Getting organized in college is one of the most difficult things to do, and after attempting to do so for two years, I still don't feel like I have it completely down, but that's okay. Everyone is different and everyone gets stressed out in different ways and manages stress in different ways. After two years, I felt like it was either my mental sanity and health or being organized. I felt like I not only needed to get more organized, but needed to be organized in a saneway. Here're some ways to get organized and stay sane at the same time:
1. Use, but don't overuse your planner.
Don't be the person who plans out what you do every second of every day in writing. Not only does it lead to an obsession, but it also hinders you from enjoying the present moment. Choose a day weekly to plan the week ahead, and stick to planning weekly.
2. Think ahead, but not too far ahead.
If you're too busy thinking about an exam you have in a month, not only are you not going to be able to enjoy the moment you're living in, but you'll also have everything so planned out, that if something comes up out of the blue, your entire schedule is thrown off. That is stressful. Learn how to think weekly.
3. Take on one or two, but not too many activities.
It can feel nearly impossible to keep up with classes and friends alone, that incorporating too many extra curricular activities can lead to a stressful, overwhelming college career. Pick one or two activities that you can thrive in, not only to maintain balance in your life, but to accomplish more.
4. Keep your backpack and desk organized.
Keeping your backpack and desk organized is a surefire way to feel like your life is completely together. If you sit down to a clutter of notebooks, syllabi and writing utensils, you'll easily become overwhelmed. Even if your room is a mess, having a clean space that you associate your responsibilities with can go a long way.
5. Set goals, and leave it at that.
For an overachiever, this is probably the hardest organizational tool, but it is well worth it. Choose a couple of goals to achieve each semester and leave it at that. As in, once you reach one of your goals, don't automatically add another to the list or you'll never feel fulfilled and you'll have much more on your plate than intended. Don't stop at setting goals either, reward yourself when you do.
6. Don't try everything in one day.
For a planner, this is the most difficult thing. Whether it's living in a new place that has you excited, or just working ahead, do what you can until your body tells you to stop. Once you feel like you have accomplished all that you can, save the rest for later. Your mental health will thank you.