Going to college can be exciting. You have more freedom, you get to explore a new environment and to meet new people, and you also have a chance to discover who you really are, away from your parents and from your hometown.
Of course, you will have more responsibilities, as you will have to make your own schedule and to maintain your dorm room or your appartment. Everything will be much easier if you get organized.
But how can you get, and stay organized if you have never been good at it? Here are nine ways on how to stay organized in college:
1. Use a planner to organize your college time
Using a planner is one of the best ways on how to stay organized in college. There are many time management systems available out there, and it’s up to you to find one that will work for you. Ideally, you should use either a paper agenda, a digital calendar, or an app on your phone to keep track of your assignments, exams, projects, and appointments.
Instead of trying to remember everything, write it all down to make sure you won’t forget anything. This will give you a good idea of what you will have to do each week.
2. Keep your student apartment clean
Whether you live in luxury student housing or a plain old dorm room, you should keep it clean and well organized. Spending just a few minutes to clean and reorganize your living space each week can really make you feel like you are in control of your life.
If you think you don’t have time to clean your room or your apartment, think about how nice it would be to not have to search for your phone, for your keys, or for your last essay each morning.
3. Plan the fun college things you are looking forward to
Planning your exams and appointments will help you stay organized, but you should also write down the things you are looking forward to on your planner.
For example, if you have a big party planned for Friday night, or if you are going to visit your parents, write it down. Next, plan everything you will have to work on to make sure you can fully enjoy the party or your weekend at home when the time comes.
4. Reorganize your college planner each week
At the end of each week, you should take a moment to reorganize your planner to make sure you are staying on track. If you find out that you didn’t manage to achieve half of what you had planned, change your schedule, or find a better way to manage your time.
If you write down everything on your planner at the beginning of the month, and then never take a look at it again, your productivity is surely going to suffer the consequences.
5. Make a to-do list each day
Your planner or calendar will tell you what you have to do, but a daily to-do list will break down your different projects into smaller tasks that will not seem overwhelming.
For example, if you know you have to study for a big test in 3 days, you could write down how many pages you want to study each day on your daily to-do list.
Make a to-do list each day, and cross off each task when you have completed it.
6. Take care of important tasks as soon as you can
We all know that we shouldn’t wait for tomorrow to do something we can do today. However, many of us keep putting off important things until the very last minute.
If you want to become more organized, you need to learn how to tackle important tasks quickly. Whenever something comes your way, decide whether it’s something you can do right now, or plan another moment to do it.
If you simply tell yourself you will take care of it later, it will stay at the back of your mind and keep demanding your full attention.
7. Keep your college supplies organized
College supplies, class materials, syllabuses, and schedules are important tools that can help you be more organized and more productive. But they won’t do much for you if you lose them.
Keep all your documents well organized in a binder or in a folder on your laptop. Organize your textbooks and supplies as well, so whenever you need a pen or one important document, you will know exactly where you can find it.
8. Prepare your backpack before going to bed
To make sure you won’t forget anything when you leave your room or apartment in the morning, it’s a good idea to prepare your backpack before going to bed.
Put everything you will need for the next day in your backpack, and leave the things you know you won’t need at home. When you get up in the morning, you will have one less thing to worry about.
9. Take good care of yourself
Finally, don’t forget to take good care of yourself. Staying organized will help relieve your stress, but you also need to be kind to yourself and to keep in mind that your physical, mental, and emotional health should always be at the top of your priorities, since you won’t be able to achieve much if you are not feeling good.