It's that time of the semester again, sadly. Everyone comes back from a nice, relaxing break just to be thrust back into the stress and chaos of school. Every semester commences with syllabus week, which in all honesty, can make or break your semester. Syllabus week also coincides with the period of Add/Drop, meaning that almost every single student is going crazy attempting to finalize their schedule by picking up classes they need or dropping the ones they hate.
Furthermore, Syllabus Week is also the week that everyone goes out and parties hard one last, stress-free time. Syllabus Week almost guarantees that none of your classes are officially learning yet, meaning that everyone views it as their last week of freedom until the semester is over again.
If you need some advice, try these survival tips and maybe, just maybe, you'll make it through the week. However, I make no promises about the rest of the semester.
1. Keep a screenshot of your schedule on your phone.
This will come in handy, I promise. For the most part, it takes me about a week or two before I memorize my schedule and where my buildings are. By having a screenshot of your schedule, you simultaneously have access to the building, room number, and class time!
2. If you don't have a full schedule yet, keep checking as many times as possible.
You would be surprised how many people I see stress over their schedule but then do nothing to change that. Check back every hour to see if it opened up. Someone could have dropped it and if you don't check often, your chances are next to zero.
3. If you're desperate, post on the many FSU Facebook groups.
I'm in four different Facebook groups with over hundreds of FSU students. If you're trying to get into a class, post on the Facebook group pages! You never know who is intending to drop it. I see people post "If any one is drop [specific class] please let me know!" I also see people offering money in order to persuade others to drop the class. I'm not sure if that will really help but you never know.
4. Read your syllabi.
In case you all didn't know, syllabi is the plural form of syllabus (you're welcome).
Read each and every single syllabus for each and every one of your classes. The syllabus is there in order to help you! I guarantee that if you have questions about anything that first week, it's on there. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten annoyed because students waste my time, and the teacher's time, asking stupid questions that are literally written down for them.
5. Write down all due dates in your planner/calendar.
This is the holy grail of tips. This will keep you in check, on time, and ready to conquer the world. As someone who is in their major, I have to try 4x as hard in order to get the grades I want. I need to stay on top everything and to make sure that I do, I take the time to sit down and write down all the due dates into my planner or calendar. Last semester, I wrote it into my planner but this semester, I bought a big desktop calendar and wrote it there instead. I wrote down every single due date for my assignments, quizzes, exams, and even discussion boards.
6. Avoid the FSU Bookstore.
The FSU Bookstore is the absolute worse place to be during Syllabus Week. It is very overwhelming and very overcrowded. Everyone is in there trying to get their books for the semester as the sooner you go, the better the chance you have of getting what you need before the bookstore runs out. You will get trampled in here, so avoid the place at all costs. On a side note, books from the FSU bookstore aren't worth it anyway.
7. Rent your textbooks from Amazon, Chegg, or Vital Source.
I promise you, this is 100x better than renting or buying from the FSU Bookstore. The FSU Bookstore is extremely overpriced. It is not worth it and it is a gigantic waste of your money. Amazon and Chegg are the first two options I would recommend to you. If you have Amazon Prime, this will be your best friend. You get cheap textbooks, free AND two day shipping, and better yet, you get free shipping when you ship back your textbook at the end of the semester. I have found books that are $25 on Amazon or Chegg but $100 at the bookstore. Always do your research and save your money!
8. Don't skip any classes.
Syllabus Week is the absolute worst week to skip. If you are not there for the first day of attendance, you will get dropped. Teachers or teaching assistants will assume that you weren't there because you ended up dropping the class or switching out, or even that you no longer wanted to be in the class. Worse comes to worst, if you really cannot make it, email your teacher! It's also bad to skip the classes that first week because teachers will be going over their expectations, all the assignments, and explain their exams throughout the first day and week.
9. Get all the partying out of your system before you have to study all day, every day.
Like I said before, Syllabus Week is the perfect time for everyone to go out. The many clubs in Tallahassee will be packed, I guarantee it. If you want to party before you don't have the time to, do it now! In a week or two, you'll be studying 24/7 and doing everything you can to keep that GPA up.