How to Stay Organized in College

BY Raelynn McCafferty
SC Staff Writer

College will be one of the greatest experiences in your life. You have a newfound freedom; you will experience new things and meet a lot of new people.
We all know that sometimes we are more concerned about where the party is than what homework we have due. You have to remember that in order to keep this newfound freedom you will have to keep up on your schoolwork. If you fail your classes, your new life will come to a screeching halt. It is possible to get good grades and still have a social life; you just have to know how to stay organized.

First, buy a planner and use it. The bookstore has one for seven dollars and it already has important dates in there, such as holidays and days off. You have to get in the habit of writing everything of importance in your planner. Never think, “I don’t have to write this down; I’ll remember it.” Chances are you won’t, so write it down. Take your planner everywhere you go, so you never have to rely on remembering an upcoming event.

Second, know your syllabus. Every teacher has their own way of doing things, so you need to become familiar with how a professor expects a class to be run if you want to do well. If the professor’s syllabus is only on D2L, print it out and bring it with you to every class. When you receive your syllabi, write down the dates for tests, papers and projects in your planner immediately. This is one of the best things you can do to stay organized.

Third, you need to plan ahead to stay ahead. Every Sunday, sit down with your planner and syllabi and plan out your week ahead. Make a schedule for homework, studying, work and social events. You can more than often plan to do school work around a party, and this way, you can do both.

Fourth, get a three-ringed binder and a folder for every class. Binders are the best because they keeps all of your important papers and notes from class in one place. Make sure to get tabs for the binder to separate each class in its own section. You can also buy folders with three holes already punched in them. This way you can put a different folder for each class at the beginning of each class’s section. This is a foolproof way to make sure everything from your classes is in one place. It will make a huge difference in trying to stay organized.

Lastly, come prepared to class. Obvious things like your textbooks, pens and paper are essential; however, there are some other things that you’d be surprised how often you wished you had one of—for instance, a stapler. You can buy a mini one at the dollar store, and you will use it often. Highlighters are very important to have and make studying for a test much easier, too. Whiteout is also really handy; it’s great for when you realize there is a misspelling in your paper five minutes before it’s due.

It’s important to remember that you can have both good grades and a social life, and if you follow these tips, that will be a lot easier.

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