10 Simple Ways To Start Off The Semester Organized
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10 Simple Ways To Start Off The Semester Organized

Here are 10 super easy ways you can get organized for a healthier and more productive semester.

10 Simple Ways To Start Off The Semester Organized
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For some of us, the first rule about 2017 is don’t talk about 2016. And despite how true that holds, it is a good idea to reflect a little bit and look to see where we can improve. Today we’re going to look at different ways to organize yourself for this semester so that the ride isn’t as bumpy as the last one!

1. Clean your backpack

No, I don’t mean “clean” as in “shake out the potato chip crumbs and you’re good to go”. This is syllabus week! The easiest period of time the entire semester. Take the time to clean out your backpack, get rid of all the candy wrappers and broken pens. If your backpack is machine-washable, pop it in there and give it a good cleanse. If your backpack is one that shouldn’t go in the wash, grab an old toothbrush, laundry detergent, fill up a bathtub or sink and get scrubbing. You’d be surprised how much a clean backpack helps productivity.

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2. New Pens/pencils

Whether or not you get your writing utensils from home or from those student clubs that hand out free stuff in the student union 24/7, it might be a good idea to stock up on some new pens and pencils. Don’t throw away your old stash, but be sure to grab a few new (quality) pens or pencils, preferably get your favorite type. Taking notes is always more fun when you’ve got your favorite style pen/pencil in hand!

3. Get a planner

Seriously. Or basically anything you can write down assignments, reminders, and deadlines. If you’re not the paper kind of person, use your smartphone or computer! Just make sure to write down those deadlines. Especially at University, deadlines are usually pretty rigid!

4. Make it a point to visit office hours

Now that you have your planner ;), write down a time that you’re going to visit your professor in office hours. It really doesn’t have to be for an extended amount of time, but perhaps to just say hello, or ask about the syllabus, or anything. Believe it or not, professors get lonely in their office during these hours! It’s also a good ego boost for them when students come in to ask for help/say hello. Putting a face to a name is also always a good plus especially if you’re looking for recommendations.

5. Water

A study done by Weill Cornell Medical College’s Brain and Mind Institute did a study on how water affects productivity. The study found that even mild dehydration, water loss of less than 5% of our body weight, can cause suppression of blood flow to certain areas of the brain and thus lower productivity level. (link). Start this semester off right and drink up!

6. Follow a study routine

Yes, college is all about fun and being young, but it’s also important for your health and thus academic performance, that you introduce some regimented study time. If you start to make a habit of studying during certain times, learning/information retention will become easier and more effective, especially if you are juggling multiple classes or activities.

7. Sleep

Similar to #6, it is important to start off the semester well rested. This isn’t to say that the rest of the semester will be full of sweet dreams, but try to get yourself into the habit of going to bed at an hour that isn’t insane. Also, try to avoid rolling out of bed straight into class; instead give yourself 5-10 extra minutes before having to leave for class. Having just a few extra minutes in the morning when you are awake will help prep your mind for class. Whether you spend this time brushing your hair, washing your face, or getting something to eat, you’re actually getting ready ready to learn.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2017%2F01%2F06%2F636193377747774464-1157366659_aid639041-728px-Get-to-Sleep-and-Feel-Refreshed-in-the-Morning-Step-17.jpg.webp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=1015&h=92ed4190573d83c7fe3af5237ed3d744e76510f47e4de3005303c39449338409&size=980x&c=3431233311 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2017%252F01%252F06%252F636193377747774464-1157366659_aid639041-728px-Get-to-Sleep-and-Feel-Refreshed-in-the-Morning-Step-17.jpg.webp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D1015%26h%3D92ed4190573d83c7fe3af5237ed3d744e76510f47e4de3005303c39449338409%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3431233311%22%7D" expand=1 original_size="1x1"]

8. Snacks

Unlike high school, the majority of college professors don’t have a problem with eating in class as long as you’re not having a 7 course meal—that is, you’re being clean and not disturbing to the class. Some people actually are able to retain information better when eating/chewing. So be sure to grab a HEALTHY snack (ex: fruit slices/berries, granola bar, pretzels) on your way out the door.

9. Make academic goals

Don’t go into the semester thinking all your classes suck (even though they actually might) and you’re going to bomb all of them. Seriously sit down and look at your schedule and see which are your “I got this” classes, which are your “Time consuming pain in the butt” classes, and then which classes were probably written by Satan himself. Don’t brush off the little classes and not take them seriously (an A in 3 credit New Student 101 is the same as an A in 3 credit monster quantum molecular mechanics). Be prepared to study lots for those extra hard classes and ask yourself what you’re going to do study-wise to get that grade you deserve!

10. Relax

Yes, it is the New Year, and yes there is immense pressure to be better than you were last semester or last year in total. And while the New Year is a great reason to get on your game, if things aren’t going the way you planned, stay away from the self-destruct button. We are all human and we all have our ups and downs. Nothing you do now or in the future is “end all”. You will always have ways to re-do, to re-take, to change your mind, and you will always have people who support whatever decision/path you decide to take.

BONUS: #11: Call your parents more.

Let them hear your voice. Tell them you love them. Send them pictures of you living life in college, pictures of things on campus, of anything. Let them feel connected to you no matter how far or close you happen to be. They love you and want to see you be the best you can be. Chances are, even if you turn out to be what you consider a total disappointment, you’re still #1 to them.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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