Across the country at colleges and universities, the first week of classes is fondly referred to as syllabus week, or as many prefer, "sylly week." A week where class gets out early, homework is still in the distance, allowing for time to be spent being silly with the friends that you haven't seen in months.
It is a novel concept and one that is very much alive and celebrated.
For me though, I see it as an urban myth of sorts though. I also think a lot of my peers at my school would agree with that.
Our classes start on a Monday which could be a cause of that. It means that each class will get two sessions in the first week. Meaning even if we get out exceptionally early from class on Monday, that class will meet again on Wednesday allowing for readings and problem sets to be assigned.
I know several people who had homework that was even due on the first day of classes. My roommate was up until 1:00 a.m. doing readings on Saturday night because they were due on Monday. Another acquaintance found out that she should have been reading 2 books already for her writing intensive course.
For a bit, I was questioning why I didn't have anything assigned to me yet. But now after 2 full days of classes, that concern has faded into a frenzy of trying to get myself organized and readings complete. In my subconscious, my rusty calculus skills are taunting me as I know I'll need them very quickly for an intermediate economics class.
You can think of me as a nerd or someone who doesn't want to have fun. But in honesty, I do want to have fun, the first week of school just isn't the time for me to do that.
The first week of classes feels like an absolute hurricane.
My brain has been on summer mode for the past three months, my fingers have to relearn how to type, my brain has to wake up to reading dense articles again, I need to remember how to speak in coherent and articulate sentences.
I also am bombarded by the stress of what will come later in the semester. Getting syllabuses and putting all the dates in my planner. Trying to track down the textbooks I need, buying notebooks that are college ruled, not wide ruled.
That is just academics. For me, coming back to school also means rebooting with the student organizations I am involved in, going to meetings, figuring out my work schedule. It also means grocery shopping and organizing my room.
By the end of the first week of classes, my mind is an absolute scrambled mess and I just need the dust to settle. Thank goodness, my first week of classes is met by a three-day weekend.
But I am also wanting to spend time with my friends. My spare time has gotten booked up by dinner dates with friends, getting my nails done, working out, it's just one thing after another.
Oh, and then there is sleep.
For me, there is no "silly" in syllabus week, although at the end of classes on Thursday I could benefit greatly from a glass of wine.
For now, though, I'll save my silliness until I have settled into a routine for the semester and I know what the heck I am doing for each of my classes. Without giving myself some time to puzzle things out, I think I would remain an absolute mess of stress for the rest of the semester and no one wants to be around that.