With school just around the corner, it's time to start searching for school supplies, dorm decor, new outfits for the first week, and so much more. We all know the routine: pack the clothes you're going to take back to college for the fall, order books for classes, and set-up dorm plans with the roommate. Now, one of the biggest problems of moving back to college is the idea of organization. Lots of students have problems trying to organize everything they bring. So, here are 10 must have organization tips for all my fellow college students.
1. Make a List
This tip is pretty self explanatory just by the title. A week before you move back to college, make one or several lists (depending on preference) of all the items you want to bring with you (i.e. clothes, decorations, books). Therefore, when you go begin packing, you can pull out the list and check off all each item. Another helpful aspect of making a list of everything is when you're checking over the list again to make sure your packing everything, you can minimized the items even more by really thinking about what you will absolutely need. This tactic is also useful for hitting two birds with one stone by limiting your packing to what you will need and acting as a "spring cleaning" mechanism.
2. Pack Clothes in Advance
We've all had our fair share of moments where we are traveling somewhere and realize that we forgot to pack a certain item of clothing such as pants, undergarments, and even shoes. For college, this is one of the essential organizational tips, in my opinion. Before packing everything else for the move to dorm life, make sure to pack your clothes. This will help minimized stress about forgetting items of clothing and also knock out one of the big parts of packing so that you don't feel rushed when the clock begins to wind down. Preparing a suitcase with your chosen items of clothing and setting it aside will minimize the time it takes to put everything into the car, as well as, making less of a mess in the process.
3. Order Class Books Before the Semester Begins
One of the biggest problems with college students is the ordering of class books in a short time-span. A way to avoid this situation and potentially not being able to order an important book you need for class is to order in advance. What do I mean by this? Most colleges will have students register at the end of their spring semester for fall classes. When this is done, I recommend ordering the books about mid-June because there will be a low demand for college book orders and you can find great deals when ordering online.
These deals could be even cheaper than what your college's bookstore is selling the books you need for. There are tons of online book rental sites that will compare competitive prices of several online websites to find you the best deal on a book, as well as, include a direct link to that website's ordering page specifically for that book. I, personally, have found this tip to be very beneficial because I have my books way in advance before the semester starts; therefore, I'm not stressing about finding everything I need before the first day of class.
4. Put Together a Schedule for the Month
This tip is for when you are finally settled into your dorm and have a few days before the semester starts. There are two ways to put together a schedule for the month. First off, you can go the regular route of buying a planner from the store. Using this means, I recommend buying a schedule planner that includes that whole month, but then has individual spacing to plan events during the week. This will give you the advantage of filling out the calendar page for the month with events up until the end of the month and allows for you to plan ahead.
The second advantage this type of planner will give you is to write specific homework assignments or fill in events happening that current week as reminders for you. The second way to put together a schedule for the month is creating your own DIY planner. This can be done by buying a simple notebook or journal, then drawing and shaping it however you see fit. From what I've learned talking to friends, they have enjoyed this DIY project because it causes them to get excited about putting together a schedule. May favorite thing about this option is that it is completely personalized to the individual.
5. Create a Daily Routine and Stick to It
College is a place where time and organization are essential to succeeding. Once you have settled into your dorm life and see what kind of classes you'll be in, create a daily routine and stick to it. Most students struggle with not having enough time in the day due to friends, homework, meal times, studying, work, and more. However, a quick solution to this problem is to organize your day. Make a schedule of when you have classes and see how much homework you will be tasked with throughout the semester.
This can usually be found in the syllabus your professors provide on the first day. Go through and mark these homework tasks in your planner. Typically, for every hour in class, it is recommended to assign 2-3 hours a night for homework. Include these times into your daily schedule. Another important factor is what time you wake up and go to sleep. By looking at classes each day, you'll be able to set a specific time that you'll be able to wake up, get ready and be in class on time.
