Going to college is an exciting time in your life. You're going to make new friends, experience different happenings, and have a chance to study areas of interest to you in-depth. But college also gives you time to start figuring out how to balance the stresses of a career along with the joys of your personal life. It's important to stay organized, so you can get the most out of your overall college experience instead of rushing from one class to another in a frenzy. Whether this is your first semester or you're in your final year of college, here are some organization tips and tricks to stay on top of your academics while still enjoying all the adventures that await you in college.
1. Stick to a planner
Digital planners are popular, and for good reason. They're convenient, portable, and can be linked to multiple devices. But a lot of people have a hard time getting rid of their paper planner, especially as they transition to college. Pick one option for a planner and stick with it. Something will be forgotten if you keep going back and forth between a digital planner and a paper one. So pick the right type of planner for your lifestyle, and stick to it.
2. Schedule in fun
You probably already know that you should schedule in important due dates and test dates, but people rarely talk about scheduling in down time. It can be tempting to think you have to work all the time when you're in college, but this could result in burn out or spontaneous moments when you blow academics to let off some steam. When an invitation comes along for a social or extracurricular event you want to attend, go ahead and accept it. Schedule it into your planner the way you would a test or paper due date. This helps you keep track of your social events and gives you a chance to figure out how you're going to get your school work done in a timely manner so you can attend that social event.
3. Wake up on time every day
This can be a tough one, but it's a good habit to work towards. Getting up at the same time every day, even if you only have morning classes a few days a week, gives your body a chance to get into a routine so you can stick to a schedule. And contrary to how it sounds, this doesn't mean you need to get up at the crack of dawn. If your classes don't start until noon, it's fine for your wake-up time to be 10:00. Many people find they work best at night, so if you discover that you're a night owl, there's no need to drag yourself out of bed any earlier than is beneficial for you on a regular basis.
4. Keep your syllabi handy
The importance of your syllabi cannot be overstated. Keep copies of your syllabi handy and convenient, and take notes on them as your professors make changes. Many professors are putting their updated syllabi online, so be sure you are always keeping up with the most current version. When in doubt, ask a classmate before asking your professor about when an assignment is due.
5. Get rid of the Internet
At least when you're trying to get something done. NPR.org details several apps that can block certain websites, or even the whole Internet, for a set period of time so you can focus on your work without the temptation of social media or other websites.
We're excited that you're in college, and we want you to succeed. Use these tips to make the most out of your total college experience, and let us know how they work for you!