Don’t @ Me: I Hate the Start of the Semester

I Wish the Start of School Didn’t Make me Overly Anxious

It is normal to feel anxious when starting a new semester. Graphic Nadine Abdellati

The start of the semester is never easy, no matter how many times you’ve gone through it.

After five years of being a part-time student, I’m still not used to it. I dread it actually. I often find myself walking in zigzags in the Hall building while looking for my classrooms. I somehow manage to circle around the same area of the right floor without noticing, while realizing that the direction of the signs is misleading. I stop in my tracks, feeling frustrated as if I was wandering through a maze.

I never want to walk in late, so getting lost is never fun. What’s worse is having 60 new faces stare back at me as I enter the room and awkwardly make my way towards a seat.

I also never know what to expect on the first day. Being as anxious as I am, I repeatedly check the ratings of my professors before class. I like to have an idea of the professor’s teaching approach and workload to know what I am getting myself into. Regardless of how high the professor’s overall rating is though, I’m never prepared when the professor unexpectedly instructs everyone to introduce themselves to the class—my worst fear coming to life. I never know what to say. I scramble through my head thinking of something interesting to say about myself, but the only thing going through my mind is my nagging anxiety.

For some reason, the first class always feels like the longest, especially if there’s a lecture immediately after the syllabus. I immediately lose focus. I just hear students flicking their pens and typing endlessly on their laptops. Sometimes I see a student’s legs shaking under their seat or hear their fingers drumming on the table, only adding to my discomfort. At that point, all I want is to call it a day. I daydream about being home and consider whether or not I’ll drop the course. This happens every time. It never gets old.

The start of the semester is when I feel the most anxious. It’s worse than the stress I feel during midterms or finals. It’s a period of the unknown for me and I don’t like that at all. It is my personal hell.