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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Top Ways for Students to Stay Organized

Clean Out Your School Folder and get rid of papers you no longer need. Having all of those extra papers that you got back a month ago in your folder will make it heavy. It may bend and tear. But worst of all, you won't be able to find papers when you need them. Clean out the folders you do use, put all graded work that you cleaned out in an extra folder or binder, keep it under your bed or in your closet.

Get a planner. Planners are very helpful. Hamline offers them for free. Check with the front student center front desk. Or buy one or make your own. Go through all your syllabi for each class. Write down homework due dates, tests, club meeting dates, anything that you need to know or anything you may forget.

Put papers in folders. This may seem obvious, but put any papers you need to keep in its subject folder. Don't let loose papers mangle about. Take those extra seconds and put them in a folder.

If you have an important paper that you don't want ruined, try getting a some page protectors. Another good thing to get to be organized is an accordion folder. Accordion folders are the folders that expand and have many places for different kinds of paper.

Focus on your work. When you get to class, don't goof off with friends. Write down your Homework in your planner and begin any assignments. If you have no assignments needed, then wait patiently for class to begin. Simply, when you're in class, be in class.

At your house, dorm, or apartment, designate a spot for school. Have a desk with paper, pencils, pens and other school supplies in your room or in a place where it is quiet. This is for your Homework and projects. All supplies should be kept here.

When you know something is due in say, 2 weeks, get your supplies as soon as possible. When you get your supplies, draft out what you will be doing with your project. Work on it a little each day. Do not wait until the last minute to begin your project. The night before the project is due, look over it. See if you have missed any important steps. Put what is due in a small pile next to your backpack.

Do Homework as soon as you get it. Do it that same night before your favourite program comes on TV. If you don't I can guarentee you will be doing it the night before or you won't do it all and then get in trouble with the teacher. Doing homework the day you get it is also helpful in that the subject matter is still fresh in your mind. You may find that if the subject is still fresh, it may take you less time to have it finished as your mind is still tuned into those neural networks and you can quickly remember answers or concepts that were just presented in class that day. By the next day it may take you 10-15 mintues to get your mind focused back on the subject.

Clean Up Virtually. Not ready to tidy up your home or office? Start with your e-clutter. An e-mail inbox full of old, unread messages can stress you out and keep you from getting to more pressing tasks. Go through your messages and take care of each one as you go, resisting the temptation to merely read through each one and put it on your mental to-do list before clicking through to the next one.

More Tips:

  • Neat doesn't always mean new. Your old pencil writes just as well as the next guy's.
  • Instead of stashing every finished worksheet that isn't nailed down in your folder like your teacher tells you, keep a "done" binder and a hole punch at home. Use it for papers you might need or not sure you're really done with.
  • Don't expect to become organized over night. It takes time. Try to just make one class perfect and then when you get the hang of it you will eventually do the same with all your other classes.
  • Seek a balance. College life is a mixture of social and academic happenings. Don't tip the balance too far in either direction. One of my favorite former students always used to say her motto was to "study hard so she could play hard."

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