Monday, September 3, 2018

15 Tips to Stay Organized During College

Every time a new school year starts it always takes a while to get completely adjusted. Each semester brings a change of courses with new students and professors. These classes are either electives or requirements that count towards your major, and it’s easy to fall behind with schoolwork if it’s not managed from the start.  Starting off the year organized is my best approach at acing all of your classes. If you begin the semester with a clear head and organized supplies/assignments, you’re preparing yourself for success. From supplies to the best approaches of a student, here are a few of the ways I stay organized during college.

Buy a Planner
If you’re anything like me, then you’ve been using a planner since middle school. Planners are the most efficient piece of school supplies you can purchase for yourself. During the year, I track all of my assignments, classes, and extracurricular activities on a weekly basis by using my planner. Most planners come with other useful tools like a notes section, list of holidays, or stickers for bookmarking special events.

Use a Separate Notebook for Every Class
I find that purchasing and using a separate notebook for all of my classes keeps me very organized. This way, all of my notes for the course are together in one place and I don’t have to go searching through various binders or other notebooks for the materials I need. If you have the choice between binders or notebooks, I recommend notebooks because you take a lot of notes in college courses.

Use Separate Folders
Make sure to have folders for every course. I keep all of my relevant information for each course together so I know where to find it during each class. I had plenty of friends who just used one folder or a binder but I think it’s much easier to have separate ones to identify the class and materials.

Keep your Desk Clean
I didn’t do much of my homework in my dorm room, but when I did, I appreciated having a clean desk. I kept all of my books and school supplies in the drawers of my desk instead of littered on top of it and fit what I could inside pencil cases or drawer organizers. Not only did this improve the appearance of my room but it improved the capability to find items much easier.

I may have a slight obsession with colored highlighters. During my classes, I highlighted information I found important during lectures so it stood out while I’m studying and I can easily find it. Highlighters are also helpful when identifying multiple types of important facts during a lecture that need to be separated.

Keep a Neat Desktop
Keeping your laptop clean is just as important as having a mess-free desk. Laptops that are scattered with various photos and files are overwhelming and difficult to use. I try and delete any of the files I no longer need or transfer the important files to my folders for safekeeping.

Buy an External Harddrive
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have an external harddrive to back all of your work up. Last year, my old laptop crashed two weeks before finals in December, and I was in a panic until I was able to back up all of my information on my external harddrive. An external harddrive is also helpful when storing old files you don’t necessarily need at the moment but may want to hold onto for future reference.

Use a Backpack
I saw a lot of students carrying around handbags or totes instead of backpacks during college. However, I find that a backpack is the best approach. Backpacks are sturdier and can fit more items inside of them to bring to class. They also have various compartments for storing items so you can keep the items you need for each class together in one place.

Use a Calendar
Even though I had a planner, I used a giant desk calendar too. Giant desk calendars are another useful way to keep track of assignments and events and it is portrayed right in front of you. Since I often looked at my desk, I never missed any of the information I kept on my calendar.

Sticky Notes
I also found that sticky notes can be helpful reminders. If you have a pressing deadline for an assignment or a meeting coming up, it doesn’t hurt to write yourself an additional reminder and stick it to your desk, wall or even inside your planner.

Color Code
This is another important life hack. Color coding information and supplies will keep it well-organized and you’ll be able to remember what each color means much easier. All of your supplies will be the same color and it will be easy to grab and go to class with the right items.

Start Assignments Early
I can’t relay enough how important this tip is. I get stressed very easy once assignments start piling up so I like to get a head start on my work as soon as possible. Take advantage of free time or nights when you have less work to do because you will be thankful that you chose to work ahead after several others are assigned and due on the same day. 

Index Cards
I study best after taking down the information and continuously repeating it, either verbally or by rewriting it. Index cards allow you to organize categories of information you may need to memorize for tests or quizzes but they are actually fun to make. They’re portable and can be color-coded by subject or chapter. If you choose to use index cards for tests and quizzes throughout the semester, you can reuse them for midterms and finals!

Utilize Academic Centers
In my college, there were several academic centers you could visit for extra help. For example, I had a writing center where you could get your papers read over or get help starting an essay and a math center where someone would assist you with your Stats homework. If you’re falling behind or simply want to stay ahead of the game, you should take full advantage of any academic resources offered at your college or university.

Visit your Advisor
My advisor knew me very because I constantly visited hin in his office when I had questions regarding assignments or courses to take. Advisors are an additional academic resource offered to students to help them succeed during academic studies. If you’re looking for additional academic help, your advisor is the person to speak to.

 Thanks so much for reading, and good luck with a new school year! 

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