The first week of classes can be overwhelming. You’re trying to break from all of your summer habits (staying up all night, sleeping all day, watching Kim Kardashian’s wedding special), you have to meet and introduce yourself to a lot of new people and syllabi, surveys and other random papers are being thrown at you rapid-fire.
But by getting yourself acquainted with a few extremely useful supplies, you can stay afloat on the constant waves of papers, readings and homework that will soon be bombarding you.
1. File folder
Invest in a durable, high-quality, plastic filing folder for your papers. Here you can always keep your syllabi and other papers in the same place, ideally in order from least to most recent. You should have separate folders for each class; this way you can have an organized place for the readings you’ll need for any specific day.
2. Wall Calendar
Hang this somewhere you’ll see every day (on the back of your door, next to your bathroom mirror, above your bed.) and write all your important assignment deadlines and appointments on it. Not just the day-to-day homework, but also those things that are hidden on the syllabus that you only tend to notice the night before they’re due (long papers, tests, etc).
Don’t get a small planner, no matter how cute it looks. Your best option is to get a standard-sized notebook and write “planner” on it. Here, you can plan out your whole day down to the last little detail so you don’t forget anything! Break each page into categories: due tomorrow, schoolwork, and household are a few starting ideas. Don’t forget to keep it with you when you go to class so you can add to it during the day – like when your professor announces upcoming assignments, for example.
4. Color coding
Assign each class its own color. Buy matching folders, post-its and highlighters for each class. It may be overwhelming at first, but with this great organizational move, after a week or two you’ll be able to know what papers belong to which classes. Ever set aside an important paper and later couldn’t find it? Color coding may be your solution.
These small additions to your daily roster will make keeping up with your classes much easier than keeping up with the Kardashians.