It’s that time of year again!! Everybody’s favorite: Syllabus Week! Syllabus week is simultaneously one of the most important and most boring weeks of your semester. How you treat this week can make or break your semester. This is the time to catch up with friends you missed on break and get organized for a long semester. Here are some tips that have helped me make the most out of syllabus week:
Print them out!
Take the time to print out each and every syllabus. This will help you stay organized and prevent you from constantly downloading a new copy of a syllabus. When you need to check a policy (or a grading scale) you will have the copies ready to go in your desk drawer.
Organize your planner
After the day’s classes are over, take the time to write exam dates and finals into your planner. These dates may not be set in stone but, it will help to get a time frame of when to start studying for the big tests. (My classes haven’t started yet and I already know I have a chemistry test in less than a month! Yikes!) In college, your planner is your best friend. If you have struggled to use one in the past, a new semester is the best time to start the habit.
Get a jump start
It’s pretty likely that you won’t have much due this week and anything you do have will be a small assignment. That makes it pretty tempting to watch Netflix/Hulu and blow off the start of classes. Do NOT do this!! Take the time to read and take notes on the beginning of your textbooks. You will thank me for this later. Break is over. It’s time to get back into study mode so, when you have the chance to go out and have fun with friends, you won’t feel guilty.
Flashcards are your best friends come exam time. If you make them three days before the exam, they are of no help to you. Chances are you have at least had some lecture for your classes. Time to start writing down vocab and key points from your notes. Start making flashcards as part of your normal study sessions. The sooner you make them, the better. I hope you have plenty of time to use them!
Make a master time sheet
The most valuable sheet of paper I have any semester is my list of important hours. These include hours of the campus coffee shop, store, and post office as well as any places my roommate visits. Then, we have a list of all of our professors office hours. This is a tremendous help when you need to run to speak with a professor in person or get quick help on a homework problem. (You’d be surprised how often people stop into the room just to look on the sheet.)
I hope you have a great week! Good luck with all of your classes! Happy syllabus week and may the curve be ever in your favor! 🙂