In high school, for the most part, it’s pretty easy to keep track of where you need to be, what you need to do, and when you need to hand in your assignments. Most high school students don’t need much more than a simple planner or a notebook to keep them on schedule and on track. Things are a little different in college, however, and you may find that you require a better system for keeping yourself focused.
Just about every college is on the Monday-Wednesday-Friday / Tuesday-Thursday system, in which you have certain classes on the first, third, and fifth days of the week, and others on the second and fourth. You probably don’t have to worry about getting the day of the week mixed up and going to the wrong class (at least not very often), but it can be a little more confusing trying to keep track of when you need to hand in a paper.
Similarly, when you have four or five different reading assignments (at least), it can be a little perplexing figuring out which needs to be done first.
It’s reasons like this that make staying organized so important. Whether you use online calendar like Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, or a pen-and-paper planner, make sure that you write everything down.
- When your classes are?
- When your quizzes and tests are?
- When assignments are due?
- When you meet with a study group?
- When you need to start a paper to make sure you get it in on the due date?
While this can be a bit of a hassle at first, you’ll find that it’s worth it, because you’ll have a way to see when you need to do things (the visual element of electronic calendars, as well as the alarm functions, are very useful).
Another thing that you’ll find helpful is learning how long it takes you to get assignments done. This is something that comes with experience, but it’s good to start paying attention to it as soon as possible.
- How long does it take you to read 50 pages in a textbook?
- Or write an outline for a 10-page paper?
- What about completing a study guide for your Chemistry class?
This information becomes very useful when you’re prioritizing your schoolwork. If you know when things are due and about how long you’ll need to spend on them, you can make educated guesses at which you should start first.
No matter how you stay organized, make sure to start early—don’t miss a paper deadline before you learn how useful a planner is.
Planning out your days, weeks, and months is a great life skill that will come in handy for many things throughout the rest of your academic, professional, and personal lives. Start practicing now!