5 Tips For Staying Organized In College

5 Tips For Staying Organized In College

Everything you need to know in 5 easy steps.
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Being a college student means you have a lot of responsibility on your hands--and this is one of the first times you are out on your own, independent and alone. The pressure is on to keep up with classes, while possibly having a job, taking care of yourself and your little home, as well as having a social life and time for yourself. There's a lot going on. So here are five tips to help you stay organized in college from the very start to your last final.

1. Have a visible calendar

I'm serious! Have a whiteboard, or a desk calendar, where you can visually see everything you have coming up--tests, meetings, football games. It makes life a lot easier to have a clear cut idea of what exactly is coming up, how much time you have until then (or how much time you don't have), and to know what you have to plan around.

2. Keep a planner on you at all times

This is one of the best tips I can give to the incoming freshman. Good luck remembering everything you need for every class without one (haha!). And beyond that, as the school year goes on and you're stuck in lecture and not paying attention, having your planner at your side is great for when you randomly remember that you signed up for volunteer hours over the weekend and need to schedule them in. Its a life saver.

3. Make a list

Scratch that. Make multiple lists. Groceries, books, cleaning, homework. Write down exactly what you need, or what you need to do, and check off the items as you go. Not only do you get the satisfaction of seeing physically what you have done, you can gauge how much more you have to go. Use certain colors and fun pens for specific goals, while using others for those that are maybe less important. It can get creative and fun!

4. Guard your syllabus with your life

I repeat: guard your syllabus with your life! Your syllabus is your new best friend. Take care of it, love it, cherish it. The second I get a copy of each syllabus for all my classes I read and re-read it. I double check things, I memorize things, but most importantly, I write everything down. Test dates, final times, locations, class cancellations, my entire academic calendar goes into my planner, onto my calendar, and etched into my brain.

P.S. This is especially important to note if you plan on traveling during the school year, whether that be for breaks or vacations, as buying plane tickets ahead of time is a pretty big deal!

5. Have a cleaning day

Now I know most of these points have been academic-based, but what about your home life? I strongly recommend having a day of the week--or a few hours on a specific day-set aside for cleaning. You need to do laundry, wash dishes, pick up your dorm room. And when you make it a habit, it makes life a lot easier and makes you feel a lot better. Its hard to focus on studying as you are surrounded by messiness, give yourself a studying break, and clean up!

6. Make time for yourself

Okay, so this isn't an organizational point really. But, make sure you write down time that can be just for you. For me, its a half hour set aside to read, or an hour to get my run in. It doesn't have to be take up much time, or even be a daily task, but putting in time for you will help you mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Organize time for "you".

Best of luck this year--and stay organized!

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/personal-organizer-and-pink-flowers-on-desk-6374/

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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10 Pieces Of Advice From My Parents That Have Helped Me Survive This Thing Called Life

I don't like admitting that they're right, but they've helped me through more than they'll ever know.

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As I've entered my 20s and have made it halfway through college, I've learned that life can be hard and challenging at times. Like many kids, when I was growing up, I could care less about what my parent's advice or opinions were. Nine times out of ten, I would do the complete opposite of what they said. Once I got older and actually started listening to their advice and put it into perceptive, I learned that they're right more often than I'd like to admit.

1. Don't take things for granted

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I've learned to cherish what I have because I might not always have it. It's easy to take life itself and many things it involves for granted. They've taught me to take a step back from this crazy life sometimes and be grateful for all that I have.

2. Don't be afraid to put your heart on your sleeve

pizza

My parents have taught me that if you feel something, don't be afraid to say it or embrace it. If you love someone, then tell them. Don't be afraid to put your heart out there just because you might get hurt.

3. Be vulnerable

risk taking

In life, in relationships, in your work. Take risks, get shot down, and then try again. Being vulnerable is scary yet so powerful.

4. You can never have too many shoes

shopping

Otherwise known as it's okay to treat yourself. Life is hard, so take care of you. If that means going on a shopping spree every once in a while, then so be it.

5. You're going to be okay

finding nemo

Whatever it is you're going through, you're going through it and you're going to come out on the other side. It may seem horrible now, but you'll learn from it and be okay in the end.

6. You have to have friends in life

friends

It's important to have people to lean on, especially on your bad days, and to celebrate with on your good ones. You can't just have you or a significant other to rely on.

7. Never be afraid to share your opinion

laverne cox

Don't be afraid to put your thoughts and opinions out there because they might be wrong. They could have a huge impact on someone or something.

8. Don't stress over things you have no control over

don't stress

Everyone is on their own path, which means everything will work out the way it's supposed to, even if it doesn't make sense right now. Again, you're going to be okay.

9. Happy, healthy, wealthy, wise

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My dad always says if you tell yourself every day that you're happy with yourself or your life, you're healthy and strong, you're wealthy in love and surrounded by great people, and you're knowledgable or wise, then you can achieve anything in life.

10.  S*** or get off the pot

pitch perfect

My all-time favorite piece of advice. Making decisions can be hard and scary, especially if the outcome could be getting hurt in the end. So, you either make a decision and roll with it no matter the outcome or you walk away.

Thanks, mom and dad for always being a phone call away when I need it! Just know that your advice and words of wisdom don't go unnoticed. For others, your parents have been on this planet much longer than you have and most likely experienced the same situations that you're dealing with. They don't have all the answers, but they are there to help.

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