Part of having your B.Y.E. (best year ever) includes getting killer grades, while still having fun, and making time for all the extracurriculars you have your heart set on. This will only be possible with at lease some preparation and ongoing organization, two skills that will serve you well in the workplace post-grad anyway. To prep yourself for staying immaculately organized in order to make the most of your time this year at school:
Get the Tools
Step one is even fun: you get to go shopping! Head over to an office supply store and grab yourself anything you think might help you stay on top of everything this year: a daily planner, a white-erase calendar, highlighters, file folders, coloured tabs. If you’re tech saavy or simply want to cut down on all the paper supplies, check out what kind of programs you can use on your computer (MS Word lets you download calendar templates, which you can customize with your own schedule), or apps you can download onto your phone to help keep tabs on everything you’ve got going on. Whichever tools you decide to use, getting new gear will help you amp up for school and get in a more structured mood.
Start with the Basics
You don’t need to sit down and schedule out the next eight months, start slow and build your way up as the year goes on. A visual breakdown of your daily class schedule is a great place to start. You can make one using a word processor on your computer, a pen and paper, or some schools offer printable versions online. Once you see for yourself where you off-time is, start to fill in the blanks: have varsity soccer practice three nights a week? Don’t plan on doing heavy homework those nights. Like to sneak out for Thirsty Thursdays at the bar? Try to get stuff done before the ‘early weekend’. Planning ahead now will make it easier to know where you stand once September arrives, and what you have time to spoon onto your plate.
Keeping structure is important, especially if you hope to get everything done that you want to. Plan ahead for things like important assignments, to give yourself plenty of time to prepare for and complete them. I usually schedule myself at least and extra day or two, in case new stuff comes up with extracurriculars or friends. However, while a solid schedule is important, a strict one will only cause more problems than it solves. Be prepared to make a few concessions and changes in your schedule as the year moves on. Inevitably, things will pop up that you weren’t expecting, and you may have to rearrange things on your schedule in order to accomadate these changes. Don’t sweat it, you’ll get everything done, and the more laidback and flexible you remain, the easier this will be to accomplish.
What Do You Think?
Are you a super-organized nerd like me? Do you have more trouble keeping everything on track? What are your tips for staying organized in college? Leave a comment or forum post and let me know!