Image from Flickr

Image from Flickr

The fall semester is coming quickly and before you know it it’ll be time for studying sessions, classes and homework. Becoming organized before this oncoming school year begins is very important to do. It’s better to be ready before everything starts in full swing so you’re not stuck in an unorganized rut! Organization in your life will help you succeed in classes and stay focused. Here are some helpful tips to get yourself organized.

Time management organization

College classes are different than in high school because they are at different times of the day and not all back to back. It’s important to plan your time well and not waste it in between classes. It is recommended not to go back to your dorm in between classes unless necessary because you most likely won’t do homework or study while in your dorm. It’s more likely you might take a nap or get sucked into the internet.

My advice is to go to a study room or a place in the library on those off hours of classes and tackle some homework. Not only do you have to manage your time around classes, it is recommended to plan the nights and days when you don’t have classes. What works best for me is to have a planner and a calendar with all of my assignments and their due dates written out.

Then I plan when I have to do an assignment or study for the big exam. Knowing when exactly I have to do something that has a due date helps me stay productive. It also helps with procrastination to have an organized plan of when you will have time to do assignments. Trust me, it’s better to not save everything until the last day, and when you can see the different times things are supposed to be done by it will cause you to do them in that order. Also, this will help you not forget any assignments because everything will be written out somewhere on your time management schedule!

Files on computers

This one might not seem as important, but from personal experience I can tell you it makes a huge difference. If you have your own laptop or desktop that you are bringing to college I recommend organizing everything you have on it. Go through each folder and file and decide if it is important to still have. You really don’t need that English essay you wrote two years ago. It is also helpful if you organized each file into separate folders so you when you need to find it you aren’t searching everywhere on your computer.

This is important to do throughout the year too because you will have a lot of PDF readings, lab reports, essays, etc on your computer and it can soon become a disaster. Having them organized helps locate the document and makes it easier to not submit the wrong assignment online (which may or may not have happened to me a few times). Save the document with the exact name of the assignment or something different if the professor requests it. Make files for each of your classes so you know exactly where each assignment is being saved!

Work space

This is the most important thing to do when you start college. I need a desk or a table to work at or I become distracted or even sleepy if I’m on my bed. Get your dorm room desk organized when you move in so you have a space dedicated for working. It’ll be easier to spread out your notes and books when studying and keeps you on task better. Not only will it help you be productive, it helps with your posture because you’ll be sitting upright in a chair instead of lying in your bed. I recommend getting different things to organize your desk such as containers. This will help you know where everything is when you’re studying, doing homework or running late to class.

A desk calendar is also a great way to stay organized because you can write different due dates or events on it and see it every time you are working. There are even those huge calendars you can write on that lay flat on the top of your desk that will for sure make you stay organized and on task. You work better when things are organized instead of wasting time searching for a highlighter or your book. Trust me; you’ll be thankful you created an organized work space once classes start and homework piles up.

To-do lists

Having a planner is a good idea especially when you’re just starting college. You can write due dates down, group meetings, exam dates and time, or anything that you need to remember. I am the type of person that easily forgets something unless I write it down or make a reminder somewhere about it. A planner will keep you organized because you won’t forget an assignment or any important meetings.

Also, to-do lists are a huge help. Like I said in the time management section, it will help you keep a schedule and know what assignment to do first. White boards and bulletin boards to keep by your desk or bed are a way to write down anything you might forget and put any papers that are important that you should see every day. Lists have saved me many times in college because I know exactly what I am supposed to be doing and what needs to be done that day. I would normally procrastinate, but lists keep me on track.

Class organization

Some people prefer having just one notebook and folder for all of their classes, but for me I feel more organized when I have separate things for each class. I have found that binders work well too, so you can put every notebook in one place and some folders so you will never be without a class’s work. There are also five subject notebooks and accordion style folders to help keep everything organized but all in one place. Keeping everything together also helps when you’re on campus because in between classes you can do homework for other classes without having to go back to your dorm to get the work. It is good to keep everything organized by class though so you don’t misplace an assignment or bring the wrong things to class.

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