Best ways to be productive as a college student

Habits Of Productivity For The College Girl Boss

The library WILL become your second home... if you're doing it right.


The key to success in college can be expressed in one word: productivity. It's true… the most successful college student is the one who can balance all their social and academic demands. Maintaining a (relatively) organized schedule and staying on par with assignments is really critical in getting the most out of your time at school. I learned very quickly that managing all of this can be overwhelming at times… your professors do not give you constant reminders of what is due and when, so finding the time to get everything done can seem impossible, BUT it does not need to be. Here are some things I have found to be very helpful in keeping up the grades, getting the most out of your classes, working toward your goals as well as having a lot of fun and being very involved on campus. If you can adopt even a few of these attitudes, then you're golden.

Find your study spot.

It is important to learn to adapt and study anywhere, because sometimes you do not have time to go all the way to the library just before class... but it is important to find your one spot. You know... that one spot that you are really comfortable with and stay for hours on end to get assignment after assignment done. Personally, I am a diehard McKeldin Library second floor fan for homework and studying. Recently, I also found that sitting in the study area in the Edward St. John building is a great spot for getting a lot of reading done. Try different places around campus to find where you are most productive… it does not even need to be a library! Nooks in hallways, hidden libraries, study areas in buildings, unused classrooms, or spreading out in the grass on the mall… there are endless spots on campus.

Dress for success.

This is has been true for me in every aspect of my life for years… if I want to get a lot done, or even have the ideal day, I dress for success. I feel better when I feel good about my outfit. When I straighten my hair, put on a little makeup, and wear something a little nicer than sweatpants, I feel a lot more prepared to take on the day. It makes you feel more awake and puts you in a productive mode.

Coffee, coffee, coffee!

Lisa Fotios

I have accepted the fact that on early mornings, or any mornings for that matter, I rely on coffee to keep me alert. When I do not have coffee, my eyes slowly shut and have trouble opening back up after I blink. Some of my favorite ways to get my caffeine is making it in my keurig, going to Footnotes cafe on the first floor of the library, going to McDonalds, or even making my own coffee at the Union Store in Stamp. A dose of energy in the morning will keep you awake and able to survive hours of class, studying, club meetings, and being social.

Organization is key.

Lisa Fotios

Organization is so, so, SO important in maintaining a productive day. Keeping material from each class organized into different folders, sections of a notebook, or file on your computer is essential! Not even just your school stuff, but your stuff in general. Implementing routines and ways to ensure you do not forget to make your bed each morning, clear out your backpack, and put away your makeup that you used to get ready is going to keep you from feeling lost and confused.

Use calendars and agendas.

Plush Design Studio

The thing about college work is that it requires a lot of self-discipline. The professors are not going to remind you every day of the week that you have a test coming up and hint to you the answers to the questions. They may not even announce an assignment that is due by next class. The only way I have been on track with all my classes is by going through the syllabus, taking a photo of it to keep in my phone at all times, and marking down due dates on the month view, as well as specific assignments by the day to check off when completed. I am also a huge fan of Google Calendars, I input club meeting dates and places I need to be or even just reminders about my social life. Find a system that works for you and, most importantly, stick to it. Keep it consistent so you make a habit of following it and keeping up with what is going on.

Set aside a cleaning day.

Sunday is widely known as the day to get it together, but I believe that you should choose a day in the week that you only have 1-2 classes and a little extra free time to clean up. Dorm rooms get stuffy, so it is good when you can use multi-purpose cleaner, vacuum, do your laundry, wash your sheets, organize your shelves, throw away your overflowing garbage and rinse out the 15 dirty plastic cups. For me, that day is Thursday… it ensures all these things get done at least once a week because it is easy to forget.

It's okay to stay in!

Lisa Fotios

I love going out on weekends, and even certain weekdays, with my friends. But, going out 3 times a week can be draining. It is okay to say you are going to stay in on a Thursday night to catch up on some things, get ahead on next week's work, or even just leave some time for self care and a movie.

Decorate your laptop with stickers!

This definitely is not necessary, but it adds a nice touch! Buying a clear plastic case for your laptop and finding cute stickers that match your aesthetic with quotes or things that you like is inspiring! It makes picking up your laptop a little more fun. Personalizing your stuff is so fun, and decorating your laptop is a great way to express yourself on a college campus.

Find a pastime on campus that is worth your time.

There are plenty of ways to get involved on campus. At UMD there is a club for practically any interest or desire. I do, though, recommend joining something that will better you as a person and perhaps give back. Sororities, academic clubs, workout clubs, and service clubs are great opportunities. In your pastime, it feels really good to be doing something worthwhile. Since coming to college, I have felt a want to give back. I have realized there is plenty of time for Netflix and social media, but in your extra free time doing something productive with your time can help you feel amazing and can be a huge stress reliever.

Popular Right Now

To The Person Feeling Like They're Losing Their Hometown Friends

Don't fret to much, if they are truly your best friends, you aren't gonna lose them.


When you grow up and leave home to go to college or whatever your plans are after high school, you and your hometown best friends promise to make time for each other. You promise to always get together over breaks and to visit each other if you aren't going to the same schools or living in the same town.

But you realize over time that maybe those promises aren't gonna be kept.

Life gets complicated. School starts to become harder and harder, there are extracurriculars and work, and trying to figure out the rest of your lives; things start to get in the way. Visiting starts to happen less and less, getting together over breaks gets more complicated, you try to stay in contact but the hours in the day seem to get shorter and shorter. There are too many things that you have to accomplish in one day that it's difficult to know if you can even get together.

You start to ask yourself "Am I losing my closest friends?"

And the answer to that question is no, your lives are changing and things are starting to become real but they will always be there. Just because you don't talk all the time or you go a few months without seeing each other, they are still your friends. They will always care and always be there. Don't stress about it too much, they are always gonna be there, it's just that your lives are pulling all of you in different directions and it can get hard to keep up with everyone because you are all so busy.

You are growing up but you're not necessarily growing apart!

If they are truly your best friends they will always be there, and you there for them. As time goes on, your lives will continue to change but you are always gonna be friends. Just know that they are there when you need them, and when you do get to see each other, it's like nothing has changed and you pick up right where you left off. Your friendship is important to all of you. Don't let a little bit of silence or a busy life cause problems. You haven't lost them, trust me, you all are just figuring out life. Don't take it personally when you don't talk for a while.

"Amigas, Cheetahs, Friends for life" — Cheetah Girls

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.


1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

Related Content

Facebook Comments