Syllabus Week: How to Start off on the Right Foot

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Syllabus week- also known as the first week of college classes. It’s no surprise that the first week of classes is all about introductions and learning the expectations for each course, so there usually isn’t much homework assigned. Use this valuable time to set some goals for yourself, as well as to get organized for the semester ahead! As classes begin and workloads increase, it’s important to start the semester off on the right foot. I’m a pretty organized person, so before every semester, I color code and label just about everything. Whatever style of organization is best for you, go for it!


Create a schedule for yourself.

Every semester, I create a color-coded class schedule that allows me to visualize the blocks of time that I’m in class compared to the times when I’m not in class. I print this out to put on my bulletin board above my desk and in my planner, which also is a must in college! Adding a picture of your schedule to your photos on your phone allows easy access to your class location. Eliminate the hassle of carrying around a printed copy of your schedule!

Use a planner.

College gets crazy at times, and it’s pretty easy to over-book yourself with appointments, study times, class, work and clubs. In order to keep everything organized, I use a planner on a daily basis. I prefer a real paper-and-pencil planner, but there are many apps that would allow you to achieve the same goal! I frequently joke with family and friends that if my planner would to ever go missing, I would have no clue what my schedule would be!


Get to know your professors and your new classes.

Read your syllabus for each class so you know the expectations for the semester. Many professors have preset dates for tests that are included in the syllabus they hand out. Be sure to mark these dates in a planner so you know well in advance when to start studying! If you have any questions about an assignment or the course, be sure to email or mention it in person to your professor. Professors are extremely accommodating and will be sure to keep you in the loop!

Look for ways to get involved on campus.

Do some research on what clubs and student organizations are available on your campus. It’s easiest to get involved in an organization at the beginning of semesters, since there also will be new members just joining! I found a niche in UW-Stevens Point’s Love Your Melon Campus Crew. There’s likely a student organization or club for something you’re already passionate about! Go out there and explore!


As syllabus week begins, be sure to get yourself ready for the semester ahead by putting some of these organizational tools to use! Before courses begin and life starts getting hectic, plan out your semester so you have the most organized and smooth semester as possible!


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