How To Get Organized for College

Many young adults come to college without adequate skills in the organizational department. The first step to getting more organized is to set up a routine that will help you determine what needs to get done for the day. When you go off to college, your parents are no longer there to remind you to get your laundry done, pay that library fine, or study. Below are several tips to help you become more organized sooner rather than later:

  1. Determine a morning time routine. A morning time routine will help you feel less frazzled right before class. Get a dependable alarm clock. Be sure to allot enough time for a good breakfast and some good exercise, if you can. Many college students enjoy a solid hour before class to get some last minute reading or studying done. If you drive, bike, walk, or bus to campus, be sure to leave plenty of time to get to class without being late. It would be wise, the night before, to check and make sure the car is gassed up and air is in your tires. Also check the expected weather conditions so that you won't be in for any surprises. The last thing you want to begin your day with is a stressful morning that starts out rushed and on an empty stomach.

  2. Maximize your midday time. For most college students, the middle of the day can be a very productive time to get lots done. If your classes have let out and you have an hour to kill, think about getting some work done over watching T.V. Allow enough time for relaxation, but don't overdue it. Sometimes a midday short nap is a good refresher for you to keep going and stay on top of your schedule.

  3. Nighttime is for the owls. Some students find the nighttime to be strictly for rest, while others get their best studying in. If you choose to stay up late, be sure you are being productive and giving yourself enough rest.

  4. Create positive space that is conductive to learning. When your parents take you to the department stores to purchase school supplies and living goods, be sure to think of efficiency and cost over whether or not it looks chic. Focus on binders and folders for the mountains of paper you will accumulate over the next few years. Look at investing in a file cabinet that would transport easily. Be sure to have plenty of pens, pencils and paper. It's almost impossible to get by without a PC, Mac, or laptop, so look into investing in one if you don't already have it. Also, consider if you want to take a laptop to class for note taking, because size will matter when you have to haul it around campus. Remember that you will probably be moving annually, so cutting down on how much stuff you accumulate is very important.

    The biggest problem most students find with getting organized is setting up their living space as a good study space. The key is in eliminating distractions that pull you away from getting that chapter or article read. Unplug or don't have a television, turn off your phone, put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on your door, and make sure your are not studying on an empty stomach. These are just a few ideas to help you reduce distractions. Staying on top of your studies is a huge part of staying organized. Missing one or two assignments or readings will put you back.

  5. Determine on what days you will commit to certain activities. It is best to decide which day of the week you will do your laundry and do housekeeping, go out for entertainment, grocery shop, pay bills, exercise, job, club activity, etc. and for how long. Get a planner or organizer and write out your commitments for the week and month and try to stick to them. It is also helpful to mark the dates of exams, assignment due dates, labs, etc. Your course syllabi will be helpful in determining this. Studying should be an everyday occurrence as well as your top priority. Of course, flexibility is a must when making schedules, so just be aware that it is okay if you don't get everything on your list done.

Fortunately, getting organized is all based on your level of commitment to being organized. You will learn that the more organized you are, the more leisure time you will have in the long run and the less stressful your life will be. Good luck!


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