College is one huge, big, insane mixture of all the highs and all the lows. There is so much stress but also so much joy that comes along with being a college student. You are finally on your own and able to do your own thing, but at the same time YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN DOING YOUR OWN THING. WHAT. When it comes to fitting it all in, staying involved, making money, and being social, it can definitely take some planning. Staying organized is super important as the crazy busy student that you are. Here are some of my tips for ways to stay organized in college:
Create Daily To-Do Lists
This one is the most basic but SO effective for me. I make multiple lists a day with anything from homework assignments in my planner, to a grocery list, to chores I need to do around my apartment. I like seeing it all laid out in front of me so I know exactly what I need to do and by when. I will add due dates or write them out according to importance so I know what needs to get done first. Checking things off the list is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world I swear!!!! Makes you feel so good and accomplished.
Balance Work & Play
This is crucial in staying on top of your stuff! When it’s crunch time get down to work but make sure you are scheduling in time for things you enjoy. You never want to get so overwhelmed that you can’t complete what you need to. So take breaks and hang out with friends, read a book, or curl up with a blanket and binge-watch your favorite tv show. It’s all about balance.
Stick to a Schedule
This is such an important way of how I live my daily life. As nice as it is sometimes, I can’t function without a schedule. My body craves routine and I honestly struggle without it. Plan out your day and stick to your to-list. Your classes are scheduled which leaves you with a certain amount of hours in the day to accomplish everything else that you need to get done. Personally I think following the same strict schedule day in and day out can be repetitive, but having a general guideline can definitely be useful and help you stay on track.
If you’re finding it difficult to focus, think about something you want, or would like to do, and promise yourself that you’ll grant yourself whatever it is once your work is complete. For example, don’t start the next season of the Office (for the 7th time) on Netflix until you’ve handed in your Lit paper on Friday. Or, if you’ve just gotten yourself through a particularly exhausting week, take a breath before jumping into your next string of assignments. Do something for yourself as a reward for your hard work.
Get Enough Sleep
I feel like I am constantly saying this but sleep is SO important. My body relies so much on sleep and how productive I am the next day is heavily dependent on the amount of sleep I got the night before. Whether it is going to bed earlier, sleeping in an extra hour, or a nap it all adds up. I do so much better when I am well rested, and what is better than a nice two hour nap after classes???
Don’t Take on Too Much
It is so easy in college to take on too much at once. You are told you need to do well in all your classes, land an internship, be social, get involved in leadership roles, join clubs, and stay healthy all at once. I have fallen into this too many times to count and the pressure to do it all can take a mental and physical toll on your body. So test some different things out and figure out how much you can handle so you can see what works for you.
Make Your Bed Everyday
This is a very minuscule task in the big scheme of things but it can kickstart your day right off the bat. I often put this and other smaller tasks at the top of my to-do list so I already have a few things crossed off heading into my day. It makes you feel accomplished and ready to take on the day.
Keep Track of Spending
Money in college is such a hard thing. One minute it’s there and the next it’s gone. There are so many miscellaneous expenses. Being knowledgeable of how much you’re taking in, how much you’re spending (and on what) and how much you need for future things is essential as a college student. Learning to budget is difficult, but it’s a practical skill that you’ll carry with you into adulthood.
Set Goals & Stick to Them
It doesn’t matter how big or small you start, but you need to start thinking about what you want for your future. I’m not necessarily talking career planning; your goals could be about anything. For example, if you know you want to travel, start thinking about potential study abroad options. The sooner you work on this, the better; you don’t want your opportunity to sneak up and pass you by because you were unprepared. Another great thing about planning early is that it gets you excited for what’s to come, and encourages you to work harder to achieve your goals.
Have an incredible Sunday!