As the first week of the spring semester continues, students are being swarmed by syllabi, textbook lists, homework, and even presentations. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the full force of the new semester but there’s a better way to handle the stress.

Planners have been around since we were in grade school. Teachers would hand them out at the beginning of the school year with encouraging quotes to do well. In a month’s time those planners would go missing, but now is the time to keep them close and dear.

Having a monthly overview helps students jot down homework, projects, and general deadlines on one page. By doing so, it’s easier to plan out what to focus on first, when to get started, and in between all the busy planning, maybe make time for a friend date. It’s important to go through your syllabi and write down any deadlines into each month to be constantly ahead of the game.

The weekly overview is a closer setup for planning. Looking one day at a time helps keep stress at bay. Planning ahead of time doesn’t always function especially if unexpected events present themselves. Instead of scrambling to re-plan the entire week to complete assignments and study, you can simply plan one day at a time.

In order not to forget deadlines during the week, it can be useful to have a post-it note with a to-do list on your weekly spread. By writing down what needs to be done within the week, you can reference back to it when planning your daily schedule.

To-do lists in general help boost motivation. When crossing out items from your to-do list, you will feel accomplished. There’s a sense of getting work done on time on your own terms. The power of organization cannot only help you ace your classes by completing assignments, studying for tests, and preparing presentations, it can also help you feel in control.

When you feel in control of your life, it’s easier to be motivated and do what needs to be done. Education is a privilege but it can be overwhelming especially when jumping right back into it. The foundation of success is having a solid plan. The schoolwork won’t necessarily be easier, but at least you’ll have a planner keeping you in check.