Staying organized saves more lives in college than anything. It also happens to be what a lot of freshman/sophomores struggle with, probably because of how structured high school was. Yes you can stay up as late as you want and yes you can schedule all your classes in the afternoon so you can snooze the whole day but you don’t have to do either. (And you probably shouldn’t!)
The trick that’s worked for me is to give yourself a strict structure and stick to it no matter what. Here are a couple of things that can help you stay on track.
1. Get a planner
I know this is on every single college blog you’ve ever read and I was tired of reading it too. But trust me when I say that you’ll definitely need a planner. You will not be able to remember every single due date and every assignment instruction off the top of your head. And when it comes to making plan with friends, you’re going to want to see everything on paper to make sure you’re not missing deadlines or waking up late on exam day. This one from Etsy is really simple and affordable or you can get this Erin Condren one for a more customizable option.
2. Keep a separate folder for each class
You really don’t want to have to go through all your papers just find that one syllabus for one class so it’s a really good idea to keep all your papers for each class in a separate folder. You can either pick one up from the dollar store or pick this one up for major Elle woods vibes.
I normally don’t color code but if you’ve got an inner Monica Geller you want to embrace, this is the time!
3. Keep emails separately for different purposes
I made the mistake of online shopping/subscribing to stores on my school email and now I have to delete a bunch of them to get to an email from my professors. Yes you can unsubscribe later but it’s just better not to even do it to begin with. I suggest keeping 3 emails: Your school email (strictly school!), A professional email (Probably what you’ll use when you apply for jobs or for your LinkedIn Profile), and a personal email (preferably doesn’t contain your real name, you can use this for social media or shopping purposes)
4. Block off one day/night a week for fun
If you study Monday-Thursday and only go out on Friday nights, there’s not a whole lot of damage you can do to your grades. Even if you’re not partying, taking one night off to just relax will help you fight burnout, which happens, A LOT.
5. Don’t go crazy trying to stay organized
After my first semester of not being organized, I went nuts trying to stay organized. I pinned every bullet journaling picture and saved every organization inspo on tumblr. I collected an array of highlighters and splurged on unnecessary vegan leather journals. Did I end up using any of it? Yeah for about 3 weeks. So quit adding to this ‘organization vision board’ and keep it simple. Of course, if you already love to bullet journal and that’s the only way you can stay organized, do your thing!