back to school

7 Organization Tips for College Students

7 Organization Tips for College Students - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comIt’s back-to-school season and I want to help all of our college-aged readers get organized this semester. Yes, I graduated from undergrad five years ago and graduate school almost four years ago. So there’s reason to argue that I don’t have any relevant advice to give. However, organization is my thing.

7 Organization Tips For College Students

Keep a planner or use some sort of calendar system. Surprise, surprise. I’m recommending a planner. Before I knew who Erin Condren was or discovered her planners, I used a regular old Staples planner to keep track of all my classes, assignments, social plans, Alpha Phi Omega events and work schedule. Figure out what works best for you to keep track of all your classes and events in one central location. Color coding is an effective way to do so so you can track one particular topic at a glace. For example, if all of your journalism class assignments and dates are green and your sorority recruitment events are magenta, they’ll be easy to distinguish.

Save all your syllabi. This is your road map to your semester. Keep a digital copy and print one out and leave it in the front of your binder. If due dates or assignments change, make note of it right away. Transfer all relevant dates into your planner or calendar so that you can see how assignments overlap in your other courses.  I remember one time I didn’t notice that the Thursday location of my Tuesday- Thursday class was different.  Also be sure to highlight the professor’s and TA’s office hours.

Make an assignment list. When I was taking six classes, keeping an assignment list kept me sane. Gather your syllabi together and make one long sheet of every day that an assignment is due. Because I love a printable, I’ve created a free assignment tracker for you all. Excel is your friend and you can make a customized tracker that also fits your needs.

7 Organization Tips for College Students - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Figure out your most productive time. Figure out what time of the day you are the most productive and schedule your work around that time. If you’re an early riser- arrange your schedule to get most of your work done then.

Organization tools

Set time goal. Back in my University 101 class freshman year, we learned about the Pomodoro Technique, a  productivity method from the 1980s. In this technique you:

  1. Decide what your task is (e.g. write English essay, proof history paper, etc.)
  2. Set the Pomodoro or timer to 25 minutes
  3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
  4. Take a short break anywhere between 3-5 minutes
  5. Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break of 15 – 30 minutes

  Use tomato-timer.com or your phone to try the technique.

Limit time spent on websites to procrastine.  SelfControl  or Stay Focused are tools that keep you from accessing websites like Facebook,Twitter, or Buzzfeed when you should be working on that paper that’s due. These are both free and you can customize them to block yourself from whatever website you may want to browse in an effort to procrastinate.

Most importantly…

Don’t forget self-care. SLEEP. Take time out for a yoga or a dance class. Join the Quidditch team or any other intramural sport that might give you a little reprieve. College can be hard, so don’t forget to take time to take care of  yourself.

Do you have any tips to share with college students? Leave them in the comments below!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

School Daze

Back in the days when I was young, I’m not a kid anymore. But some days I sit and wish I was a kid again.

Now everybody say, “I remember way back when..”  When I was younger, going back to school was a big deal. Buying school supplies and new clothes completed overshadowed the thought of waking up at 7am instead of 2pm. The first day of school was probably the only day we got up with out a struggle in my house. Who could sleep with all the excitement: new crayon smell, shoes still in the box and laid baby hair? YAASS QUEEN.

Now that we’re all “grown-up”, the roles have changed. My former elementary and middle school classmates are posting pictures of their little ones heading to school, and I’m just here waiting for my nephews’ summer break to be over. But I will admit, it has me thinking about (and missing) the good ol’ days. Here’s a list of the things my mama made sure we had to start a successful school year.

Book bag

My School of the Arts school supplies list was unlike anything my family has ever seen. While everyone was rocking their Jansport or embroidered L. L. Bean’s, ya girl had to rock a rolling book bag. It was way too heavy to carry. My uncle still jokes with me, “Baby girl–remember when I had to help you carry that heavy ass book bag? Looks like it paid off.”  I guess.
School Daze--The Palmetto Peaches

 

First day of school outfit

My curves never did fit in to Limited Too clothes, and my mama heard JNCO was racist–so FUBU & Southpole were my go to back to school #OOTD in middle school. Basically, I dressed like a grown man until I was 14. But my favorite back-to-school outfit has to be the one I wore the first day of 9th grade: DEMO jeans with brown patches on them, a matching shirt from Old Navy, Coach shoes (the ones that looked like Converse) and a name belt. The name belt was super exclusive, because I got it from New York before everyone could buy one in the mall. *hair flip*

School Daze--The Palmetto Peaches

photo from thefrisky.com

 

School supplies

Remember when it was a big deal to have those obnoxious Lisa Frank school supplies? I do. As if the 10 boxes of Kleenex and 20 composition notebooks weren’t enough, kids begged their parents for a pack of flashy $10 pencils, and stickers they didn’t even need!

The summer before 6th grade, I was obsessed with Clueless. Those pens with the feathers on on top were the only school supplies I cared about. First of all, nobody used those pens in real life–especially middle schoolers in the south. Second of all, I didn’t write with pens in school until like high school.
School Daze--The Palmetto Peaches

 

Hair-do

The first day of school was a way to reinvent yourself. How you started the year was how you’d be remembered until the next school year (returning from Winter Break was a chance to redeem yourself). So the hair had to be laid hunty! My little sister and I always got matching braids. One year, my mama even let us get blonde & burgundy crochet braids. [My keyboard is wet from the tears I’m shedding while laughing.] I won’t even tell y’all the story of how I got cut all my hair off & rocked a 1980s texturizer, and looked like this…
School Daze--The Palmetto Peaches

 

Words of encouragement

My family is super corny. LOL. My cousins and I would call each other every first day of school talmbout, “Have a great day! Love you. Miss you. See you soon!” I think it worked, because we were all good kids and students. Maybe we should’ve kept the tradition going when we got to high school. HAHA!

As motivating as our pep-talks were, we had nothing on Kid President!

Never thought I’d admit to missing those days, especially the embarrassing ones! Do you remember how you felt when it was time to go back to school? What were the “must-have” items on your list? Comment below or tweet me @TheAceAlexa!

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches