Syllabus shock–I first heard the term from my cousin Sara when I was a freshman in college. She warned me to never read the whole syllabus on the first day of a new class in a new semester or else I’d go into shock. Did I listen to her?
Every semester, I’d freak out about my ability to get everything done for a class. I’ve come to know this about myself, and even point it out in my sister Molly, who responds the same way as me: “I will never ever get this done! It’s too hard! I can’t do it! Oh my gosh I’m going to die!…..” [three weeks later…] “Oh that? Yeah–I got an ‘A’.”
So why am I talking about syllabus shock you ask? I’ve been out of school since I finished my Masters in 2008.
Well, I think I’m hitting the syllabus shock of motherhood.
It has been building for a while, but the other morning, I just broke down. I haven’t sobbed like that in a long, long time. My poor husband. He thought it was just another normal morning, he’s sitting with his laptop on the couch, and his wife comes over to give him a hug … and starts to bawl. I mean, choking, gasping, coughing, running nose, lots and lots of tears–the whole nine yards.
It’s syllabus shock. I just don’t deal with the unknown well. At all. In any way, shape or form. And there’s just no way to know until this little one makes his way into the world; until then, all I can do is attempt to prepare, attempt to put structure in place with work, attempt to ready myself … heck, this is even worse than syllabus shock! But the results will be oh so much more rewarding that those papers and projects I used to stress over. THIS is worth my dramatic early morning sobbing and my intense mental and emotional preparation.
I figured I’d conquered my syllabus shock back in grad school … and I did, in the educational setting. But in life? I’m still frozen stiff at the thought of the unknown, but I know I’ll get through it just fine.