The Mentorship Spot
Staying Organized in School
By Maisha Alam
University can get really busy, really fast, and staying organized can get tough.
There are a lot of deadlines, details, places and things to remember. A lot of students have 5-6 courses per semester, and often have extracurriculars on top of that. It’s easy to lose track of time and get confused, but here are some things I’ve learned in my last year and a half of university (and what I learned through high school as well)!
I started using an erasable laminate calendar in first year, but I wish I got one in high school as well! These calendars are easy to use, very helpful, and great if you’re a visual learner!
They help you see what dates are coming up, get an idea of what your week looks like, and help you prep what exactly you need to do for that specific assignment or exam.
A good tip is putting the calendar close to where you work. For instance, my calendar is taped to the wall that faces my desk when I study, so it is always within view. This way I can always track what’s coming up, and what I’ve completed, which helps me stay on top of things.
Also, I like to color code my classes (e.g. Green for Geography) and use those same colors to mark the task due for that class. Using the different colors makes it easy to identify what's due for each course!
Using a dry-erase calendar has helped me in so many ways! I get to see what’s coming up, and it also reminds me of any assignment or small quizzes I might have coming up, which I may have forgotten otherwise!
2: A Clean Workspace is a Happy Workspace
I’m a firm believer in keeping things clean. Not only does it look nice, but a clean space is more functional and helps you to stay organized!
I always make sure that even if my room is messy, I tidy my workspace, because that's where all my important documents and things are. I like to keep a clean desk with few things on it, so that I don’t get disctarced while studying.
Also, organizing my desk and drawers, and allocating space for work related to each course helps me to easily find notes, notebooks, and study sheets. I can easily access what I need, whenever I need it!
Also, I really find that having a clean workspace improves your mood. Seeing everything tidy, and in place can also help motivate you to work more efficiently!
Planners are another amazing way to stay organized and know what’s happening. They’re like calendars in a sense, and also help you to stay up to date on what’s happening.
Planners are great because they usually have ample space to write things. For example, adding in a note about an assignment, or making a note of a meeting you have with someone.
It’s a great way to organize all the things you need to do! Also, the satisfaction from checking off a task after it’s done is one of the best feelings in the world :)
One thing I did in first year was split up my calendar and planner. I used my planner to track down tasks and responsibilities related to extracurricular activities and family commitments, and used my calendar to note down everything academic related. This helped me separate the two, and it was nice to not be overwhelmed by all my responsibilities in one place.
Overall, these 3 tools/practices can help you stay organized and on top of things. They’ll help you remember what you need to do, and help you prepare for any tasks you have coming up!
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