Going to bed is the same scenario. You will want to plan your daily routine, so that you will get at least 7-8 hours of sleep from the time you go to sleep to the time you wake up. This will ensure you have plenty of energy to take on the day. An important note on the times for going to bed and waking up is to STICK TO THEM. Setting an alarm as a reminder is very helpful to keep this part of the routine.
Meal times are another essential part of your daily routine. Figuring out when you have breaks between classes can give you an opportunity to go grab lunch and keep your energy up. Finally, social life is a huge part of college. So, to keep yourself sane, schedule time with friends and just relax. You are putting in hard work every day and need sometime to recollect yourself. What better way then hanging out with friends?
6. Eat Healthy and Exercise
College is a place to try new things and gain experiences that will shape our well-being as adults. One important thing to note about college is, even though it is a fun time, also a very stressful journey where someone could easily become overwhelmed. One of the major notes about this journey is taking care of one's self. Yes, there will be days where you just want to skip class and sleep, but it is important not to.
Daily exercise and eating the right foods can help keep your energy up, as well as, make you feel better about everything else. Exercise is known to help reduce stress and tension. Another thing about exercise is that there are so many different options. You could go to the gym, run outside, ride a bike around the campus, etc. There is not a limit which I find the best part about exercise. However, remember with proper exercise, you need to keep your body fueled with the right foods such as vegetables, protein, and water.
7. Create a Space Designated to You
This can include your dorm desk or your bed area. Create a space specifically for your in the dorm because you will be most likely sharing with a roommate for the first two years of college. You can hang up pictures from home or of friends, decor, DIY projects, etc. Personalizing a space shows off your personality and what you like. If you've had a stressful day, you can easily retreat to this space and relax without being bothered. We all need some alone time in college to recollect our sanity.
8. Keep All School Materials in One place
This can be a little difficult especially when you're getting used to the first few days of the semester. One important note about college is to always keep track of assignments and notes for each class because you never know when you will need them again throughout the semester. One way to organize your school materials is to go buy a binder with dividers to separate all the school work into their proper sections. That way, you can simply flip to the needed section and pull out any materials for that day's class.
Also, buying notebooks for each class helps keep the class notes in one place, but your not lugging around all your class materials for every class. Instead, you can grab exactly what notebooks and materials you need for that day of classes and not unnecessary materials. Packing your backpack the night before will also help minimize rushing to get ready in the morning. You'll know you have everything ready and can just focus on waking up to get ready for school.
9. Set-Up Reminders on Your Phone
This is probably the simplest of all 10 organizational tips. Setting reminders for things on your phone can help keep your daily routine intact, as well as, help with productivity. Reminders can include when to eat, when to go exercise, when to go to bed/ wake up, and when to do homework. These reminders will help keep you on task and complete all your school work and other tasks you need to get done.
I have always used my phone for everything and decided to try this tip out for myself. I can personally say this tip has been a huge help during my college career. From the first day of freshman year to now about to start my senior year, I will always use this organizational tip to help keep me on track. Plus, we all have our phones on us and this will help keep everything in order for you to use your time wisely.
Money is a huge part of college life and there is so much to spend it on, but it is important to budget. Budgeting helps keep track of your finances and savings in order to do different things you want. Determining a monthly budget will help organize your spending and savings in order to have enough money. One factor to this tip is having a folder designated specifically to budgeting. Keep track of all your receipts in this folder and mark down what you spend your money on each month. By looking at this at the end of the month, you can plan out future events, projects, or things to do. College funds can also be included in this folder in order to keep track of your tuition payments and know how much you will need to save for the next month. One rule, I learned to form my parents is the 3/4 rule. Take 3/4 of the money you have each month and put that into your bank account to save for emergencies and bills. The last 1/4 of your money can be set aside to use for fun activities such as going shopping or out to eat with friends. This rule will help simplify everything for you and allow a stress-free time.
These ten tips have helped me survive the last three years of college and I wish to share them will all of you. All these organizational tips can be used for college, high school, work, and life in general. Good luck to all my fellow college students this year and make the best of the college life without fretting about everything!