The Orion

The bittersweet syllabus week

Illustration+by+Dongyoung+Won.
Illustration by Dongyoung Won.

Illustration by Dongyoung Won.

Illustration by Dongyoung Won.


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Don’t let syllabus week take advantage of you. Those assignments that sneak up on you aren’t sneaky at all. They are right there in front of you from the start, if you choose to acknowledge them.

It’s true, syllabus week is immensely easier to handle than finals week, but it’s not the joke people make it out to be.

Sure you get a waste of papers you could have easily looked at on your laptop, but once you reach those 300- and 400-level classes, that piece of paper is your lifeline.

A week of no homework and simply showing up so you don’t get dropped turns around very quickly.

There goes your free week.

Take it for what it really is. It’s a time to layout your class cores and set the tone for your semester.

That information can be the difference between a B+ and an A- in the grading system or a friendly reminder that you need to spend a couple hours in the library to finish that project you forgot was due tomorrow.

Had you checked out that paper for what it’s worth, it might not have slipped your mind.

How you treat the first week sets the tone for the rest of the semester. Before you know it, week one turns into week 12 and you’ve fallen into a hole you can’t dig yourself out of. The “easy week” mentality can set you back.

Everyone struggles. We go through all the ups and downs as students, so why not make it a little easier on ourselves?

If you want to do well this semester, start doing well from the start. You said you’d get it together in 2016, so here’s your chance:

  • actually buy all your school supplies
  • memorize your class schedule
  • use a planner to write down all the things you need to do this week
  • put on actual clothes
  • show up to class and participate
  • read and understand your syllabus

It all sounds pretty obvious at first, but apparently it’s not. Do not be lazy. It really is an easy week, so do take advantage of that. Let your professors know that you’re not a joke.

A syllabus is a tool and a guideline. Use it. You’ll thank yourself later.

Gema Diaz can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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The bittersweet syllabus week