Oh Syllabus Week… commonly known as that week of classes without exams or assignments. This is the week students get those little packets of three or fifteen sheets of paper from each class, hear their professor rant on about those little pieces of paper, and then treat the pieces of paper like they will essentially never look at again. THIS IS A MISTAKE. The truth is, that little packet holds the power to affect your entire semester.
Syllabus week is there for you to take full advantage of getting ahead on assignments and projects throughout the entire semester! So when your classmates are kicking back relaxing or spending the week in denial about the workload ahead of them, you won't be, and you won't regret it. Here is what you should actually do during your college syllabus week.
Connect with your classmates!
Exchanging emails and numbers is a must in college courses. Making new friends is a plus but having the extra notes, or someone to text about something on the study guide that you just don’t understand, only benefits you and how well you can do in the class. These connections also make awesome study partners and could potentially turn into your new college bestie.
Actually Read Your Syllabus
This many be a no brainer, but seriously. Read your syllabus, and don’t let your first exam sneak up on you. Highlight the bold, or the italicized, because I bet your professor did it for a reason.
Determine The Grading Scheme For Each Course
Yes, it might be the average grading scale, but why gamble? Using your handy dandy syllabus, you should locate right away if participation counts towards your grade, whether attendance affects your grade, or what you will need to get certain grades in each course. This is also where you can find if the class also gives extra credit and what you have to do to attain those extra points. My advice... get those extra points!
From selling your old textbooks, to throwing away your note cards from exams past, it’s time to start the new semester off fresh. By oh means, keep the things you think might be helpful in another course, but there is no need to keep that old study guide from freshman year biology when you just declared business your major.
Organize and Schedule
Though a syllabus is essentially a giant planner for a single course, more then likely you are taking 4 or more other courses at the same time. Schedule out the rest of your semester's assignments for each class in a planner. This helps schedule out your preparation time for an assignment or studying time for an exam. I usually also schedule reminders a week or two in advance within my planner letting me know that, “Hey you have a 15 page paper due in fourteen days, so get to writing!” Nerdy, maybe. But this helps me see something coming, rather than having a panic attack that I didn’t check my planner past this weekend only to find a HELLO MONDAY MORNING EXAM!
Meet and Greet!
Introduce yourself to your professor. Having some type of interaction before the class really begins will make it easier for you to approach them with a question you might have later on. Having a good relationship with a professor is always beneficial so why not take advantage of it the first day?
All in all, syllabus week can go two ways; an extension of break, or a productive workweek that helps your future semester experience. It’s up to you to take advantage of your time! I hope the list above might inspire you to make this semester as relaxed as possible by starting off on the right foot. Have something you think is a must during syllabus week? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy new semester! Thanks for reading!