Syllabus Week Stress

courtesy of

Nicole Casal, Editor-in-Chief

As a welcome back to campus, students are hit with a wave of anxiety and panic as they see the mountain of work ahead of them during syllabus week. While the obvious tips for dealing with stress come to mind like practicing meditation or exercising, at a time of panic, practical advice is what matters. 

1. Plan out your semester

While buying a planner can seem childish, it helps you layout your coursework for the semester right in front of your eyes. Take time during syllabus week to collect all of your syllabi and add tests and due dates into your pre-made planner. The current trend in planning is bullet journaling where you can create the layout to cater to your needs. While most creative people might prefer a bullet journal, having a concise location for you to fill in and check off periodically will help you alleviate some stress. 

2. Use free time to catch up on upcoming assignments 

Instead of scrolling through Instagram or Reddit, work on your pending assignments. Having your laptop and a notepad on you at all times aids in executing this tip. Working on a paper or reading a book for a few minutes each break that you get in your day makes the task at hand less daunting than sitting at a desk for two hours to work on it.  

3. Purchase or rent out your textbooks ASAP 

This follows the second step. If you have free time but have not purchased your textbooks yet, it will be hard to catch up on assignments. While some professors post the required reading list weeks in advance, some will wait until the first day of class. If you have trouble shelling out 500 dollars for a textbook you are sure will only collect dust in your dorm room, rent them out through Amazon or ValoreBooks. Additionally, you should check Rate My Professor to see if fellow students used their textbooks. 

4. Eliminate distractions 

Apps like SelfControl and Freedom allow you to block social media apps and websites for the set amount of time that you will need to finish your assignments. With the newest iPhone update, you can see how many hours you spend on average on social media platforms. This has forced users to realize their borderline addition to these apps and how much they could have accomplished in the time that they mindlessly scrolled. Finding a quiet location, like a library or coffee shop, will help you focus on the tasks that you need to complete before the timed block is over. 

5. Know when to step away

Although it is important to dedicate time sans electronic distractions to perfecting your assignments, it is equally as important to know when to step away. This helps in avoiding tunnel vision. Your brain can become worn out and you won’t be performing at your maximum capacity. Use this break to relax and practice self-care. When you come back to your project feeling refreshed, you will have a new outlook on the best way to complete the assignment.