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When I was a kid I used to love the first day of school. It was a new and exciting experience that never seemed to get old. Syllabus week in college is stereotyped to be the same experience. It’s this little cushion period where you get ready to actually start class the next week.

But, that isn’t how it is at all. The first week of school is a completely different experience. Next, to finals week I think that syllabus week is the most stressful time of the year. This is because for a short period of time all of your balls are in the air.

  • You aren’t sure how your teachers grade or what their expectations are
  • You can’t prepare for homework early so you have to rush to make sure you make the due date
  • Clubs and activities are starting up and they have unique due dates as well
  • You aren’t fully adjusted to your new routine. You still have to wait to build stamina back up to get into the swing of things.
  • And if you are like most college students you still have to work throughout this stressful time period.

Because of this, you feel like you are weeks behind where you should be even though it’s physically impossible. Personally, this week I found myself waking up early and staying up late to make sure that my agenda is organized and my homework is done. But, even still, my clubs and activities are still woefully neglected.

Don’t get me wrong it’s such a privilege to be able to go to college. I realize that especially now that I’m in the last semester of my senior year. A lot of people aren’t able to go to college and plenty of others who start college aren’t able to finish because of factors outside of their control.

But, I think it’s important to note that the problem of elitism in the college community is systematic, racial, and does not fall on most college students’ heads. It also doesn’t strip away a student’s right to feel overwhelmed by the college experience.

And I felt really overwhelmed this week.

I like many other college students are finally through syllabus week. But, we still instinctively know that the grind isn’t over. This weekend isn’t for fun. Instead, there is homework to catch up on, work to go to, meetings to plan and other personal activities to attend to. But, I implore you that this weekend while you try to get caught up take some time for yourself. Working yourself to the point of exhaustion and anxiety doesn’t mean that you are doing your best. It just means that you aren’t taking care of yourself and I’m certain that your work will reflect that.

Take a nap. Binge watch a series. Hang out with friends (make sure to keep social distancing in mind). Or see your family. Do little things for yourself in between homework sessions because you deserve it. The start of a school year is stressful but you are able to overcome it.

Destiny is currently enrolled in Columbia University's MFA Writing program. She is a national writer at Her Campus and the former editor-in-chief of Her Campus Rowan. She likes thrifting, romance novels, cooking shows, and can often be found binging documentaries.
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