Ah, the sweet feeling of the first week of a new semester in college – the precious syllabus week. The only five back to back days for the next fifteen weeks where you will be able to breathe a breath of fresh air. Your stress levels will be next to nothing, you will spend most of the week reviewing each class’s syllabus and partaking in an unruly amount of ice breakers. It is the week of first impressions- you wake up earlier than you should each day this week to prepare yourself to look your best and to arrive at least 15 minutes early for each class.
You want your appearance to prove to everyone that you take pride in nightly showers and brush your teeth at least 2 times a day. If you don’t look your best during syllabus week, everyone will judge you for looking like you aren’t wearing pants under your 3 sizes too large college t-shirt. You rush across campus to be early to your next class because you want to sit in the front of the class so you can have a prime view of the board without an obstructed view of the back of the head of the 6'5" basketball player that sits down in front of you, and most importantly, so the professor will recognize you.
You have high hopes for this semester- you want to start off “your year” right. The plan is to talk to new people in all your classes- these people will be your study group, your academic support system. You will get together and study days in advance to be as prepared as you can for your exams. This semester you are going to be organized and have every hour planned to maximize each day. After all, organization is the key to success.
This is not how syllabus week goes, ever.
Instead of having ample time to get ready and look your best, you get up when the fifth alarm goes off 15 minutes before class. You grab the first clothes you can find, they don’t match a single bit either, and run out the door. As you run to class, inside your head you are already regretting signing up for yet another 8 a.m. class. Despite trying to convince yourself that you could make having early classes this year work because it would mean having the rest of your day free, you knew deep down that you would definitely not be able to get up early. All last year you slept in every extra minute you could, how on earth could that possibly change from a few months ago?
You show up at 8 a.m. on the dot if you are a fast runner, if not you casually stroll in a few minutes late to class. At 8 a.m. on the dot, you stroll into class making a beeline for the back of the class in hopes that the professor won’t notice that you just arrived.
Instead of having a relaxed first week of classes with fun introduction activities and easy syllabus reviews, you walk into class only to find that chapters 1 and 2 were already supposed to be read because there is going to be a quiz on those before the first lecture of the year begins. Ice breakers are a thing of the past and so is having a week of not being stressed out in college.
The people’s numbers in your class you get are in your contacts as “Jason from Calculus” and “Maria who sits next to me in lab” and the only reasons you guys will actually text each other about this semester is to either complain about the class, split up the homework or figure out who has heard what about the exam that is in 15 minutes.
As the week goes on you slowly come to realize that your plan to "study, study, study!" is starting to sound more like "I'll have time to study before class starts!" as time on. You slowly begin to procrastinate a little more every day and start relying on people like Ron who sits next to you in sociology to give you answers to the test since his buddies have it earlier in the day.
Syllabus week is a lot rougher than you anticipated, but then again, so is college in general.