How the Center for Student Success Helped Me Get More Organized

I’ll admit, I have never been the most efficient worker. Yes, I get things done on time and always manage to pull off a decent grade, but the steps getting from the assigned date to the due date is always a bit of a scramble. My freshman year of college, I coasted a bit by taking classes that allowed me a lot of flexibility, but as a sophomore, it was definitely more than I expected. As an education major, I started going to school for my practicum, and along with that, I was assigned more lesson plans, assignments, and case studies than I could keep track of. It didn’t help that I added a lot more extra curricular activities onto my plate. My mentality was that my brain was definitely capable of juggling, and I definitely didn’t need a $50 planner to write down my entire life on. While that is still the case, I will say that writing my entire life down has actually helped me, but it took a while to get there.

I was having some trouble balancing everything, but I didn’t realize how much trouble until I sat down and talked to my CA. It was a routine one-on-one that I expected to be over in five minutes, just to catch up on how I was doing. But as he asked me questions about how I was doing, I realized I was not doing well. I was so overwhelmed, and really had no idea how to manage my time. So, he recommended me to the CSS: The Center for Student Success. This was something I heard about during my freshman year, where people went for tutoring and resume checks. I hadn’t given it a second thought, but my CA told me that it had really helped him. So, I decided to check it out. I made an appointment with Jamal Johnson, and boy, it was probably one of the greatest decisions that I have ever made.

As my friends can agree, I always know what my problems are. I mean, they stare right back at me in the mirror. I am a procrastinator, and that hasn’t changed all of middle school, high school, and even in college. My first meeting with Mr. Johnson was as eye-opening as I hoped it would be. He told me things that I tried to ignore about myself. Even while juggling my schoolwork, my job, and my extracurriculars, I still had free time that I wasted doing nothing. Instead of getting stuff done, I was complained about all the work that I had to do. Understandably, that is a very poor way to go about things, but that was what I had done. Mr. Johnson told me to start planning my days to the hour. I had to break my time down, and plan everything. That micromanagement of my time was what I needed. Hearing the words come from him helped. It wasn’t that I hadn’t known what I was doing, but rather that I ignored and pushed away from my mind. I started using the calendar on my computer and it helped me to see everything laid out. After a few days, I realized that I needed something tangible, so I bought a planner that had the hours written down for me. While it wasn’t $50 or even close to it, the physical planner helped me even more. 

Slowly, I am trying to get into a routine of planning my days and looking ahead. As a sophomore, I have a few more semesters before I start living on my own, and I won’t have free school resources that I can use whenever I need some extra support. So, if you learned anything from this, you should definitely use all the resources that your campus offers. I have improved my work ethic, and learned so much from just two meetings, and I can assure you that it will help you, too.