10 Things The First 4 Weeks Of Fall Semester Brings To Students, Guaranteed

10 Things The First 4 Weeks Of Fall Semester Brings To Students, Guaranteed

Getting to know your new friend, Fall Semester.

Fall semester can either be the friend who you're like or the one who you always seem to have a problem with yet can't imagine life without.

Sometimes it can be both. For many, it's a relationship that takes a little bit of work but is worth it in the end.

1. Those nice syllabus days the first week of class.

We all appreciate that first day of classes when everyone actually shows up to hear what we will be accomplishing through the course of the semester. It is a nice way to "ease" back into classes after working all summer.

2. Jumping right in after syllabus information

Then BAM! They hit you with "So since we still have some time I'll start the lecture on..." and you see people, slouch, sit up a little straighter, or give their neighbors a look that says "please tell me I heard the prof wrong" and you bond. Just like that you have someone to email or message about the homework the professor wants to assign after talking about a topic for five minutes at the end of the hour.

3. The second class when you continue plowing ahead

You come ready to jump right into the lecture again after the last class and the professor doesn't disappoint.

4. Third class is the charm

You're finally in the swing of things and keep on going. You have come to expect the quick slide changes and attention to detail the professor is wanting.

5. Second week is a breeze

With all the information you acquired after week one, you're ready for round two. The readings are bearable and the homework so far hasn't been anything that keeps you up until two in the morning.

6. Third week, the projects start

We get into the syllabus and see that there's a project deadline in a couple weeks but wait- draft's due next week?! How did that happen?

7. Fourth week, two drafts due.

You have finally approached the draft deadlines (which in college you have come to realize means "first final copy" for some reason). Now you're up until midnight worrying about that 8am deadline.

8. Relief after submission

You submit and fall asleep, only to repeat the same thing the next evening for your Tuesday Thursday instead of your Monday Wednesday class, and then have time to breathe. You convince yourself that you won't wait until the last minute again.

9. Project due dates are looming in the near future, and your first exams are approaching at an uncomfortably fast pace.

Now the final deadlines are approaching in the fifth week and on top of two projects, you have your first exams in the other courses you're taking that same week.

10. And here we are at midnight thinking about it all

Now trying to fall asleep is hard when you have time, but come the next few nights you'll be stuck working until early hours of the next day because your time management is still not yet the best it could be.

I know some people are on top of it and working really hard to get their work done on time (and I commend them) but for the rest of us, these first few weeks are a wake up call and get you ready for the next set of exams and projects.

Just a little side note to everyone because we don't tell ourselves this enough: you are capable and you can do this, no matter how impossible it seems to write X number of pages.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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20 Simple Changes That Would Actually Make Students Go To Class

The college student's classroom Bill of Rights.


Students, do you ever get the urge to grade your professor on how they taught their class? Do you ever want to email them a list of everything they did wrong in the semester? Well, here's some advice to all professors about what they can do to make classes better. If you're a student, share it and include your favorite points on course feedback surveys. If you're a professor, please consider doing these to make your class more enjoyable and engaging for everyone.

Let us use laptops in class

I know laptops can be distracting if not used properly, but as a professor who is not my high school teacher, it is not your responsibility to make sure I'm not distracted in class. I'm paying thousands of dollars to take this class, and I'm responsible for getting the most out of it. And sometimes, the way I can get the most out of your class is by taking notes on my computer because it's a lot faster than writing it out. Also #savethetrees

Give us at least a week to get our books

I know that I can look up the books for the class before the first day. However, those books are really expensive, so I'm never going to buy them before the first class because I need to ask you if I can buy a cheaper version. Give it a week to come in. You can even scan the first chapter, so we can still do the homework.

Put the schedule on the syllabus

When you give your class the whole schedule ahead of time, it means that I'll actually plan my schedule around your assignments. That means fewer vacations before I have a paper due.

Put the assignment sheets on the syllabus

When I know the assignment a couple weeks before it's due, I can manage my time more effectively. Also, you posting the prompt for the paper a couple days before it's due isn't helping anybody.

Teach your TA how to grade

Everyone has had a TA who thinks they're the greatest thing since sliced bread. They'll tear your assignments apart even in a 101 class. Everyone has also had TAs who don't care and give everyone 100%. If you have multiple TAs, they should all be grading the same way so that some people aren't penalized for having a hard grader. Give your grading TAs a rubric so that they'll grade a little more appropriately.

Don't make homework due right after break

It's called a "break" for a reason.

Curve grades

If the average grade is a C or lower on an assignment, then the problem probably wasn't the students. It was your teaching. Try to understand common mistakes and how you can prevent that in the future, but don't give your students a bad grade for something that wasn't their fault.

Actually be in your office during office hours

What's the point of giving us those hours if you don't even show up? Send an email out if you won't be in your office during your regular hours.

Email back promptly

Students usually have a lot going on, so they will inevitably put things off until the last minute. Understand that and check your email often (because we have to check ours every five minutes, too).

Answer all the questions in an email, not just one

You can't pick and choose what part of an email you should respond to. Read the whole thing and answer all the questions in the email.

Stop telling people that they can come talk to you after class if they have questions

I have 10 minutes to walk from this class across campus to my next class. I can't wait in a line of students to talk to you. Give more options for times to ask questions.

