Stay organized throughout the semester

Tips and tricks to help you manage your time

It’s no secret that I try and do way too much. I’m working two jobs, taking 18 credits, going to church three days a week and still trying to find time to have a life, eat and sleep. Maybe the rest of you have a better work-life balance but I am willing to bet the rest of you are starting to feel the heat at this point in the semester. 

Already, Midterms are around the corner. Nationwide, school is in session. That’s why I am going to tell you my secrets to keeping it all together because if you are not careful, this is the moment where the semester starts to fall apart. 

Stay organized

First of all, organization is key. I have a binder where I keep all my syllabi and other important documents for my classes three-hole-punched and divided by classes. I use it daily for double-checking big assignment details. Having these readily accessible makes my life 10 times easier. 

If you take one organizational piece of advice from this entire article it’s gonna be this: have a planner. When my syllabi are printed out the first thing I do is write down all the important due dates into my planner.

In the monthly calendar, I have my midterms, paper due dates, finals and all other big assignments written in by class and color-coded. In the weekly calendar, I write all these big due dates and also my daily assignments.

With your planner and binder printed out, you are finally ready to tackle the hardest part of classes: reading. I personally like to write out a loose reading schedule so I don’t get too behind in any of my assignments or classes. Highlight your textbooks, make notes in the margins and make flashcards — anything you can do to help retain the information when the next big test rolls around. 

Communicate with your professors

Finally, know your professors and be humble. Today, I walked up to my social work professor (love you Mel) and talked to her about some assignments I had missed. 

I told her my social work textbook still had not come in the mail. I explained that I did not expect her to extend the due date for the quiz I had missed but politely asked her if she would be willing to extend my next quiz due date since it’s impossible to pass without the textbook. 

She graciously gave me time to complete my next quiz and was generous enough to extend the other quiz date as well. Now, not every professor is as cool as Mel. I recognized that it was my responsibility to do the assignments and politely asked for an extension. 

Just like you, your professors are trying their best.

Be humble, communicate with your professors and stay organized, and you will make it to Christmas.

If I can do it, you can too. 

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