Student Life: Organization…

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All those kids out there working and studying have all sorts of tips and tricks to keep on track. So I thought I would give you all my unnecessary input. Cause why not?

While working full-time, it’s hard to keep things under control, and adding in social time and clubs is next to impossible.

And everyone has their ideas on how to stay organized. EVERYONE.

But there’s no right answer to these questions. There’s no one way that works for everyone and sometimes you have to mix and match tips to find what works for you. Here’s what works for me, most of the time :).
Two forms of calendars: one paper and one electronic

Using two calendars helps me really keep track of everything. Most people say just use one, but this method helps me because it’s two reminders: a physical copy I can hold and carry and a digital one that I can set reminders for constantly from my phone and laptop.

Having both a physical planner and a digital calendar makes me keep deadlines in mind at all times so that I’m not overbooking myself on other assignments or meetings.

I take the time at the end of each day to make sure each is updated for the next few days so I’m always on track.
Two notebooks

This is a common tip and if you’ve ever tried you’ll see why. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this method, allow me to elaborate.

You can two notebooks. Simple enough. One is for your pretty notes and one is for class/reading notes. You begin by writing your notes in the ‘ugly’ notebook, from reading or from class, taking as many notes as possible. Then when you go over your notes for studying later in the day, you rewrite them in your ‘pretty’ notebook.

It sounds completely redundant and like a waste of time. But it’s a great study tool. Because not only are you having to recall from memory what was reviewed in class, but the repetition from writing the notes again makes you remember it better.

This method has really helped me work on recollection and associating concepts.

Color-coding and Filing Systems

This seems like another obvious idea. But for those who are clueless with filing systems, then listen up.

Every semester I try to keep every thing based in color-coded files based on the class subject; say, purple for lit classes, red for math, blue for sciences, etc.

As you get assignments back, you file them in these folders. How? One side use for handouts given in class, like resource pages, and one side for worksheets, homework, quizzes, and tests by DATE, oldest in front, newest is slipped in the back.

Then you have all your materials ready come test time to review.

Also color-code between classes. In your planner(s), color-code your time for classes and study time per class. For example, Math Class 1 is red in your planner, Science Class 1 is blue, Lit 1 is green, and so on. Then when you look at your schedule, you can quickly glance over it and see which classes you have coming up and what you need to study that night.

Wilderness Scout Bag

You can guess what this one means. Always have your bag prepared for the day.

Besides all the stuff you definitely need, think of all the things you MAY need. Maybe you’ll get out of your second class early and this will give a few minutes to review between classes. Maybe you’ll get stuck late at your lab tonight so bring a snack.

Here’s everything I pack in my bag for class everyday:

  • blank notecards and notecard holder (these can usually be found around back-to-school time)
  • calculator
  • phone charger
  • pencils
  • E-kit
    • Tampons and/or pads
    • Band-aids (you never know when those heels will give you a blister or you’ll get a nasty papercut during research)
    • Hair ties
    • bobby-pins
    • ibuprofen/acetaminophen
    • make-up if you wear it
  • planner
  • Colored pens
  • Holding folder (this is a folder/binder I carry to hold my papers until I get to class or home from class to file away properly)
  • Any books for Lit classes (unless you have a digital version, then maybe an e-reader if you have one)
  • A granola bar or two, or some trail mix
  • Water bottle : More often than not I don’t carry a water bottle on campus because I basically live off coffee and caffeine but stay hydrated folks
  • My laptop and charger (depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing that day)

This seems like a lot, but most of it fits in a pencil case or those smaller accessory pockets of a standard backpack.

Keep your bag organized and ready for the day so you can maximize your time but not having to search for papers, or pens, or your books, or a snack.

Notice I didn’t include my keys or wallet in this list and that’s because as an adult those are things you should be remembering every day.

Study Space

This is going to be your hub for school work. Most people think of a desk in their room. And that’s exactly it.

Keep this area clean and prepped for work every day. And after a long of studying and reading, it seems like a hassle to clean off your desk space, but it feels so satisfying to throw that shit in a drawer and be done with it for the day.

But keeping this area clean is critical to keeping your space organized. You’ll be able to find notes, flashcards, and worksheets with ease, especially using a color-coding system and folder system.

What little things kept you organized during your school days? Or maybe you’re struggling right now? Chat me up in the comments and let’s see what we can come up with it.

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