5 things we love to hate about the first week of class
By Alison Wagener
After a much-needed break from writing papers and doing research, it’s finally time to return to the best place in the world: UW-Eau Claire! But, we know it’s not all fun and games. When it comes to the first week of class, this list has the best of the worst: what we all love to hate.
8 a.m. classes
Why is the sun up at this ungodly hour? Why are there people actually smiling right now? Why did I hate myself enough to sign up for this? Maybe I can still graduate on time if I take this as a summer class instead?
We’ve all been there. We’ll all continue to be there. Getting up for 8 a.m.’s — especially after a summer full of late alarms and even later nights — makes dropping out and working at a downtown coffee shop for the rest of your life look pretty good. We know. At least they bring us all together on Yik Yak.
Getting your books
Getting your books can be the most evil of all necessary evils during the first week of class. First, you have to make your way to Davies and pray that the line isn’t as long as it was last semester. I mean really, how bad can it be? Worse. So much worse than your worst expectations. But you can’t give up now — you know it’s not going to get any better — so you get in line and get comfy. The next day, when you wake up to find yourself still in line, you get your turn to wander through the maze of bookshelves to find the textbooks you hope to [insert chosen higher power here] are the right ones for your classes, because there’s no way you’re going to do this again. Then, it’s finally time to check out. Cue more waiting in line, swiping your Blugold, and ba-da-boom, you’re out of there. On the bright side, you can avoid the line by ordering your books ahead of time, and at least we have free book rentals. (Thanks, University Bookstore!)
Whether it’s because of a 30-page syllabus, homework on the first day, or even *gasp* required D2L discussion posts, it’s almost certain that at least one of your new professors is going to rub you the wrong way this week. Give them a break — it’s their first week back too, you know. You’re going to love them by the second or third week anyway. You always do. With any luck they’ll love you, too.
Spending literally all of your declining dollars
Do you know what sounds like a great idea on the first day of class? Rewarding yourself at Einstein’s with a large caramel macchiato with an extra shot of espresso just for getting yourself to campus on time! And that upgraded sandwich at Erbs & Gerbs looks really great… of course you can afford it — you have like an entire semester’s worth of declining dollars left! 4 days later you’re broke, dreaming of the luxury that once was your meal plan money. Ignorance is bliss, but rationing your declining dollars is even better. You’ll thank me when you need 5 cups of coffee a day during finals week.
So, you’ve stood in line for your books, taken a shower (maybe — we hope) at god-knows-how-early this morning, and gotten your butt all the way up two flights of stairs in Hibbard at 8 o’clock in the morning so you can sit in a sweaty heap of caffeine-fueled semi-consciousness and try your best to avoid making eye contact with anyone in a 15-foot radius. (Unless you’re a friendly, extroverted person. You probably love today.) Congratulations. You made it. All of this to spend 50 minutes listening to pages upon pages of reading assignments and research papers that we all know you’ve already started procrastinating in your head.
Despite all of this, we know that the first week of class can also be the best.
And we know that you love it, too! There’s hopefully no homework, it’s one of the few times of the school year you can actually study on the campus mall (winter is coming), and it’s great being able to see all of your friends again — and even make some new ones. Also: warm weather! Walking to the Farmer’s Market! Flowers everywhere on campus! Hanging out in Davies! Being able to walk to class without a coat! Caf brownies! BLUGOLDS EVERYWHERE!
Starting the semester at UW-Eau Claire can be a magical experience, full of new connections, learning some amazing things, and weather permitting, even some tubing on the Chip. What could be better?