When I tell you that I’m excited to go back to school after a long winter break, it’s not because I’m ready to jump back into studying and stressing over the work for my classes. I miss my friends, I miss The Boot, and I miss the freedom of being away from home. Especially after the draining process of sorority recruitment, I was dreading having to restart my routine of not coming home from the library until 10pm.
However, there is a barrier that exists between break and full-fledged classes: syllabus week. A week where there’s barely any work, teachers let us out early, and I spend the majority of class time sharing fun facts or what I did over break.
This semester, however, syllabus week didn’t seem as “sylly,” or in other words, it did not warrant as much free time as it had in the past. My social calendar was probably the busiest it’s ever been while at Tulane. Between frats’ various themed parties and my new sorority obligations, I felt drained. My camera roll from sylly week is literally just selfies of me in bed exhausted, asking my friends if I actually had to rally or could “skip this one.”
This is why I am here to argue that syllabus week does not exist in actuality. I believe it is merely a concept created to justify extreme bouts of partying and doesn’t reflect the reality that classes really do start in full swing. As much as we’d like to believe it, professors don’t just waste a week of valuable class time doing mindless activities. Yes, the first day of class was mostly just introductions and going over the syllabus, but most of my courses meet three times per week. By Thursday, I found myself already struggling to juggle my assignments. I have a two-page paper due every English class, I had a history quiz on Friday, and yet I was still going out every night. By the end of sylly week, I felt as if the entire system was designed to work against me. My friends were already skipping classes because of how tired they were. The entire week made me feel as if I was starting the semester off on the wrong foot.
I have definitely learned some valuable lessons from sylly week. For starters, it is not mandatory to attend every single party. Even if my friends are going, or even if it’s a chance to bond with my new sorority sisters, I have to remember that there will be other parties next week. And if I do plan on going out, it’s important to manage my time efficiently during the day. Text friends and make plans to go to the library together. You will motivate each other to complete your work before going out. It’s also important to do the homework the first week because it is an indication of how hard the class may be, which definitely influenced my decisions to add/drop courses. Probably the most important lesson I learned is to GET SLEEP! Take a nap before you go out, drink water, and engage in self-care.
There will always be another sylly week, or some random stretch of time where you seem to not have any work. Do not let your FOMO overrule the fact that school is important, and again, there will always be another sweaty frat party next weekend.
Cover Photo: Sydney Gallison