7 Tips For Staying Organized In College

7 Tips For Staying Organized In College

As the semester starts to get into full swing, it's important to stay organized.

As the semester starts getting into full swing, students everywhere are starting to realize what it truly is to be a "full-time" college student. With readings, quizzes, exams, and social activities, it’s easy to get mixed up and lose track of what you have do. So, as midterms approach, here are some quick, helpful tips on how to stay organized in college.

  1. GET A PLANNER. Personally, I would die without my planner. I always have it on me, no matter where I go. I keep track of my assignments, work schedule, social plans, meetings. Pretty much everything I do is written in my planner. It’s the number one way, I believe, to stay organized. Now you can go with a traditional, smaller planner, but I tend to go for the notebook sized ones with both weekly pages and monthly inserts (with working three jobs, being in a sorority, class work, and a social life, I need a lot of space).
  2. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR SYLLABI. Again, I personally prefer to have a folder that houses all my syllabi throughout the semester. This way, I can always have the one folder with me, instead of struggling to find them when I need them. It’s a great way to keep track of what assignments are due, when quizzes/exams are, or even something as simple as readings. Now, while it’s helpful to have it all in one place, it’s also important to actually look at your syllabi, even if your professor tells you what you need for the next class. (You don’t want to be that student stressing when your professor tells you that you have a quiz next class on a 390 page book you were supposed to be reading the past few weeks.)
  3. CREATE A SEMESTER SPREADSHEET. This is something I personally SWEAR by. Essentially you gather all of your syllabi, and compile all the major due dates (things like tests/papers) onto one large spreadsheet. You can divide it into a section for each class, or a section for each month, but it’s a nice little way to see what assignments you have do and when.
  4. KEEP YOUR BACKPACK/PURSE ORGANIZED. This is something simple students can do to help them stay organized -always making sure that your backpack or such has all the main staples you would need for a typical day. Basic stuff like your planner, notebooks, textbooks, etc, coupled with your laptop, a charger and snack are generally always good to have on hand.
  5. COLOR CODE. Another small thing students can do to stay organized is really simple: color code your stuff. Have a different color notebook, folder, etc, for each of your classes. Not only will this save you time when you’re searching for your stuff in the morning, it will help you make sure you're actually grabbing the right stuff while you’re running out the door.
  6. GET A WHITEBOARD/CORKBOARD. Not only are they cute dorm room decorations, they're also great for writing little reminders on (or cute notes to your roommate).
  7. USE YOUR CELLPHONE. No, really. A lot of people don’t realize what a great resource their cellphone is. Not only can it be the evil thing that wakes you up in the morning, it can also help keep you organized. Most smartphones today have a "notebook" feature that lets you take quick notes/reminders to yourself, as well as Calendar apps that you can use to remind you about important due dates or meetings.

Now, while these seven tips might seem like small things to do, they can actually help you become and stay organized, especially as the semester starts to get crazy.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Doud

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Empowering Mantras That Soothe The Soul

Learn and repeat these mantras to center yourself.

January is the month of change. We can decide to change at any time during the year, but the start of the new year pushes us to be our best self. If you have something you want to stop, or start doing, now is the time. As I sit in Spain far away from my family, friends, and peanut butter (which is shockingly impossible to find in Spain), I’m confronted with a new challenge and a new opportunity to grow. Although studying abroad is an incredible opportunity and I am more than grateful, I would be lying if I said there aren’t moments of crying in the shower and longing for my body pillow at home (his name is Maxwell and he is pink, and no, I’m not pregnant).

Whenever I get overwhelmed I find it extremely helpful to stop, take a deep breath (or sixty) and repeat calming mantras to myself until the feeling passes. Mantras can be words or sentences and phrases that you can repeat to yourself anytime, although traditionally they have been used during meditation. The goal is to help focus the mind internally and block out any external distractions. It helps to center you and mentally decongest. Scientifically, the benefits are incredible.

The repetition of mantras have been linked to a decrease in heart rate, brain waves and the ability to slow down breathing.

“I am enough”

Fake it till you make it. Believe it or not, say it over and over again. We are what we think, so think positive.

“This too shall pass”

Life goes on even when you think it can’t. We have to experience the peaks and valleys to live a full life. Remember that in a bad moment, it will pass and a new feeling will replace it. And treasure and revel in the good moments because you know what you have overcome and what you may face in the future.

“I am grateful”

Your nail breaks, you spill your coffee, you tumble down a flight of stairs. Plenty of things happen throughout our days that may cloud our overall perception. Challenge yourself in those negative moments to list three events or people you may have overlooked that made your day brighter. Gratitude literally alters the way our brains process our emotions and thoughts and the best part is that we are in control of making our thoughts positive.

“Let it Be”

Time and time again we learn this lesson. It is what it is, what will be will be. That’s not to say it’s always a graceful moment of acceptance, but there’s a certain freedom in knowing that so many things are out of our control.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/buildings-city-exercise-girl-374632/

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5 Must Things To Do During Second Semester

Looking for things to do during this winter season? This list has got you covered.

For many of us who have just started our second semester, or are about to, the stress of college is about to come at you full force and smack you in the face. Personally, I find second semester to be much more difficult compared to first semester.

First semester is filled with tailgates, football games, hayrides, pumpkin patches, Thanksgiving, Halloween, the list can go on and on. Due to the fact that there's so many more activities to do first semester than second, that can lead to a semi-dull second semester. With that being said however, here's a list of things you can do to prevent all that boredom.

1. Go to other sporting events that your college offers you

College sports are one of the best parts of living in America so you might as well take full advantage of them. Even though football season may be over, hockey and basketball season are in full swing right now. Also, by end of March and beginning of April, baseball will start as well. Going to games as a student is a great way to have fun with your friends while not having to bust open the piggy bank.

2. Pajama and movie nights

A simple enough idea, but has the potential to have tons of fun if you decide to give it your all. During the winter, especially up north, it can be brutally cold so staying inside is priority majority of the time. But that doesn't mean there's not a way to enjoy all that cold.

Curl up with your best friends whether it be in your dorm room or apartment while showing off the funniest or best pajamas you own. Pick out your favorite movies and settle down for a night full of laughter, gossip, and memories.

3. Enjoy the outdoors

Even though I just said that winters up north can be brutally, there's still plenty to offer when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors. Go ice skating and watch all of your friends struggle to stay upright and fall down, or go skiing/snowboarding and enjoy the beauty of the snow while getting a great workout in.

Or, you could be like my friends and steal dining hall food trays and use those to sled down some hills. Having these options can help you look forward to the winter and enjoy activities other than staying inside.

4. Go to a museum

Learning about different cultures or parts of history can be a lot more fascinating than people would like to admit. Go to your local college museum and check out cool facts there or drive to a city around you to check out other museums as well. If you're close to a moderate to large city, you will usually be able to find a history museum, aquarium, or some type of science museums. These are fun ways to learn new facts about the past, present, and future of our world.

5. Day trip

Spontaneous (or not spontaneous) day trips can be a blast with your friends or significant other. Choose a random place to go and drive there. Find something to do wherever you go. You'll make some great memories that'll last you a lifetime. It doesn't even have to be far, it can be only 30 minutes away and still be just as fun. Where the destination is doesn't matter, it's who you're going with that matters.

I hope these 5 ideas of what to do in the winter will help you enjoy your second semester of college while still having as much as first semester. After all, you're only in college for four years, so take advantage of everything you can do while you can!

Cover Image Credit: Maddie Blank

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