When Things Get Sylly: First Week Fails

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Sylly Week. AKA the week your various syllabi get handed out and the only thing you need to bring to class is your presence. The classes almost always begin with the all‐too‐awkward icebreakers: “Everyone introduce the person to your left and tell us their name, major, hometown and favorite ice cream flavor.” Then you forget their name as soon as the activity comes to an end.

Sylly Week provides opportunities for students to explore both day and night activities. The daytime opportunities mostly revolve around food, then the nighttime opportunities act as the rude awakening that you were actually here to learn stat and bio. When I first arrived at Notre Dame, my catalogue of Sylly Week failures led me to this abrupt realization.

First on the list of my seemingly infinite first week failures: my incredibly poor time management. I woke up groggy every morning, fell asleep way too late every night and am still questioning how I actually survived my daily events during Sylly Week. Thanks to my bomb MFW schedule, I ended classes at the ripe time of 12:30 p.m. What does one do from 12:30 to 9:30?

Maybe the ceaseless room decorating overtook most of my free time while in the dorm. Or maybe my Instagram obsession with following all the new people I met on an hourly basis. Or maybe it was the frequency with which I took advantage of the campus dining options – realizing early in my college experience the addictiveness of Reckers smoothies (a 24 hour eatery only two minutes from my dorm *sigh*).

Then again, the time probably slipped away because of the three hours my friends and I spent prepping to go out while blasting pre-game music in my room. Regardless, I look back on the days of Sylly Week with confusion as to how I utterly failed at setting up a positive time management regimen.

I also stumbled upon my semi‐incompetence when it came to making guy friends. While the list of things I love about ND is miles long, the school’s one flaw is its gender relations. Thanks to sex‐segregated dorms, Notre Dame boys fully endorse “bro culture” in nearly every aspect of their lives ‐ whether its dining hall seating arrangements or parties. Add this to the fact that one of the last things guys look for at parties are friends, you could say that my first week’s goal of making guy friends sort of fell flat on its face.

My friends and I even strategically placed of our lunch trays near boys in the dining hall in hopes of coming into male contact, but the excitement of stuffing dining hall food into their mouths took major precedence. But don’t get too worried girls, they calm down after the first couple of weeks.

The biggest aspect my of syllabus week, while I don’t consider it a total failure, was the culmination of my experiences going out. While daytime festivities of reading various syllabi and awkward conversations were enthralling on every level, the truly defining moments of Sylly Week were my adventures out on the town.

Thanks to the provisioning of various athlete off‐campus houses, the nightlife options never disappointed on any given night. While I wish I could say I stayed in and got acquainted with the syllabi a little more, I definitely took full advantage of these opportunities to let off some nonexistent steam.

Living in a largely STEM dorm allowed me to be one few people actually capable of going out (shout out to Arts and Letters). After the first few late nights followed by 8 a.m. alarms, I still felt like staying in the game – thanks to the copious amounts of bottled water, vitamins and EmergenC. However, after a full week I can definitely say reality hit me like a train. Whether it was missing my Friday classes, falling asleep at a table waiting for my Starbucks or handing the lady in the cafeteria line the wrong ID, going out definitely reaped some Sylly Week defeats.

I can thank Sylly Week for introducing me to the “typical” college lifestyle. I started getting used to the minimal work and maximum fun vibe, and hoped week 2 would end up a repeat of the last. Then I received my first major college assignment and realized Silly Week had ended ‐ the realest failure of them all.

Freshman English major at University of Notre Dame. Chipotle and Nutella-crepe enthusiast. Devoted shower singer.Lover of all things chocolate.

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