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Organization tips for a new semester

Starting a new semester in college can be incredibly stressful and daunting. A new schedule, new professors or even a new workload always present a challenge at the start of the year. I am very familiar with the struggles that a new semester brings, which is why I decided to compile a list of my top organization tips to incorporate at the beginning of the semester to start you off on the right foot. Of course, these can be modified to fit what works best for you as far as materials and such go, but the general guidelines are what matters.

Print all of your syllabi or download them all at the beginning of the semester to keep in a consistent place.
Syllabi are so important in all classes and contain most of the answers to any questions you may have about the course structure.

Reference each of your syllabi and write down important due dates and assessment dates on a calendar.
Having a separate collective due date calendar can help you visualize your coursework and delegate what needs to be done and when. It also helps you to keep track of each of your assignments since you can reference this to see what is due. This can be a physical calendar or a digital one, whichever works best for you. You can also make a calendar for things like readings and other work, but this is completely optional and is ideally done on a separate calendar to avoid clutter.

Create a to-do list for the week (and the day, if you need extra structure).
At the beginning of each week, make a list of what assignments are due and what readings and studying you need to complete. This will help to ensure all of your assignments are completed and you can allow yourself enough time to finish your work for the week without having to do it all at once. You can do this for each day as well to break it up in a way that works best for your schedule.

Color-code things like your to-do list and calendars.
Whether this is assigning colors to each course or each type of assignment, this can be very helpful in giving you a way to quickly assess what you have going on any specific day. This is where you have to try and see what works best for you since everyone has a different preference. Pens or highlighters are probably the best tools for this, but anything colorful will work.

Use a planner.
These can be very tough to keep up with, but if you find one that you like and breaks things down in a way that you understand, I recommend using it. Similar to a calendar, this can just help you to manage your time and stay on top of things; however, these planners are also good to bring with you to class in case your professor changes a due date or adds a new assignment during class.

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