Thursday, August 30, 2007

Should Probably Switch to Decaf

School has started in full this week and I am already swimming in reading to do. Choir practice also started up again last night, but I didn’t get home until 10 PM. I think I’m going to have to give up my Wednesday night practices, at least for a while, until I start getting the swing of things.

I am highly anxious and feel very overwhelmed. Even though it has just been a week, already I seriously doubt how well I’m going to be doing this semester. And I’m only taking TWO classes! Hopefully, after the three day weekend, I’ll be all caught up and won’t feel so frantic about everything. My boss is being really supportive of me and I thank my lucky stars at night that she is around and being so encouraging. She’s part of the reason I decided to go back to school right now – if I had any other boss, the option probably wouldn’t have even been on the table.

Part of my anxiety is related to the fact that I started out this week with no sleep anyway, just worrying about things. Going to school is hard when you know you have a mortgage to pay. I listen to all of the students in my classes talk about their schedules and I feel highly envious – although I definitely wouldn’t want to be 18 years old again, that’s for sure! (BTW, not to be catty or anything, but some women seem to come to class WAY overdressed, over-made up and over-accessorized. My word, you’re not going to a club! You’re going to kill yourself on those heels! Besides, it’s only 10 AM! . . . yes, I am a cranky old lady . . .)

For my Econ class, they are going to have discussion sections led by TA’s where we will be required to turn in our weekly homework assignments. However, they did not include those dates and times in the original scheduling for the class. I am very concerned that these sessions will be scheduled on days and times that I will not be able to be on campus. I am lucky enough to get Tuesday and Friday mornings off – I really don’t feel comfortable taking off more time for this. Also, the professor’s office hours are on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-4. Again, not very helpful – though I am sure that I could probably make an appointment if need be . . .

Little things like this are freaking me out. I want to take advantage of as many opportunities as I can to master the material, but it seems that I might not be able to do so and it upsets me greatly. I really, really want to do well . . . I know I have the capacity to do that, but I guess I’m so stressed out that all I can see are roadblocks in my way.

I need to chill out. I’m hoping to do something fun on Saturday to get my mind off of all this . . . stuff.

I hope that the rest of you are not as stressed out as I am . . .


Tree of Knowledge said...

You're going to be okay.

The prof will totally let you make appointments because you can't make office hours. That is a common problem for everyone. I almost flipped out when a student told me she skipped another class to meet with me one day. I sent her to class and told her we'd reschedule. Office hours are usually scheduled to be convenient for the prof for doing in-office work because students tend not to drop by anyway.

My guess is that the study sessions aren't on the syllabus because the TAs didn't have their schedules completely worked out when the syllabus had to be copied. TAs new to the school sometimes can't register until the week before classes start, and if the profs are not doing the copies themselves, syllabi are due for copying the same week. And if there is a conflict, just tell the prof and offer to turn homework in early if need be (that always goes a long way when negotiating schedules).

The biggest thing to time management is learning how to read. Rarely do you need to read every word for class. This is something that I didn't learn until grad school. Before lectures, read for the big picture (concepts and keywords). The use the lectures to help you figure out what to scrutinize. Write all over your books so you don't have to reread to find information, and keep track of any questions that you have as you read.

There's all kinds of good study skills info online & this site looks pretty standard:

Anyway, once you get into the rhythm of the semester, you'll be fine. Good luck!

CS said...

Definitely ask for what you need from the professor - if you are polite and willing to flex a bit, I bet he'll accomodate you.
For very different reasons, I have been totally stressed out this week, too. Maybe it will soon ease up for us both.

virginia gal said...

ha ha - I'm LOL'ing about the overdressing, yes some of these teeny-boppers are definitely coming dressed more for a party than an ECON class Thursday morning.
Also have you noticed with these kids (they are like kids to me), how self-absored they are, (plus they are ALWAYS on the cell phone or checking the cell phone) they honestly think the world revolves around!
Finally you'll do are experiencing what I experience at the beginning of a semester, the anxiety of all this work ahead, take a deep breath, you'll get through it. Heck if I can do it, anyone can.
Sending you good luck thoughts!

Random Kath said...

Tree: Thanks so much for the advice! I think I was just freaked out and overwhelmed with everything the first week. I checked out the study skills website you referred to and saw that it was a good refresher.

Tree & CS: Yes, I'll definitely try to make an appointment with my prof soon - I have some very random questions that I need to work through pertaining to a topic we're discussing right now.

VA Gal: I'm taking a deep breath right now . . . ;-)