When you’re a parent of a college student, it can be hard to let go of the little things. You know how much that extra hour of sleep means to you every morning, so you can’t help but worry about your kid’s schedule when they’re not at home anymore.
Your kid has classes and a part-time job and studying and friends who want to hang out, and sometimes they forget things or mix everything up, but that’s okay! They are learning how to handle things on their own. Keep reading to discover student organization tips to enhance student’s academic performance and make them professional organizers in their first year of college.
Organizational Tips for College Students
For many returning students, the start of a new semester means facing a familiar set of challenges: how to manage a packed schedule, stay on top of homework, etc. If you’ve got a student heading back to campus soon, here are 16 tips to help college students feel less stressed and make the most out of their college experience.
1. Use a Student Planner
When time is money, and there are too many deadlines, a planner can be an organized college student’s best friend. No more wondering whether that paper is due on Friday or the following week; no more frantically flipping through the syllabus to find out what’s going on in class this week; no more skipping over the reading because it’s not due for weeks.
A student planner makes sure that students don’t miss a single assignment while ensuring that they are organized and in control of their busy schedule. By using a planner, they can plan their days and weeks as well as set reminders to leave enough time to get ready in the morning.
What’s more, they don’t have to use a paper planner. They can use a digital planner instead. Student can also use it to plan their weeknight and weekend activities — a small change that will give them time for other things besides studying. Studyo’s planner includes features like progress tracking, customizable layouts, and step-by-step task breakdowns, making it easy to stay organized and plan schoolwork. With Studyo, students can come to every class prepared to learn.
2. Be Consistent During Study Time
This is one of the most important things students can do before heading back to campus. Good time management is, after all, key to good academic performance. Students can set aside specific times every day for doing homework or studying, and make sure they have everything they need (including snacks).
Remember that your students will probably be with new friends and meet lots of new people while away at school this year. Make time to talk to them about how they can balance schoolwork and fun.
3. Use Calendar Apps
Apps are an excellent tool to help students get organized and stay on top of deadlines, assignments, and other things they have going on in their life. There are a lot of different apps out there that can help with just about anything.
There are apps that can help them remember the books they have to read before classes start, apps that can keep them on a weekly schedule by setting reminders for homework assignments or due dates for papers, and even apps that will enable them to scan things like coupons or receipts.
Of course, not everyone will need every app, but taking a look at some reviews can give you an idea of which ones could be useful for you. Google Calendar is free and easy to use, you just have to log in to your Google account and create an event. In addition, there are plenty of digital calendars and monthly calendars available for free on the web.
4. Develop Good Study Habits
Help your student create a routine that works for them, and encourage them to stick to it. For example, if you know that they tend to procrastinate, advise them to start studying at least 30 minutes before the time your class starts.
5. Create a Good Study Space
It’s essential for your students to find a comfortable place where they can study without distractions from other people or outside noise. Ask them to make sure that this space is well-lit and has enough room for their materials and supplies. Also, advise them to avoid studying in bed! This makes it hard to focus because of the surroundings (i.e., warm blankets) and because there are so many distractions (i.e., phone, TV, etc.).
6. Get Organized Before School Starts
It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of activity before school starts, but students need to take the time to organize their schedules. They should know what classes they’re taking and how long it will take them to get from one class to another. This will help them to avoid being late or missing a class altogether.
7. Be Flexible With Your Class Schedules
College students should know that things change quickly and often. In case of an unexpected schedule change, they should be flexible with the new program so that they don’t miss out on anything essential because they were running late or had another commitment.
If they can’t make changes to their schedule, they should talk with professors about rescheduling missed classes or exams to ensure that their overall grade point average (GPA) is not affected.
8. Create Checklists
When you’re trying to get your college student organized, it’s essential to set up systems that they can follow. One of the best ways to do this is by creating checklists. For example, if you’re trying to get your student organized for class, tell them to create a checklist of everything they need to bring with them daily as well as weekly. They can also use checklists when packing their suitcase or bag before going home or going on vacation.
9. Focus On the Good Stuff First
Students should start their day by focusing on what they enjoy most and are good at. This will help them feel better about their day and motivate them throughout their studies. This can also enable you to encourage your students to be more productive by doing what they love first thing in the morning.
For example, if a student is great at math, he can start by working on math problems before moving on to other subjects like science or history. If a student loves writing papers for English class and enjoys reading books for fun, he can focus his energy on these activities before moving on to something else so as not to get overwhelmed.
10. Revive School Supplies from Last Year
If your student is a high school senior who has just started college, it might be tempting to buy new supplies. However, if they’ve kept their old school supplies around, these could come in handy again this year, especially if they’re still in good condition and don’t have any stains or tears on them!
If you’re worried about using old notebooks or pens from last year, consider cleaning them before bringing them back into use. You may even want to replace some items like pens and pencils if they’ve lost their luster over time (but don’t go overboard).
11. Smart Storage Is Key
Proper storage containers make it easier to find things when you need them, especially for homework assignments and study notes. These containers should be sturdy enough to be stacked on shelves or in closets without falling over. They should also be transparent, so it’s possible to see what’s inside without having to open them.
12. Use Clipboards as Notebooks
Instead of buying a separate notebook for each class, get your students to use a clipboard and hang it up on the wall or place it on their desk with all of the essential papers inside it. This approach is preferable to using separate folders and binders. They can then write notes directly on the pages using dry erase markers or pencils or use the clipboards for reference purposes without worrying about damaging any of their more expensive materials in the process.
13. Make Lists of All Kinds
From grocery lists to to-do lists, writing down tasks is a great way to stay on top of them. Keep it simple and use whatever you have handy. For example, use a dry erase board or chalkboard to write down things that need to be done every day or week. Your students can also use their phone’s notes app or an app like Evernote if that works better for them.
14. Organize Clothes by Colors
One of the most important things your students can do is make sure all of their clothes are organized by color so that it’s easier for them to find what they’re looking for while getting dressed in the morning. This might seem like a small thing, but when it comes time to getting ready in a hurry, having everything organized makes it much easier to find what you need quickly without wasting time digging through piles of clothes looking for the right thing!
15. Eat Healthy Snacks That Are Ready To Go
A good rule of thumb for college students is to always have snacks on hand — it’s much easier than constantly stopping at the cafeteria or vending machines. Packing granola bars, fruit cups, nuts, and seeds in a small reusable bag can be handy when hunger hits.