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How To Not Lose Your Mind in College

Now that I’m in my fourth year at college, I think that I’ve gotten fairly good at creating a system to keep me sane. In other words, a great organizational system.

I’m pretty good at remembering things, but for me life doesn’t properly work if it’s not written down somewhere. Or, rather, 2 or 3 somewheres.

Exhibit 1: My planner.

Everything is written down where it’s supposed to be (such as “Classroom Management class 4:10-7” and “Jessie’s Birthday Party”) but then I also have lists for my homework. I write everything down that’s due the next week, and then systematically work through it, checking things off as I go. Just so you know, what you see on the right side is my plans for this week, Thursday – Sunday. When I got out of class on Thursday (yes, I am incredibly lucky for no class on Friday) I write a long list of everything that is due the next week. Then I try and get as much done over the weekend as possible, starting with what is due on Monday. Since this is the first weekend of the school year, I’m trying something new and taping that list inside my planner. Once I complete it all, I’ll take it off and throw it away. For now, I have an extremely long list of things to do. But it’s all there and I’ll get it all done!

Oh, and there’s a reason why I try to get everything for the entire week done over the weekend. I did this last year, because I discovered very quickly that there simply wasn’t enough time during the week to get my work done for the next day. For instance, I have 55 pages of article reading due on Monday, and then another 46 due for Wednesday, with some more in between and throw in another 3 chapters of textbook for Wednesday, too. There is no way that I could get that done and eat and go to meetings. And teach. So I try and get things done over the weekend, which is 3.5 days every week for me.

I mentioned that my organizational system includes writing things down in multiple places. Other than the physical planner I carry with me, I also write everything down in my iCal, which syncs to my phone as well as my computer. I also have a whiteboard monthly calendar, which is really helpful because then I can see everything ahead of time for a month. After all, paper due on the 21st feels like a long time away when it’s the 11th, but that’s actually just a week and a half away, which is when you really need to start work on a research paper.

Well, that’s my organizational system. What’s yours? Feel free to tell me and share your organization suggestions in the comments box!

Kate

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