Staying organized can be a tough thing to do when you’re in college. Especially if you have plenty of full-time college courses, a job, participate in extracurricular activities, or it’s finals week. All things aside, we at Grindstone Canyon Student Apartments want every student in the Columbia area to get the most out of their college experience. Here are our best tips for staying organized in college:
Having a Positive Mindset
Believe it or not, a positive mind will help you stay organized in college. Here are some great ways to get you started:
- Right Mindset – It’s important that you start college with the right mindset. Let’s be honest with ourselves, 9/10 times our mentality helps decide how well we do in everything. You have to understand that there’s going to be times when you don’t know what else to do when you don’t want to do a thing, and when you might think “what did I get myself into?”. Just know that everything is going to be okay and that it will only last a brief moment of your life. Those are the moments when you should work your hardest to get the negative thinking out of your system.
- Meditation – We advise you to put everything aside (phone, computes, etc.), and relax your mind whenever negativity tries to take over.
- Motivational Quotes – You can also come up with motivational quotes that you can recite if it helps. We just want you to train yourself to become self-motivated instead of waiting for incentives in the future.
- One Step at a Time – Just remember that attending college may seem like a slow process. There’s always going to be pre-requirements and other things that may come up. Just learn to love the process, since this won’t be the last time you can’t skip life steps!
Planning Ahead to Stay Organized
There are plenty of small, yet helpful, tricks to keep up with your daily life in College. Here are some of the ways you can implement note taking and planners when you’re organizing your schedule:
- Never Plan a Tight Schedule – Although you might want to hurry and get as many things done, we suggest that you even your tasks out. We don’t want you to overwhelm yourself with studying or any other difficult tasks that might cause you to burn out. The whole point of planning is to help you enjoy life, not rush through it. Besides, it will give you more time to enjoy your college days.
- Use a Planner or Phone App – Planners are a great way of setting reminders if you tend to forget deadlines or want to manage your time better. It’s a good thing that planning apps exist because all you have to do is enter them once and your smartphone will remind you about an event, assignment, or any important task at the right time. You can even set up recurring events in case you’re trying to get into better habits. Planners also help you get a better idea of what tasks are really important.
- Keep Everything in One Planner – Stick to one planner! You don’t want to run into a scheduling problem and it will help you spend less time planning.
- Stick to the Plan – Try your best to keep from breaking your schedule. We understand that there might be urgent situations when you might have to do something unplanned, but make sure it’s for something truly important. Following your schedule will help you cut down on unnecessary tasks and accomplish more than what you may have initially planned.
- Plan About Two Weeks Ahead – Don’t worry about planning at the beginning of the month. You’ll soon find out that not every business starts their “beginning of the month” on every 1st. Instead, try planning out two weeks at the time because you never know when the unexpected can happen. Of course, you can go ahead and write down any important school schedules ahead of time since the important dates are usually included in your course syllabus.
- Organize Your Planner by Importance – Not everything on your schedule will have the same importance. We suggest you use different colors to help you distinguish due dates, birthdays, appointments, your work schedule (if you have one), study sessions, and anything else you may plan out. The colors you choose are up to you, but make sure you separate each category.
Staying Organized in College Courses
Keeping up to date with all of your classes is a great way to organize yourself. Here are some great tips to start:
- Digitize and Save your Syllabus – It is more than likely that your professors will already have a digital copy of your syllabus. Even if they don’t, you can always take a picture of the important pages and save them. The best thing is that you’ll be able to use the “search feature (Ctrl + F)” to look through your syllabus. Here’s a free online converter in case you want a fully digital file of your syllabus.
- Save your Syllabi in a Folder – The great thing about computers is how you can organize anything. Just make a new folder named “Class Syllabi” under your documents and store your files there.
- Highlight Key Information on your Syllabus – You’ll want to highlight every important date and information on your syllabus. This will help mentally prepare you to understand the difficulty of the course.
- Integrate your Due Dates Into your Planner – Some colleges already have an online system like Canvas and Blackboard, that may already have scheduled your due dates for you. Make sure you add them on your personal planner just in case the system malfunctions or you don’t check it daily. The systems usually don’t send out reminders before important dates.
- Take Notes – Whether you take notes the good old fashion way or on your digital device, it is always a great way to review and organize content. Just make sure you have s different journal or document (for digital note taking) for every course. It allows you to distinguish what subjects you learned in each class, especially when you start taking advanced college courses that cover similar areas.
- Ask if you can Record Lecture – Although there are some professors that don’t allow you to record lectures, it never hurts to ask. Recording an important lecture can help you review course content and prepare you for the next exam.
- Never Arrive Late – No matter what, always make sure that you arrive early to every lecture, interview, and job. We wouldn’t want you to get marked absent and get points deducted from your final grade!
Staying Organized through Daily Tasks
Here are some simple tips to make your daily life a bit easier during college:
- Sleeping on a Schedule – It’s true, waking up earlier can help do wonders, especially if you’re in college. That’s why we suggest that you go to sleep a little earlier too. Of course, we understand if you have to stay up for work and other important tasks. Just make sure you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep a day for better body performance. When you sleep on a schedule, it helps you start and finish the day off on time.
- Incorporate Small Tasks throughout the Day – Taking out the trash and checking the mail when you are going out can help you cut down on some chores on Sunday. Think about it, it’s a couple of minutes that you can use on your day off. You can also pay your bills, do some quick pushups, and other quick tasks when you find yourself with some free time at home.
- Organizing Your Living Space – We were destined to cover the importance of having a clean living space. It can help you feel less clustered and relieve you of the stress that can come from being a college student. Going home to a clean and organized home after a stressful day is better than nothing. It also means you won’t have to clean as much the next time you have a visitor over.
- Leave One Day of the Week Open for Chores – Leaving one day of your week open for chores will help you keep your living space organized. You’re living space is also an important part to staying organized in college.