If you’re new to college, or about to start college, you may have heard about syllabus week. Every school has a different take on it, but generally the professors assign easier, intro assignments for homework and you really don’t learn much in class. Why is that? It has to do with something called a Drop/Add Period. Which brings me to my first point of how to ace syllabus week.
- Drop/Add Period is the most beautiful thing about syllabus week! Basically, it’s a test run for the class, professor or subject. Unlike high school, it is fairly easy to change classes. Drop/add allows you to estimate if the class will work for you, some professors and students just don’t match well together. Take advantage of this time and switch classes if you feel off about it!
- Read the syllabus BEFORE the first class. The teacher usually skims over the document but there are things that you may want to know before going in. Such as: attendance policy, grading style, tests, projects, etc.
- Pick your seat wisely! There may be opportunities to change seats, but the first week is essential in establishing your territory in the room. If you get distracted, sit in the first two rows. Also, be aware of your neighbors because they will likely end up being assignment and project partners
- Walk to all of your classes the day before. Nothing is worse than being late on the first day because you couldn’t find the room. This will also give you a good estimate of how long it takes to get to class (aka how long you can sleep in and still get to class on time)
- Introduce yourself to the professor after class. I know, I know. Who wants to do that? Your either a nerd or a kiss up if your talking to the professor after class. Well, guess what! You will also be successful in the class because the teacher knows you. (I always get higher grades in the class where I speak to the teacher one-on-one).
- Bring a notebook and pen to every class! So now every student types notes, but not every teacher allows computers in classrooms. So, instead of being the only person without a other way of taking notes the first day, bring a notebook and pen.
- Dress your best the first day because that is the first impression everyone, students and professors, will have of you! Make it a good one!
- Try not to be on your phone as soon as you sit down. This is the best way to make friends who can be partners, give you notes or just complain about assignments with. It’s always better to have a buddy in class
- Don’t order textbooks, until they are very clearly necessary. Textbooks are freakishly expensive! And there have been classes that I have bought textbooks for but never ended up needing or using. Wait until it is clear that the text information with needed separate from class information.
- I highly suggest renting used books from your bookstore if possible. The books really aren’t in bad shape and renting makes it easier to get rid of the book after the semester. This also saved me over $200 on textbooks last semester because it is the cheapest option the bookstore offers. It’s also great because you rent it for the semester, then hand it back in and never have to worry about the book again.
I hope this was a helpful post! Please leave a comment with your best syllabus week tips!