“Ice breakers are my favorite thing in the entire world” said no one ever. Another syllabus week here and gone and I find myself wondering why we call it “syllabus week” as if that means it’s easy.
I’m sure it used to be a very relaxed week with plenty of down time, but now professors like to assign tons of work during your first week to get a jump start on the year.
First year students usually take syllabus week to get into the swing of things and get used to their schedules. While elder students probably should be participating in getting ahead on homework and preparing for a great year full of academic success, that typically doesn’t happen.
Upper classmen usually take this week as a time to catch up with friends and stay out late. This year that behavior is particularly risky, but in other years it wasn’t the smartest option either.
If the weeks’ worth of homework dumped on students by professors isn’t enough to pack in over the weekend, most decide that it’s also a great weekend to go out and forget many responsibilities including homework. This in turn makes a terrible first impression and sets the tone for the year.
I’m not qualified to preach on setting good sleeping habits, as I too enjoy a good night out during syllabus week. However, there are benefits to getting sleep and setting up a solid schedule. Getting into those habits early on in the year can make for a less stressful outcome.
Gideon Dunster, a University of Washington doctoral student in biology said, “disrupted circadian rhythms (while sleeping) can adversely affect digestion, heart rate, body temperature, immune system function, attention span and mental health.”
There are many disadvantages to this semester already, so getting into good habits as soon into the semester as possible will be have tremendous benefits.