I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who was hoping for a regular semester—hoping that there would be in-person classes, the usual businesses of my campus, and getting to hang out with my friends whenever possible. COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down, especially with higher education. Many of us are taking online classes for a full semester, and our “classrooms” are now at our homes, apartments, or local libraries. If all or most of your classes are online, it can be easy to get distracted and start procrastinating. To avoid that and make it a 4.0 semester, here are five tips to help you stay organized and top of things this semester!
- A Clean Workspace
Having a clean and organized workspace is key to helping you stay on your toes this virtual semester. If your desk has papers frequently sprawled out everywhere and stationery not in containers – it will be difficult to locate items you may need, and time would be wasted. Take time to organize where all your textbooks will go, how many containers you will need for your pens, pencils, markers, etc., and if you can buy mini-storage containers for extra supplies like printer paper, envelopes, and index cards. If you have a clean workspace and keep it clean, locating assignments, books, and supplies will be easier.
- Invest in A Dry-Erase Board Calendar
My dry-erase board calendar has saved me from so much stress during college. Being a busy college student and always having my calendar, I could continuously see and remember test days or dance practices. Especially now that we’re all staying inside regularly, having a calendar that you can see always is a great move. My calendar has a large notes section, and with that, I’m able to dedicate a section to all my upcoming tests, quizzes, assignments, and major projects. However, you don’t have to have a big calendar, and a smaller one is more your style, or if you want a mini-calendar – go for a smaller one!
- Have A Planner, Notebook, Or A Bullet Journal
Earlier, I said that it is a good idea always to have a calendar in your room's constant view. The same concept applies to a planner! It's like your stable calendar on-the-go! Everything you need is there, all the due dates for assignments, quiz & test dates, club meetings, and other events. If a planner doesn't suit your needs, you can use a regular notebook or a bullet journal! I use a bullet journal as I can be more creative and make my themes than a traditional planner.
- Schedule Times To Work On Assignments For Each of Your Classes
I am taking 17 credit hours this semester, which translates to six classes. Since I'm taking a full load, I cannot dedicate a single day or even a consecutive group of days to work on all my assignments. To make sure I don't lose track, I schedule specific days and times to tackle each class's work. For example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays – I focus on three of my classes, and each class gets two hours with a short break in between. Doing this has kept me on track and helps me not to get confused with my six classes.
- Feeling Overwhelmed? Take A Break And Come Back To Your Studies
I’ve heard this from friends, social media, and even the news – this pandemic has had terrible effects on people’s mental health. We have to take classes during a pandemic, and with all that is going on, it’s easy to get stressed with school. If this happens while you’re studying, take a break, and come back to it. When taking a break, clear your mind from anything school-related and focus on something else. Listen to your feel-good playlist. Start a new show on Netflix or Hulu. Pick up your journal and start writing! Whatever you do, make sure it’s something you will enjoy and will help calm you for an hour or more. When you feel like you’re ready to get back to studying, go for it!
Although this semester might be virtual, you can still make it a great one! Remember that you are capable of success, and you are strong! Once you’ve made that affirmation in your mind and claim it, you’ve already conquered the semester!