For some students the first week of classes is exciting and full of possibility. For others, it can be overwhelming to receive a syllabus from each course and worry about the semester ahead. However you feel about starting a new semester, staying organized will keep your nerves in check and set you up for success.
Here are some tips for staying organized and keeping yourself accountable, from your first day of classes until you take your finals.
Use your planner to mark important dates
Not everyone likes to use the same method of organization. A go-to for many students is a weekly or 30-day calendar so they can write their notes and to-dos by hand and use bright highlighters to ensure they don’t miss a deadline. If a paper planner sounds like a nightmare to you, you can use a digital calendar on your phone or computer and set reminders. Whatever your preference is for marking important dates and checking off your tasks for the week, using a calendar in some form will make a huge difference when you have a lot on your plate.
Set goals for the semester
Writing down your goals for the semester and the school year will help motivate you to stay on top of your studies and make success feel achievable. Even starting with smaller goals, such as putting in two extra hours of study time for the week, can help you stay focused and on track with your bigger goals.
Connect with your advisor and professors
Your professors aren’t just there to grade your papers, they’re also there to help you succeed and reach your full potential. Don’t wait till the semester’s almost over to connect with your professor if you need help grasping a subject, or if you have questions about careers in your community.
If you haven’t already, reach out and introduce yourself to your advisor or start a relationship with your college’s student success center, if they have one. The staff is there to help you answer questions, plan out your semester and connect you with the resources you need to succeed in and out of the classroom.
Find an accountability buddy
An accountability buddy can be anyone in your life who wants you to succeed. It could be a friend you’re taking the same course with, a classmate you met in a study group, your parent or child or a good friend outside of class. Share your goals with them and plan monthly or weekly check-ins. Having someone that can offer support and accountability will help classes, tests and deadlines feel a little less overwhelming.
Relax, and remember this is for you
Staying organized this semester will help you manage stress, meet deadlines, excel in your studies, and reach the finish line.
After you’ve marked all your important study dates in your planner, connected with your advisor, written down your goals and planned your first check-in with your accountability buddy, it’s time to get to the fun part – gaining new knowledge and skills to prepare you for your career!