Sorry that you have to deal with all of that - it doesn't sound like fun. If I could be so bold to share 2 thoughts I was having though...
1 - You said it turns out this thing wasn't worth flipping out about. I have been finding out lately that actually most things in life aren't worth flipping out about. Someone said to me yesterday "I have been through so many life threatening and dangerous situations in my life and none of them have ever happened to me." I know it's not always that easy... but if it's any help.
2 - I have found that in hindsight school was actually a lot easier than the real world can be. Somehow it just feels worse at the time. We did projects that we had a week to work on in school that I have a half day or day to do at my job now, and it's actually easier than when I was in school. It will all come together, I'm sure!!
Well, I've always figured that the "real-world" is going to suck worse than college, but at least there you're getting paid instead of paying to be overworked... It will all come together eventually, I guess, I just can't see it.
I work randomly as an adjunct professor...I will say that some specific requirements of the course are mandatory and I cannot waive the requirement for any student or change the details on the requirement. For each course we have 3 mandatory "signature" assignments, these are non-negotiable for me and the student. We also must also incorporate a few additional assignments depending on the course.
I am a believer in field work, for my graduate degree I did over 1000 hours of non-paid volunteer based work relative to my chosen area of study. It sucked...full time student, full time employee, and doing 1000 hours of volunteer work. The thing is...it was hard, but you learn how to manage your time and you get a lot of first hand experience and knowledge that you would never get sitting in a classroom. Class work only barely skims the surface of what you will need to learn to be proficient at a skilled profession...first hand experience is where you learn. Even if your volunteer work is not specifically what you want to ultimately do you can still take a lot of experience from that and apply it in the future.
I understand that courses are REQUIRED to have something to grade (Otherwise, my entire CHL137 course would have been just random Harry Potter discussions), but the "Service-Learning" wasn't anywhere in the course description. That's mostly what gets me, I guess. It was sort of sprung on us out of nowhere.
I know classwork itself does nothing really to prepare you for anything, but I don't feel that the projects we're doing is really valuable experience anyway. One of our options would have had us answering phones, "fundraiser prospecting," and stuffing envelopes, and the other (the one I switched to) has us meeting with some random international student once a week to (as in my case) bake cookies.
I guess I've always had this vision in my head of myself doing some sort of solitary, mind-numbing data-entry for the rest of my life, none of which really requires a whole lot of "experience" dealing with much.