Just cancel class the day before break

You're not an idiot. No one is going to come, and I know you want that day off just as much as we do. At least make attendance optional or extra credit.

Leave comments that explain why we got a grade

Getting a grade back on an assignment gives me an idea of how I did on the assignment, but it tells me nothing about what I did wrong. I need feedback if I'm ever going to improve.

Leave positive feedback, too

When you're telling me what I can do better, let me know what I did well, too. That way, I can be sure to do that again in the future.

Grade things promptly

I know you have a lot to grade and grading takes longer when you give a lot of feedback, but when the time it takes to grade is twice as long as the time I had to complete the assignment, that's ridiculous.

Set a date for when you'll have things graded

If I have to have deadlines, you should, too. That's all I'm saying.

Set our deadline for when you'll actually start grading the assignment

There's no point in forcing us to have an assignment finished on Monday if you're not going to even look at it until Thursday.

Set a late assignments policy

And “no late assignments accepted" is not a policy. I know that we need to learn how to meet deadlines, but as someone who gets overwhelmed and stressed to the point of paralysis at certain points in the semester, I really appreciate even the smallest partial credit on late assignments.

Set an absence policy

And “students must attend every class" is not a policy. Jobs have a set amount of personal days and sick days, so classes should, too. I use my skip days to see more of my family or to see the doctor when I'm sick.

Be understanding

I know being a professor is stressful, so I'm willing to accept things when you mess up sometimes. But I expect you to be understanding with me in exchange.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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12 Reasons Why Summer Is The Best Season

Every summer has it's own story.


Summer is a time of no stress, long beach days, and endless memories. We all have those "summers to remember," and that's why I believe summer is the best of the four seasons. Here's a list to prove it.

1. Sunglasses

Gabrielle Ciancio

Sunglasses are always a must in the summer. Having a rough face day? Throw on some sunglasses. Need some cute accessories for an outfit? Throw on some sunglasses. Sunglasses outside and inside are always acceptable, and as an added bonus, you can take a nap, roll your eyes, or even stare at people without anyone having a clue.

2. Sunrises

Gabrielle Ciancio

The vibrant pinks, fierce reds, bright oranges, soothing yellows, and beautiful blues are a sight you will never forget. Nothing is more breathtaking than a summer sunrise. The whole world seems to stop and you can't help but think how good life is.

3. Beach days

Gabrielle Ciancio

The title of this one speaks for itself. Personally, the beach is my favorite place to be, especially on a hot day. Naps on the beach are amazing, and what's even better is a fat nap after the beach. The sea-salt and beaming sun give you that perfect skin and glowing feel. I live for sandy toes, salty hair, and the refreshing ocean water...plus you can get that perfect, golden tan.

4. Outdoor concerts

Gabrielle Ciancio

Sure you can go to concerts during the winter, but what's the fun in jamming out to your favorite artist inside? Sure you can go to a music festival, but who wants to rave in the freezing cold? Summertime is the perfect time to listen to some quality music from sunrise to sunset, while also having the freedom to roam around and have room to dance like a mad-man.

5. "Golden hour"

Gabrielle Ciancio

For all my Instagram junkies, summer is the best season for pictures. You can get that "picture-perfect" natural sunlight at any time of the day; and let me tell you, nothing is better than that golden-hour sun at the end of the day.

6. Friends

Gabrielle Ciancio

Being able to spend endless nights with your friends any day of the week is genuinely the best thing ever. Whether it's a late night food run, a fun adventure, or a casual hangouts, you are guaranteed to make the best memories with the people you love.

7. Minimal clothing.

Who wants to bundle up with layers on top of layers? It's awful when you wear a cute outfit in the winter and have to cover it up with a bulky coat. Bathing suits, crop tops, t-shirts, shorts, some flip-flops; it's so much simpler in the summer. No shoes, no shirt, and you still get service.

8. Fruit

Gabrielle Ciancio

It's a known fact..fruit is always more satisfying in the summer. There's nothing better than some juicy berries, a fresh fruit bowl, or a refreshing slice of watermelon on a hot summer day.

9. Aesthetic wrists

Gabrielle Ciancio

Nothing is cuter than an artsy set of bracelets. "Summer wrists" are all the rave right now, and summertime is the only acceptable time to bust out your best wrist accessories without it being covered by some long sleeves.

10. Ice cream

Gabrielle Ciancio

It seems like ice cream is never unhealthy in the summer. There's no better taste than a hearty scoop (or three) of some smooth, cold ice cream. Summer is the best time for endless frozen treats and some sweet toppings to go along with it. Cone or cup, it doesn't matter, as long as you get to enjoy that creamy goodness.

11. Tan

Gabrielle Ciancio

Let's be honest, we all love being tan. Being able to rock black or white and neon colors is the best thing ever. A tan looks good with literally everything and there's nothing more satisfying then those crisp tan lines from a long day at the beach.

12. Messy buns

Gabrielle Ciancio

Messy buns are acceptable in the summer, I repeat, messy buns are acceptable in the summer. Being able to throw your hair up on a hot day and not worry about how it looks is what's so amazing about summer. "Messy hair don't care" is a whole mood and I live for it. I swear buns always look better in the summer, don't fight me on it.

I hope that after reading this, I've convinced you why summer is literally the best season of them all. If you're still not convinced, try some of these things for yourself and you'll understood very quickly.

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