All too often, we college students learn that we need to submit our ten-page research paper by our next class and unfortunately for us, we forgot to do any research. With all our assignments, extracurriculars and social obligations we forget to keep track of the important dates. Instead of taking advantage of any free time, we procrastinate until the last minute, resulting in loads of unnecessary stress.
Luckily for you, ten things exist to make your life easier and help you juggle all the college demands.
1. Purchase A Desk Calendar
Although buying a desk calendar nowadays appears old fashioned, writing down due dates for assignments, formal dates and sports events gives you a sense of when you approach a busy week to allow you to prepare in advance. “The first thing I do before the school year starts is purchase a desk calendar and write down every homework and test date I have for the upcoming semester. It really clears my head seeing when I will be most busy so I can avoid procrastinating,” Gabriella Resnick said, a junior at Boston College. A desk calendar also helps you make sure that your upcoming assignments remain on your mind since the desk calendar lives in a place you often glance at.
2. Set Up Reminders On Your Phone
Setting up reminders on your phone for due dates, birthdays and your theater presentation allows you to keep track of upcoming activities to keep them on your radar. Set up reminders for a week in advance or possibly multiple weeks in advance if the assignment consumes a lot of time. We constantly spend time on our phones and bring it everywhere, so this ensures that even if you don’t have your calendar on you, you still have a way of reminding yourself what needs to be done.
3. Make A List Of Important Dates
On top of having a desk calendar, what really helps me requires writing down a list of all the classes I take and the important due dates under each class. Midterms, essays, homework all fall under this list and serves as another reminder of when to focus on school. It also helps to have another list for extracurriculars, whether it includes sports, art or any club activities you involve yourself in on campus.
4. Write Down Dates Of When to Start Assignments
Although this sounds aggressive and possibly overdoing it, writing down the dates of when to start assignments and progress points up until the due date saves you from all the last-minute stress. Setting up a schedule of when to start your work and further making goals of when to complete certain tasks within an assignment will keep you ahead of the game and maybe you will even complete your work before schedule. Bye-bye stress and agony!
5. Stay In Touch With Professors and Coaches
Make an effort to drop by office hours every week or so and chat with your professor. Not only does this allow you to connect and build a relationship with your professor but it also gives you an opportunity to go over class material and resolve any confusion. The same goes for keeping a good relationship with your coach. “I always try to reach out to professors in the beginning of the semester and stop in for office hours. Since I travel for tennis and miss class occasionally, I want them to know I’m still doing the work because they will be more understanding in return,” Dasha Possokova said, a senior at Boston College. If there ever comes a time when you have a big exam on one day and need to miss practice to study, don’t fear asking your coach for a day off without fearing any repercussions.
6. Collaborate With Students
Whether you struggle on a homework assignment, project or to come up with a fun formal event, reach out to your peers. Tossing around ideas, sharing viewpoints and working together proves beneficial and enhances your brainstorming. Do not fear to reach out to your peers for help in homework. Many times, if I felt confused about assignments, I reached out to someone in my class and we would work together to clear any unsureness.
7. Utilize Google Docs For Note Taking
The lifesaver to organized note-taking and group project work — Google. Create bulleted lists to make your class notes structured and to read them efficiently. Google Docs also allows for simple sharing amongst your friends, so in the case of group projects or collaborating on an assignment, you type into the document and work on it simultaneously. Not only does Google Docs drastically help, but Google also provides Google Slides and Google Drive. All the programs only further help in organizing by class or help with group project work.
8. Quizlet Saves The Day While Studying
Losing flashcards, carrying around ten pounds worth of textbooks and filing through copious amounts of papers while studying equals the definition of inefficient. Take advantage of the free internet site Quizlet and create an account today. As you start studying, begin by creating the flashcards on Quizlet. No more lugging around books and worrying that you forgot to bring one book to the library. Instead, Quizlet contains your entire study guide in one location on your computer. Go through the flashcards or play fun games on Quizlet, you might actually have the tiniest bit of entertainment while studying for your upcoming midterms.
9. Actually Read the Homework Readings
I know, reading for a homework assignment really means no homework, right? Wrong! Not only does reading help you understand class material better, but reading also makes studying for midterms and finals so much easier. I made the freshman rookie mistake of never reading for classes which in turn meant skimming a semester worth of readings for my finals, AKA a disaster. Therefore, take thirty minutes out of your day and prepare for your class in advance.
10. Do Not Put Too Much On Your Plate
Your first year of college proves challenging enough with adjusting to making new friends, classes, professors and trying to get into clubs or sports teams. Although you feel like you need to take every opportunity and sign up for any club that seems remotely interesting,..don’t. Your plate fills up faster than you think and you don’t want to be in the middle of the semester, struggling to keep up with everything you agreed to. Start slow and take your time figuring out what truly interests you.