I am a bit of an organization junkie. I keep labels in stock. I have more post-its than is safe. Organization and planning orders my world.
After I joined the IMC program, I realized that my time had come. It was time to set up the best study plan the world had ever seen. How else is everything supposed to get done in addition to my schoolwork?
Here are my top six tips for students preparing for a new semester:
Get a planner.
Some people like paper planners, and some people prefer digital planning systems. Figure out which will work best for you and then use it. Write it all down, or enter it all. Set up reminders, sticky notes, and notifications that you think will help. Keep a running to-do list that gives you a snapshot of your week.
Print out your syllabi for each class you take.
I know printing out anything for an online system seems a little strange, but trust me on this one. You never know when you’ll need a quick check on some requirement and *gasp* NO WIFI. True story. Print out the syllabus and keep it handy.
Write down everything.
Here comes the planning part. Write down everything. Write down deadlines. Write down when you’re going to work on every part of the assignments. Write down when you have family obligations or big projects at work so you know that they are coming. That IMC project may take more time than you think; planning it all out will give you a better idea of when you can do everything.
Take notes while reading for a quick reference for later. Jot down things you find interesting or something you’d like to learn more about later. It comes in handy when you’re writing your discussion board posts or working on a paper.
Keep it together.
I use a 3-ring binder to keep my syllabus and notes for my classes. I have sections for my to-do list, notes, research articles, and even websites to use. Keep it all in one place.
Email any questions.
If you have questions about anything for your class, be sure to email your professor early. Don’t wait for the day of the assignment. Get clarification for any assignment requirements you don’t understand or ideas you have trouble with from the lessons.