Syllabus week is here, and I hate to break it to all the freshman out there, but this is the hardest week of college that you will experience in your life. There’s nothing “sylly” about syllabus week at all. Your professors already have assignments lined up, there will be no free time and you could already have a test next week — go check your syllabus to prove me wrong. You’ll finally understand why everyone in Newman Library is always so stressed by the end of this week.
One of the biggest parts of syllabus week is actually going to your classes for the first time. After figuring out HokieSPA at orientation and getting the bottom of the barrel class times, who knows where you might end up. Move in is all fun, but how well did you really get to know your campus? It’s a good thing that the weather is bearable right now — the Drillfield is only going to get windier — because you’ll be wandering and walking just trying to make it to your class on time. Is it actually possible to make it from Hahn Hall to Litton Reaves in 15 minutes? Is Surge even a building on campus? Your trial and error of looking for classrooms will expose you to everyone else for being a freshman, but the best thing to do is pull out a physical map of campus. That’s the most helpful way to navigate.
After getting lost, the real fun begins. Walk into your first big lecture class in McBryde 100 and you’ll see what I mean. Who will you sit with? The professor may have already assigned you a reading and is already expecting you to speak in front of 200-plus people instead of breaking down your syllabus. Or better yet, you may already have your first iClicker quiz.
And the horror of icebreakers. Oh, you better believe that if you have a class of 20 to 30 students you will be doing those; any fear you have of public speaking should be left in your dorm.
After a hard first couple days of classes, though, you can just go back and relax maybe watch an episode of Netflix … that is, if you already want to fall behind on work. That’s right, professors always assign homework on the first week, and if you forget to do it or don’t check that’s already one missed assignment. The rigorous course load begins; say goodbye to any social life you began to form and hello to late night runs to Deets to power your essays.
You don’t get to enjoy the beautiful weather at all, either; there are textbooks to be bought and lines to wait in at the bookstore. Intro classes will add up with textbooks and the lines will take up most of your time, probably as much as the readings will.
Forget about going out, too. Parties don’t happen the first week of classes, everyone is just too bogged down by homework to go out or do anything fun. Reality already set in for the upperclassmen and it’ll hit you too. Just stay in your dorm and and try to get as much sleep as you can; you’ll do the same thing for the rest of the semester.
It can be tough to survive this week. No breaks, no fun, all work and no play. While you may feel like giving up, there is hope. By the end of this week you only have 14 more weeks to go. In conclusion, for everyone who has never had the chance to experience syllabus week: we promise you can totally get through the hardest week of classes, you’ll learn to adapt.