactly what you want to do. That's okay. Take all the time you need. The real world and your career will still be there whenever you graduate.

Guess what else. Your family will still love you, and your friends will still support you. Give them some credit. Your loved ones want you to be happy and successful. Don't get me wrong, they may be upset at first, but give them a chance. Odds are, when the emotions settle, they will go right back to asking how classes are going. And when you do get the news that you'll be graduating, they will celebrate with you, and they will be there in the crowd, waiting for you to walk across that stage.

Graduation will happen. If you attend your class and study hard, it will happen. There is no reason to rush. Just do your best. Try your hardest. Take classes when you can. Just by doing that, you're doing more than so many others are able to do.

"Among 18 countries tracked by the OECD, the United States finished last (46 percent) for the percentage of students who completed college once they started it."

You'll get there. Take your time. Enjoy your classes. Find new interests. Study what you love. Embrace opportunities. Study abroad. Take that weird elective class. This is your time to take in everything the world has to offer. Take advantage of that. You'll graduate when you graduate, filled with pride and wisdom. And when they call your name, and you walk across that stage, hold your head up high, because you've earned every bit of your degree.

Graduating from college takes countless hours of studying, long hours in the library, and a tremendous amount of dedication. Don't add pressure to yourself by setting a timer. It is completely okay to graduate when you graduate, and it is still something to be proud of.

Best Wishes,
A woman who is finally graduating

Cover Image Credit: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/120417041415-education-graduation-cap-story-top.jpg

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Trying to figure out what to do in life.


I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]

[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

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