4 Ways To Stay Organized In College

Getting organized in college is a big task, but using an academic planner can really help.

If you were to walk into my bedroom you would think you were in the New York Times newsroom. My wall calendar is full of appoint times, work shifts, and dinner dates with friends.

I have a white board next to the calendar covered in post-it notes of phone numbers, and reminders like, “bring a lunch to school tomorrow,” or “don’t forget to reschedule dentist appointment Friday.” This is how I stay organized.

My tactics may sound a bit extreme, but juggling multiple jobs, extracurricular, class work, and an internship, leaves no room for error.

While my command center in my room gives me reminders before I go to bed, or when I wake up in the morning, it’s not much help for the times I’m not in my room, which is three quarters of the day.

This is where the ever-important planner comes into play. If you never used a planner in high school, now is the time to get accustomed. Here’s 4 ways to stay organized in college by using your planner:

USE YOUR SYLLABUS: The first day of classes can get easily overlooked. It consists mostly of icebreakers and syllabus reading. It can become muscle memory to just toss that syllabus into the garbage on the way out the door, but don’t. Right after class, so you don’t forget, take out your planner and right down all your due dates throughout the entire semester. You’ll be able to plan ahead and not have to worry about reprinting syllabus’s to find out when every assignment is due.

STAY A WEEK AHEAD: Use a paperclip to mark your spot so you don’t have to constantly flip through pages. Except, keep your paperclip on the week ahead of the real date. It’s not going to do any good if on Sunday night you flip the page to find you have an essay due Monday morning. Staying a week ahead gives you a full week to know what you have coming and finish it before the night before.

WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING: Don’t limit you planner activity to only school assignments. Write down appointments, meetings, work shifts, or anything that was previously scheduled. School is not the only thing going on in your life, and double booking an advisor meeting with a work shift could become an easily avoided hassle.

It’s important to leave some time for friends and fun too. Having your Wednesday night movie date written down will avoid need for cancellation because of overbooking.

BE CREATIVE: Use stickers or colored highlighters to separate school work from work shifts, or high importance things from low importance things. Flagging things with bright colors will catch your eye first and ensure that nothing falls between the cracks.

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Lisa Manente

Lisa Manente

Lisa Manente is a senior at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. She will be graduating with the BA in Media Studies and Communications in May. Editing the Entertainment section for her university’s newspaper and magazine has fueled her passion for entertainment journalism, which is the career path she plans to explore. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling, listening to music, and catching up on celebrity gossip.