Saturday, July 9, 2016

Ways to be Organized in College

In college I've found that it is super important to be organized. Unlike in high school when your teachers give you gentle reminders of when your next test is and class time to work on your projects, everything is up to you in college! You have to keep track of dates for all your classes, make the time to study, and set up group meeting times. It can be overwhelming to keep track of everything and stay organized, even if you generally consider yourself an organized person. I thought I'd share my best tips to help you stay organized in college now, so you'll be fully prepared when classes start!

Ways to Be Organized in College

Keep copies of your syllabi.

In high school you may have been able to take the syllabus, have your parent sign a copy, and toss it, but do not do that in college! If your professor doesn't give you a paper copy of the syllabus in class, take the time to find it on your class site and print it off. The syllabus will have all the important info like a class calendar, grading scale, attendance policy, and office hours.

Use a planner. 

I have no idea how anyone can make it through college without a planner of some sort. Whether it's a traditional planner, the calendar app on your phone, or a bullet journal - as long as it helps you stay on top of all those readings, assignments, papers, projects, and tests.

Write down due dates. 

In that planner make sure you write down due dates. I always write the due date and a reminder a week before it's due.

Keep a folder/binder for each class.

To keep all my class papers organized I have a separate folder for each class. Generally a folder works to keep the class syllabus, notes for the current exam, and any handouts for the current section. If the class is cumulative or requires a lot of note taking, I find a binder works better to hold everything. Whether you use a folder or a binder, I find it really helps to keep your notes and papers separate for each class so you don't have to look through a huge stack of notes from all your classes to find what you need.

Pack your bag the night before. 

Your classes probably change every other day (MWF and TR classes, plus maybe a few once a week classes). I don't see the point in killing my back by keeping all my books in my backpack at all times. I pack my bag with the notebooks, folders, and books I'll need for class each night. Even if you keep everything in your bag, it's still a good idea to double check that you have everything the night before. You'd hate to get to class and realize you forgot your paper at home!

Create a study routine.

It is really important to make time for studying in college. It's important that you study a little bit each day because it helps you learn the information better and will make the week of your test much less stressful. The easiest way to make sure you study a little bit each day is to create a study routine. 

The way I tend to structure my study routine is by having an hour each day that I use to focus on studying for one class. So if I have 6 classes, Monday I might study English for one hour, Tuesday I'll study Economics for one hour and Government for an hour since I have less classes. If I have a night class on Wednesday I'll just make sure I do what has to get done that day and take some time to relax, Thursday I'll study for my Spanish class for an hour and spend another hour studying for my Literature class and then Friday I'll spend an hour studying for Biology. Hopefully all of that makes sense! Basically I work my study routine around my schedule so I'm not overwhelmed with studying on one day.

Those are my best tips for staying organized in college. I hope they help you out! If you have any other college organization tips, mention them in the comments!