The first week of the fall semester is an especially charged time. There are all the practical, logistical, technological things to deal with, like changed classroom assignments, projector equipment malfunctions, and photocopier breakdowns. You might not have gotten enough sleep, and your routine just changed. But in addition, almost everyone’s emotional reactions are a bit amplified right now. Some of the emotions I’ve observed or experienced, both as a student and as faculty, during the first week include:
- Anticipation: Who’s going to be in my classes? How will things go this term?
- Regret: I wish it was still summer. I wish I’d worn something different. I wish I’d read the books already.
- Happiness: I’m glad to see my friends again. I’m glad to be at school again. I’m glad to be doing this work.
- Nervousness: Where is my classroom? What will my teachers/students/colleagues think of me? What if I forget something important?
- Relief: I got through that class/encounter/day/week! I didn’t spill anything/embarrass myself/antagonize anyone.
You’re not alone in feeling one or more of these things. In fact, almost everyone you meet is also a bit hyped up or nervous or distracted. Just remembering that can help you get through the chaos of the first week.
What are the key emotions of your first week? Let us know in the comments!
[Creative Commons licensed photo by flickr user frankjuarez]