Back-to-school: Syllabus week survival guide

Posted on Aug 21 2017 - 8:01am by Devna Bose

Syllabus week is upon us.

All of a sudden, July blended into August, and move-in week turned into classes. Now, students are lined up at the bookstore, Jackson Avenue is backed up with traffic and Instagram feeds are flooded with girls on the Square with the same notoriously terrible caption, “Let’s get sylly.”

Though syllabus week isn’t exactly known for being stressful or particularly difficult, it is an integral time for becoming accustomed to classes and life in Oxford all over again, or for the first time. Taking advantage of syllabus week could help make this semester the best yet.

1. Read the syllabus.

This one should be a no-brainer, but many students let syllabus week go by without even glancing at the syllabus. Um, it’s called syllabus week for a reason. Look at the syllabus that is passed out in class or print one out at home. It holds valuable information about classes that every student should know and will need to know later, including grading policies, class expectations and, most importantly, attendance policies. Let’s be real – you’re going to want to know about whether you’re allowed two absences or three when you’re lying in bed on Friday morning. And while you’re at it, go ahead and write the test and assignment schedule down to prepare ahead for the semester.

2. Get acquainted with campus.

One of the best ways to get ready for the semester is by walking to each class the week school starts to see what to expect on the daily commute and learn where classes are. I know – it sounds a little grade-school, but when rushing to class because late on a Thursday, it’s a lot less stressful to already know where Bondurant Hall is. Also, figure out where all of the Starbucks are on campus because caffeine fiend or not, you’re going to need coffee to make it through the semester.

3. Keep the partying to a minimum.

You do not have to go out every day on syllabus week. I repeat – you do not have to go ahead every day on syllabus week. The Square will be there all semester, whereas your opportunity to catch up on sleep and to-do lists will not. Instead of dancing with sweaty teenagers in The Levee, take the week to move in the rest of your stuff or fill in your planner with those assignments we talked about earlier. The FOMO will definitely hit, but it will be temporary. You will have many opportunities to go out and have fun with your friends later in the year. Remember – pain is temporary, but GPA is forever.

4. Relax.

Last but not least, take some time for yourself. This week will pretty much be the last stress-free week before professors start assigning projects, tests and papers. Take time to decompress and mentally prepare yourself for the semester.

So go forth with these tips, and be great. Make this semester the best yet, and get ready to spend another year making memories at our beloved university.