Is Syllabus Week For Real?

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It’s that time of the year. Bathing suits are getting packed away and we’re shouting our last goodbyes to those two overbearing people we hate to love the most. The ease of summer is coming to a close, and along with it, the burden of responsibility that we’re just getting used to rears its ugly head. But when returning to college, the transition into responsibility might be smoother than we thought. In easing ourselves back into the swing of things, are professors making our lives a bit too easy? The first week back to school is always pretty hectic; dorms need to be customized, books need to be purchased and classes need attending. And we all have that same feeling about college: this is it, this is my moment. But it doesn’t begin full-force like we’ve been lead to believe.

At the beginning of the semester, by some ingenious miracle, the Gods of kids everywhere have created one week of the year where we don’t yet have to be grown-ups. Syllabus week: the Sunday of summer vacation.

“It’s like an extension of the break before real courses begin,” Omid Akramian, sophomore biology major at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said. 

The first week back to college is loved by many because it allows students to transition into school with less to worry about. Not everyone wants to be hassled with a ten-page paper on the existentialism seen in Albert Camus’ work while trying to move in, fit in, and get settled in.

Senior David Iqbal, from New York University, said that he enjoyed syllabus week because of the effortless transition back to school. “It would be overwhelming to jump straight into work the first week of classes,” he said.

Though most college kids think of syllabus week as a joke, none take the relaxed week for granted. While you’d think that we’d be spending our time gallivanting the streets with a bottle of vodka screaming “f—k the police,” syllabus week is actually a time for students to prepare themselves for the year and get (re)situated with college lifestyle.

Akramian said that at UC Santa Barbara, a majority of students take the time to relax and get involved in organizations on campus. But while some believe that the first week back to school is “a joke,” other students don’t get the perks of a chill week.

For statistics major, Ashley Bullard, syllabus week is nothing special. She said, “It’s not any easier than any other week.”

For majors that are more time-consuming and strenuous, the myth of syllabus week is null and void. So if you’re that freaky science genius double majoring in engineering and applied mathematics, don’t expect to relax like those around you.

Bullard said that while attending the University of Georgia, her general education courses got the benefits of syllabus week. But now as a second-year graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, syllabus week is nonexistent.

So when you go into college, nervous about what’s to come of the school year, remember, whether syllabus week has your back or not, college is what you make of it.

“The kids who are going to show up are probably the ones who take it seriously. It’s not the professor’s job to monitor the student,” Bullard said.

Whether you want to take the first week of school, or the entire year, seriously or not, it all depends on you. College is a once in a lifetime experience; you just have to make the best of it.

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