Winter break has come and gone, and a new semester is upon us. Personally, the beginning of each semester is my favorite part of the school year. You start with a clean slate, and nothing stands in your way to achieving that 4.0, but then syllabus week ends, and reality sets in. There are ways to keep that “first week of class” ambition lasting all semester and it all begins with organization. [pullquote align=”right”]Clumping all your notes together unintentionally clumps your brain too.[/pullquote]
1. Use a Planner: My planner is my Bible. I would not be able to function without it. Quite honestly, almost every minute of my day is planned out. Crazy? Maybe, but hey, I’m a busy girl. After the first few days of classes, I sit down with each syllabus and write it out into my planner. Every exam, assignment, and project is penciled in. This is a good strategy to get in the habit of, since you can now see which weeks are going to be busy and which are not, and plan accordingly.
2. Use Separate Binders and Notebooks: While using the same binder or notebook for as many classes as possible may be convenient (less to carry, less to buy, etc.), it is in your best interest to use separate ones. Clumping all your notes together unintentionally clumps your brain too and makes it think you have more to do than you actually do. This sends your body and mind into panic mode, making it harder to study, find papers you need, etc. When separated, you can clearly find all needed paperwork, and study easier, which of course helps lead to that 4.0.
3. Color Code your Notes: It is statistically proven that writing in different colors causes you to remember your notes faster and more fully. When the writing is not all smashed together in one standard color, it is easier for your brain to pick out facts. I tend to separate the color of my notes by subject. If a particular fact is seemingly more important than the others, I will write it in red, and highlight it. On my calendar, I color code as well. Anything related to classes is one color, extra-curricular, another, and so on and so forth.
4. Separate Documents: Separate your computer documents into folders based on each class. In my upper level classes, I find myself writing a lot of papers, proposals, case studies, etc. Rather than have them all crowding my documents folder and having to remember what I named a paper for a particular class, I create a folder for that class within the documents. This makes it much easier to find “lost” work.
Ashley Cantasano is a third-year student who is majoring in marketing and adverisement. She can be reached at AC784683@wcupa.edu.