The first week of classes is known as syllabus week. Often, a professor will have you print off or give you a syllabus: it’s like a contract between a student and the professor about policies, due dates, and rules.
Whether your brain is fried from the sun, or you’re groggy from too many Christmas cookies, the beginning of the semester can be stressful. Seeing a ton of due dates at once can be overwhelming!
Here are the best ways to kick off your first week of the college semester:
- Copy all of your syllabi into a planner.
Keeping track of due dates can be challenging! In high school, you were constantly reminded of due dates and other responsibilities… in college, you are expected to keep track of everything on your own. As soon as I get a syllabus, I copy each deadline, quiz, and exam into a planner, color-coded by class. This helps me plan ahead for projects and make sure I get enough study time in.
- Visit your professors’ office hours.
Your professors will most likely host office hours the first week of class. They hold these to answer questions and meet students. ALWAYS take advantage of this. Introduce yourself and come with a couple questions about the course or their experience in the field. This is a way for a professor to put a name to a face, and it’s always beneficial to make nice with people you’ll be spending the next 16 weeks with.
- Book study rooms in advance.
Often times, a university has rooms you can book as a student. These rooms are PERFECT for group projects or even quiet study time. I know my college allows reservations for study rooms in the library with only your school email! When finals approach, these rooms will be fully occupied, so book ahead!
- Manage your time.
Syllabus week is the perfect time to decide when laundry day will be, or when you’ll catch up on reading. Scheduling weekly tasks will help you fit everything in! Pick a day to catch up on cleaning/laundry, reading, notes, calling home, etc. and stick to it! Keeping up a routine will help you stay productive and help you to optimize your free time.
- Seek out the best times to go to the library, dining halls, etc.
While you’re getting back into a routine, scope out popular areas to see when it’s the least busy. Play around with your schedule and figure out when you’ll go to the library or hit the dining hall during your day. Long lines are timely and annoying!
- Set goals
New year, new you? How about new semester, new goals! A new semester is a fresh start to kick butt and work hard. Take advantage of that!
I hope your syllabus week ROCKS! What do you do to prepare for the first week of the semester?