Going into syllabus week can be stressful, especially if you’re just starting your first year at university! Check out our 7 things that no one tells you about syllabus week to make sure you handle syllabus week like a pro!
1. Professors Will Try to Make Their Class Sound Super Difficult
If you feel intimidated by the class you’ve added because the professor spent syllabus week talking about how nobody passes their class, don’t stress out! Most professors will try to make their class sound super difficult, but for the most part, they overexaggerate it a bit. Try to ask people who have taken the class you’re worried about to gauge how difficult it really will be and try to take into consideration your skill level and knowledge of the course material you’ll be covering. If you’re a total novice and people are saying the class was challenging, think about how much time you’ll have to pour into your schoolwork. If you have two jobs and four other challenging classes, you might want to save that class for summer. If you think you can make it through, then go for it!
2. You Can Still Drop Classes
Just because you’ve sat in a class, doesn’t mean you can’t drop it! Most universities will let you add and drop classes during syllabus week, so take this week as a chance to sample a couple classes and figure out which ones you want to take. A good way to make sure that you’ll have a slot in the classes you end up wanting to take is to narrow down your choices to a handful of classes and then add the maximum amount that you can. Visit each class during syllabus week and decide which ones you want to take and which you want to drop! Just make sure you drop your classes before the add/drop period so you don’t have to pay any fines.
3. Don’t Just Skip It
Some people think that since syllabus week is easy you don’t need to go to class. Don’t be that person! Some professors use syllabus week to share important information that will help you later in the class. You’ll want to know what each professor’s late policy is, whether or not they’ve changed up the grading scale a bit, and what their policy is regarding absences. Sometimes, professors will even give you an idea of what will be on the final during syllabus week!
4. Don’t Buy Your Textbook… Yet
There’s nothing like purchasing a $200 textbook only to find that the professor doesn’t really plan on using it. You can try to return it, but most times your university bookstore will refuse a return or offer a really low price on a buy back. Try figuring out what your professor plans to do with the textbook before buying it. Experienced students can often tell if they can get through a class without the book.
5. Make Friends
It’s always a good idea to know at least one person in your class. You don’t have to be besties, but try chatting with people and try to make some friends. Even if you can’t find someone who would be “friend material,” try getting to know some people and get them to like you. You can use them for favours later on if you miss a class and need notes or if you want a study partner.
6. Have Some Fun
It’s syllabus week, also known as the easiest week of the entire semester. Live your best life and go to parties, get involved in campus events, and go out with friends! Who knows when you’ll next have this much free time without homework deadlines looming over your shoulder? Enjoy what will likely be the only week this semester where you’ll have time for a good balance of socializing, sleeping, and going to class!
7. Fill Out Your Semester At A Glance
If you think you’ll have a hard time deciding which classes to take, fill out your semester at a glance. Grab a planner or print off calendars for each of the months of the semester. Fill in the calendars with the due dates of your assignments, exams, and presentations throughout the semester to see what the months will look like. If it turns out to be way too much work, you can decide which class(es) to drop. If it looks super easy, try to take one or two difficult classes that you know you’ll have to take eventually. If it’s just right, then you have a useful reminder of important due dates to help keep you on track for the semester!