Syllabus Week

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As students trek home to Ames and unpack their new Christmas toys into their apartment, the thought of an easy first week back at Iowa State looms in their head.  It is Syllabus Week of course, meaning shortened class periods and almost no homework for these first five days of Spring Semester, right?  I am sorry to say that is not the case.

The sunrise is a positive aspect of waking up for your 8 a.m. classes

The first week back at school offers some great positives, but also is very much a cold slap back into the grind of weekday college life. Not all is lost though: below I offer some positive and negatives of the first real week of work in 2016.

The Relief

Admittedly, the first time your class meets should be an easier day full of syllabus reviews and introduction activities.  Look forward to a little extra time during your Monday and Tuesday than expected.
The first weekend after Syllabus week should be the lightest.  This semester we even get a three day weekend (thanks MLK!).  Take advantage and both catch up with friends but also leisurely work ahead on assignments and readings before they become 2 a.m. “oops” moments.
Winter break is a great time to catch up with family, until three weeks go by and you have had a lot of family time. Find your friends and embrace the freedom once again.
As syllabus week commences, the weekly schedule fills up quickly

The Stress

The first day your professor lists off every assignment and test in a time span of about ten minutes.  It is extremely stressful to transition from a mildly lazy winter break to discovering the four tests, three papers, and a dozen assignments expected of you.
Figuring out your routine this semester also can be stressful and lonely. Facing noon on Monday eating lunch alone when usually you have a buddy can be depressing.  Use that time to text up friends and schedule lunch dates, gym times, and even study sessions.
Though your pesky sibling may have gotten on your nerves, you probably also did not do much laundry, cleaning, or even cooking.  Now face the reality of meal planning, addressing the mountain of clothes on the floor, and actually peering into the microwave to see how gross it might look.

Week 1 of the semester may offer a day or two of reprieve, but professors are ready to dig into their courses as soon as possible.  Capitalize on those first couple days of a lighter load, knowing it is a fleeting reprieve.  The LAS office is packed with advisors available to offer guidance, as well as the Student Services Building which offers counseling services to stressed-out students.  As this is my eighth and final Syllabus Week, my biggest advice is to catch up with friends, try to plan a new routine, but above all, stay flexible!

Posted by: Nicole Suchsland