How to Stay Organized in College: Tips and Tricks

For many young adults, college life is the first taste of what independent adulthood has to offer. There are so many choices and options for how to spend your time. There are also so many new people to meet and so many things to learn. This can make staying organized feel like a real challenge!

In this post, learn tips and tricks to help you stay organized and focused during your college years.

Choose and Use a Time Management System
For many college students, this will be an app you can open and edit from your phone. But whether you favor a classic paper day planner or a snazzy little e-calendar, staying organized often boils down to setting your weekly schedule, creating alerts and sticking to it.

If You Touch It, Handle It
Many successful professionals employ this technique to keep their desks, their email inboxes and their brains clean and clear. Make a rule that if you read an email, you will handle it right then and there (same goes for snail mail, homework notes, dorm chores, et al). If you don’t have time to handle it, don’t touch it.

Know the BIG Dates
Whether it is the deadline to apply for graduate school or an internship, the week for midterms and final exams or the add/drop date for classes, you want to bold, highlight, star and circle those big dates as far in advance as possible.

Learn the Campus Map Backwards and Forwards
If you are the type to bounce out of bed before your alarm rings, you may not need extra time to find your way around campus. But if you are new to campus or just aren’t a morning person, you want to know exactly where you are going and exactly how long it will take to get there in advance. This will keep you organized and on time every day.

Take Care of Your Whole Self
One of the biggest challenges for college students is simple self-care. Along with big milestones like your 21st birthday, you may be juggling classes, work, relationships, extracurricular activities, job searches and much, much more. If you don’t take good care of your whole self – body, mind, emotions and spirit – you risk cheating yourself out of the good results of your own hard work.

By understanding the basic fundamentals of creating and maintaining a personal organizational system in college, you can achieve your goals and also take good care of yourself each step of the way. Best of all, your ability to stay organized will make you a very attractive candidate to prospective employers when you graduate!