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Kristen Bryant / Her Campus
Life > Academics

A Stress-Free(ish) Syllabus Week

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at IUP chapter.

If you read my first article last school year, you know that I have a bad habit of stressing out during syllabus week. And by bad habit, I mean to the point where my roommate tells me my stress is literally causing them to stress.

With that being said, I recognized that this jumble of stress and anxiety- although positive in that it motivated me to organize myself for the semester- was rubbing off on others. I figured there are definitely more proactive ways to transition back into academics after a restful summer than going into full-blown panic mode. 

I thought of David from Schitt’s Creek planning his store’s “soft launch,” and thought, that’s what I was going to do. Syllabus week did not have to be so stressful. It did not have to mean calling my mom crying about the work I am already behind on (yes, I think I’ve done that.) That is not to say I’d take extreme advantage of having nearly no assignments, but I could at least allow myself to enjoy my first week in Indiana after three months away.

Taking advantage of the fact that the clubs and sport I am involved in decided not to meet during the first week, I allowed myself to spend time with friends I had not seen. I enjoyed my mornings, whether watching cartoons and sipping coffee with my roommate, doing ten minutes of yoga, or going to the gym with my teammate.

With only three classes this fall, I took time to prioritize what I would like to invest more energy into, as well as how I would like to limit my time. The hardest part will be learning to say no, which has definitely been something I’m getting better at. 

A fun project was decorating my room to make it feel like home, printing out pictures from my summer adventures in Costa Rica and mounting them on my walls. My roommate’s new cat Pepper and I got well acquainted, and she’s even at the foot of my bed while I type now.

Realizing that some stress can be controllable was empowering to allow me to change how I approached syllabus week. Instead of focusing on the impending doom of assignments and exams, I realized the most I can do is take everything day by day, week by week, doing the best that I can, even if my best may look different every day. 

Tatiana Cleffi is a writer for the Her Campus chapter at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP,) who enjoys writing about her personal experiences, particularly in regards to her Latin culture. She is a senior nursing student who is eager to graduate in December 2023. Tatiana is passionate about bridging the language gap in the healthcare setting. She studied medical Spanish abroad to become better equipped to provide nursing care to a diverse range of patients. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys visiting her husband in Costa Rica, going to the beach, singing on the worship team at her church, and eating pumpkin pie.