So the good news is that the first two days of class – syllabus days – require very little use of our dwindling post-vacation energy.
The bad news is that, year after year, the simplicity of these days easily fools us. There are definitely pros and cons to the first few days of the semester, and the obvious ones need to be recognized for us to finally beat the downside of Syllabus Day…
Pro: Class doesn’t last as long as it normally will.
Professors will most likely hand out syllabuses, go over them with us, maybe assign homework, and then we are set free. That three-hour, once-a-week class will only be forty-five minutes and life will be wonderful.
Con: We forget that class doesn’t last as long as it normally will.
This con is most noticeable if you have class both before and after the Tuesday-Thursday free period. After Syllabus Day, you will tell yourself that there will always be time for a relaxing, lengthy lunch before you go to class immediately after free period. But what is more likely to happen is a long wait for food that you will scarf down before having to go to class.
Pro: We put those OCD organization skills to use.
Syllabuses will include test dates and when papers are due. We’ll break out those planners and highlighters and take note of all these crucial dates.
Con: Knowing so much in advance can be stressful.
Sure, we’ll probably brush off that mid-semester week full of due dates…until it finally comes around and we hate ourselves for not paying more attention to it earlier.
Pro: This burst of productivity feels nice after a month of doing nothing.
We all start feeling a little bored once Christmas and New Year’s have passed and there is no shame in wanting structure to our days again. Those first few days of a new semester will be a welcomed change of pace.
Con: Appreciating the productivity wears off after these first few days.
Well, maybe conquering the cons of Syllabus Day is impossible after all…Maybe next year?