How to Keep Your Semester Organized

How to Keep Your Semester Organized

Six ways to make your semester a little bit easier.

College, as many people know, can be incredibly messy, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. The stress that comes with trying to handle the truck loads of homework and exams that seem to start piling up on your desk from day one can make anyone lose their mind. That’s why it is important to try and stay organized to manage the never-ending homework and give your mind a little piece. Here are some ways that I have learned to keep my college life organized.

1. Notebooks and Folders: Before school even starts, I start to organize my things. This includes color coded and matching notebooks and folders. This way when a new class starts you know you have a notebook and folder all ready for the class that are the same color, so you just have to grab the correct color instead of trying to figure out which notebook and folder goes with which class.

2. Syllabus: On the first day of class your professor with give you the course syllabus. Make sure to read this carefully and note anything that might stick out (specific rules the professor has). The syllabus is also important because it has all of the exam and assignment dates listed for the course. Although some of these dates may change, it is a good starting point for organizing priorities. Go through the syllabus for every class and write down any important dates that you need to remember.

3. Paper or Electronic Planner: For many students, using a planner can make or break their college experience. Planners are especially helpful when going through your syllabus, so you can write the due dates for each class on the correct date so you don't get dates confused. Although many people use planners to organize their due dates, it is important to use your planner on a regular basis. It isn’t going to help you if you only write the due date down and then never check it to see what is coming up.

4. Color Code: Color coding is a great way to organize your planner and your notes. In your planner, make each class a different color and write down every assignment for that class in that color. This will make it easier for you to look up due dates for the specific class. While taking notes it is important to use colors too. While going through the notes, highlight key ideas. Use one color for terms, another for concepts, and yet another for key ideas. This will help you prioritize information and help make your studying time more affective.

5. Get a calendar to hang in your room for easy access: Whiteboard calendars work best for this, as they are easily changeable. Having a calendar that is easy to access is helpful for important dates so you don't have to dig through a planner to find when you have a meeting. Use the calendar for important dates such as, meetings, exam and project due dates, and school dates like breaks and registrations. This will help declutter your dates and let the important ones stick out.

6. Make sure to update: Many things can change over the course of a semester. It is important to make sure that you keep whatever type of organization you use up to date. The last thing you need is a wrong due date written down.

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.

It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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High School Seniors Should Be Excited For College, Not Scared

Even though it seems stressful and it is a big new place, it will be some of the best memories you will have for life.


Going into the summer after my high school graduation, all I could think about was college, and how I was going to prepare to go to a new school and move away from home. Just know, it is not as stressful as you prepare yourself for it to be. You don't need to worry about not having any friends or not knowing how to get to all the different buildings because you have to remember everyone else on campus has been in the exact same position you are in, and there are tons of people on campus to help you.

One of the things I was most worried about was classes and how to know which classes to take. My advice is to go to counseling and plan out your classes before you register. Planning out classes will drastically help you stay on track and the counselors will help you make a balanced schedule that you can actually handle.

Another piece of advice would be to not bring as much stuff for your dorm as you think you will need. By all means, bring the essential things that you will need, but remember a dorm room is very small and you share it with another person. You won't have a ton of space for extra stuff and you want to have space to move around and actually live in your dorm.

Finally, if you are concerned about meeting people and making friends, just try and be as outgoing and open as possible. Everyone else in the dorms is just as nervous as you are too meet people, it really helps to try to branch out. Joining clubs or greek life also helps you meet people around campus with common interests as you.

College is not something to be scared of. Even though it seems stressful and it is a big new place, it will be some of the best memories you will have for life.


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