A College Girl's Ultimate Guide to Organizing your School Year!
As some of you may have noticed, I didn’t have a blog post uploaded last Sunday. :(
I was on vacation in New York City for July 4th and was unable to get a post up for you all. My schedule is clear for the rest of the week, so it is my goal to prepare tons of exciting content for the upcoming week! I thought it would be a fun idea to start a new series on this blog called “Back 2 School Sunday!” Every Sunday, from now until the first day of school, there will be a post that will help you get ready for college. Whether it’s your first year or last, you’ll have stories and guides that will prepare you to be a superstar student. And don’t worry, I’ll still be posting every Wednesday as well. Ok, enough blabbering from me, let’s get to the point of this article. As the title said, I'm going to show you my favorite tips and tricks to help you stay organized this school year!
Being organized is so important. Once your work and schedule becomes messy and unclear, it'll be stressful to stay on top of assignments, balance extracurriculars, and have a fun social life.
Here are my 14 tips for keeping organized!
- Get a planner & use it!
Planners are the ultimate way to stay organized throughout the year. You can bring them anywhere and record your due dates, extracurriculars, and when the next episode of The Bachelor airs. There are hundreds of different planners you can use depending on your lifestyle and preferences for keeping information organized. Personally, my favorite planners are ones that have a monthly and weekly view and have lots of space to write down all the information I need.
2. The syllabus is your bible.
Your syllabus is precious. It has absolutely everything you need to know about the class you're enrolled in. When I get my syllabus, I make an extra copy & make sure it’s online in case I lose it and need to print a new one. With the one I get in class, I highlight, underline, and bold information such as the professor's office hours, due dates, and when the final is. I keep my syllabus in the front pocket of my binder for that class so it’s easy to refer back to.
3. Wake up and make a to-do list for the day. Include times you want each task done by.
Every morning while I’m getting ready for class, I’ll set aside a few minutes to write down everything that I need to do that day. Once you see something on paper and have it visualized, it will be on the forefront of your mind. To go the extra mile, I’ll sometimes set times that I want to get each task done by to prevent myself from procrastinating by watching YouTube Videos or scrolling through social media.
4. Plan your week out every Sunday.
Similar to making a to-do list, planning your week out with larger tasks will help prepare you for the upcoming week. I write down when there's a quiz or if there is a project due so I can block out time in my schedule to study. This helps me stay organized and stress-free throughout the week.
5. Make your bed when you wake up.
I truly believe that a clean room can relieve your stress and help you stay productive when you come home from a long day of school. I made it a habit of making my bed before I went to class so I wouldn't be tempted to crawl back into my sheets and take a nap when I got back.
6. Try to keep a consistent sleep schedule.
Speaking of our beds, it’s important to try and keep a consistent sleep schedule. I know this can’t always happen and sometimes you have to stay up late finishing an essay, but keeping a sleep schedule will help you feel less stressed and you’ll get a better night's sleep when your body clock is on a consistent cycle. A good night’s sleep means you’ll focus better in class, and focussing more in class means you’ll get good grades. It’s all connected!
7. Plan your outfits and fill your backpack the night before.
One lesson that my parents taught me when I was young is to "pack my bag and lay my clothes out the night before school." Even though it sounds unnecessary, the last thing you want to do at 7 AM before class is to pick out a cute outfit. Sometimes, if I forget to lay my clothes out, I’ll just make a mental check of what I want to wear the next day, so I don’t have to search for an outfit in the morning. Packing your backpack the night before with everything you’ll need for the day is important because you won't forget any assignments or grab the wrong binder for class (both of which have happened to me when I don't pack my bag the night before).
8. Clean your desk and tidy your room before you start working. Light a candle, make tea, set the mood.
Much like the tip #5, it’s important to keep your desk clean so it is a productive environment to do work in. I like to keep my desk relatively empty so I won't get distracted by little things while I’m working. Also, if I know I’m going to be working for a long time, I like to light a candle and make a cuppa tea so I can settle down and relax which will help me stay focused while I work.
9. Stick to one note taking method.
There are tons of different note taking methods out there, each one catering towards a specific type of class and student. Find what works for you and really focus on only taking notes in that style. It will become a part of your muscle memory to take notes that way and when you start to review for quizzes, you’ll know what you’re looking at and it will be easier to memorize the information.
10. Set a timer while working.
Try and beat the clock! Set a timer for 30 minutes and set a goal that you want to complete in that time, such as outlining your essay or solving 10 math problems. Your competitive nature will come out and you’ll try and beat the clock rather than responding to texts.
11. Set your own deadlines.
This tip helped me a lot towards the end of my Freshman Year. I had a lot of big projects piling up with due dates all within or on the same day as each other. So I would set a personal deadlines for each project so they wouldn't be stuck trying to finish 3 projects in one night.
12. Color code each class.
An easy way to stay organized is to have a specific color for each class. For example, my Rhetoric class had a blue binder, a blue notebook, and I took notes with a blue pen. My art history class I had a yellow binder, a yellow notebook, and used a yellow highlighter. It’s simple, effective, and creates separation between all of your classes.
13. Stay on top of chores.
Chores suck, I know. But you’ll be way less stressed when you enter your room and it’s clean and your laundry is done and put away rather than entering a dirty room with clothes scattered across the floor. It helps you stay organized when everything around you is tidy.
14. Don’t take everything so seriously and it’s ok if you slip up.
Last but not least, it’s OK if you don’t follow each of these steps perfectly, sometimes I slip up and my room is messy or I bring the wrong notebook to class. Life happens, we’re young college students and we can’t be perfect all the time, but attempting to follow these tricks will help make your life better.
I hope you enjoyed this post, please don’t forget to leave a comment down below, I would love to hear how you stay organized at school!
Have a Super Sunday!
~A College Girl