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.