Spring semester is rapidly approaching for most college students, with classes starting in the upcoming weeks. Want to pick up some positive habits to help you start your semester off with your best foot forward? Solid organizational skills are the key to success in college. It is essential to learn to effectively juggle responsibilities and deadlines, while managing a fullfilling social life, to achieve what most people would view as a well-rounded bang for your college buck.
Take a look at these tips to stay organized and on top of your educational and extra curricular game.
Planners are Imperative
Buy one reasonably sized book that you can write everything down in – your daily activities, homework, phone numbers, random tidbits of information, class schedual, meeting dates, lock combinations, to-do lists, etc. The reason for this is that it keeps all of the information you will need in an easy to access, handy-dandy notebook that you can add or refer to, at any time (just make sure to always keep it on you).
You may prefer a different planner layout, depending upon how in-depth you intent to be with your planner and how hectic your lifestyle is. I personally use a daily runner that has the days of the week, monthly pages and – most impotantly – many blank pages designated for miscellaneous information. This format provides me the essential daily planning structure while offering great flexibilty.
Buy Your Books in Advance
Show up to class this semester prepared and ready to participate in class discussions. Let’s be honest, it isn’t fun having to play catch-up in a class, especially during the first few weeks of juggling with a new full schedule. Buying your books early and keeping up with important readings will prevent future nervous breakdowns, which always seem to occur right before midterms. More importantly, early preparation will provide you a feeling of confidence and control over your hectic workload and will lighten the load as the semester proceeds.
Try to Develop a Routine for Success
Benjamin Franklin once said “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man, healthy wealthy and wise.” Attempt waking up and dozing off around similar times every day, if possible. Also try to maintain a standard study time every day where you typically find yourself being the most productive. Dont forget to include pleasurable activities in this schedule such as excercising or bonding time with friends. Once you find a consistent schedule that works best for you, you will become better able to manage your current workload and you may even find yourself with more free time and less procrastination time. Productivity is key!
Organize your Materials and Your Work Space
Keep your class notes and course work in order, legible and easy to reference. One way to easily reference information is to use consistent color codes in your notebooks, folders and highlighters. This organization will pay dividends when you need to cram for an exam. Also, make sure you have a clean study area that is free from distractions such as friends, television or music. Go there when you want to get your work with done with an air of efficiency.
Photo by Easternblot