The first day of school is an anxiety-inducing experience for many reasons. Not only is the academic school year, and thus homework, starting again, but students finally get to experience their first day of the courses they had been expecting since the year before.
That being said, the existing add/drop period of one week is not enough time to decide whether or not a student’s selected courses are the best fit. The first week of school is already eventful enough with seeing friends again and trying to stay prepared for class. Students do not want to be concerned and doubting if they are taking the courses best suited for them.
For the most part, the first week of school does not really showcase the everyday aspects of a class. For the first two days of class, teachers review the syllabus to give an overview of the course. Going over a syllabus is a must; it is one of the best ways for students to know what they are getting themselves into. However, that only leaves three days for students to decide if the class is really the one for them to take.
Many times, teachers do not actually begin teaching class material like they would throughout the regular school year until as late as the second week of school, once the add/drop period has already finished. This is especially a problem for students who are on the fence about taking an honors or AP course because if they realize the class is too advanced for them, they have to wait until halfway through the first semester to drop a level.
There was a time that the add/drop period was two weeks; by the end of the second week, few students were still making edits to their schedules, but they still had the option. Now students are rushed to make decisions that will affect them for the rest of the year. More time is necessary for such commitments.