Martz: Things to do after the first week of classes

The first week of classes is done and you may be feeling a bit (or incredibly) overwhelmed. There are a few things you can do to reign in the anxiety and restrain the craziness.

The first thing you should do is pull out those syllabi, and if you’ve misplaced them, get them from Canvas. Then, sit down with your calendar of choice, whether that’s a big semester calendar, a small planner or your phone, and enter everything. This includes things you think might be unimportant or that you’ll need to be reminded of later. It’s good to have one common resource for all of the events in your life. Then, add all of your other activities and things you are signed up to participate in.

Once that’s done, take a look at your life. There will be some weeks where you have three papers and a test, and there will be weeks that are more relaxed. Weeks where it seems like the world might cave in? Highlight them. Pick a color and highlight the weeks where everything is crazy in one color, the weeks where everything is calm in another. Set yourself reminders for a week before both the demanding and lenient weeks, just so you can keep track.

If you get one of those emptier periods, be sure to capitalize. Take advantage of the free time so you aren’t overloaded when things kick back up again.

Use your spare time to re-organize your room. At this point you might have finally realized that putting your textbooks under your bed because you’ve got some cool succulents on your desk is actually way more trouble than it’s worth. Or maybe you constantly keep misplacing your keys and a hook by the door might be helpful. Perhaps you usually get changed in the corner of the room across from your laundry hamper. Wouldn’t it be good if you moved it?

Aside from your room, you can also re-configure your eating schedule. Maybe you thought you’d have time to grab lunch during your 15 minute break between classes, but it turns out it usually takes you 13 minutes just to walk to the other classroom. Try eating before or maybe even pack a lunch.

But be sure you know how you’ll manage to pack a lunch. Will you do it the night before? Morning of? Use that new calendar you now have at your disposal. Once it becomes routine you can stop setting an alarm every evening for 10 p.m. For now, mid-afternoon you will thank you.

You’ll also thank yourself down the road if you email your professors. The week is over, you have a taste for the class, but if you have questions, comments, concerns or conflicts, tell your professor now rather than later. This will help ensure that you don’t have problems later, and it will also show them that you’re on top of your game and ready to start the year.

Finally, once you’ve done all of these tasks, take a nap. Getting everything ready for, and getting through, the first week of classes is daunting for anyone, not just first-year students. You’re in a new residence hall, you’re with new people, you have a new schedule and you have to walk through the Case Quad multiple times while enduring the August heat. Give yourself a break, watch a movie, read a book or just eat some ice cream. Never take non-busy weekends for granted and enjoy them as much as you possibly can.

Paulina Martz is a third-year student studying theater and psychology. Someday she will actually listen to the advice she gives and take a nap on Sundays.