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Overwhelmed and Overworked: A Guide to Staying Organized in College

It is a well-known fact that a college student’s life can be demanding.  We attempt to balance school, work, health, friends, and still find time for ourselves.  We sacrifice sleep (and sometimes sanity) to get everything done, and occasionally the scales just don’t tip in our favor.  If you find yourself trying to keep a level head while buried under six feet of homework assignments and laundry, here are five easy tips that have helped me to restore the balance into my hectic days.

1.      Give everything a place-Every object in your room should have its own home.  Personally, I denote certain drawers to certain objects: one for pajamas, one for art supplies, one for school supplies. When your belongings have a certain place to go, it not only makes it ten times easier to clean, but things you need will always be within arm’s reach (like your keys and your UCF ID).  Use this same tip to organize your wallet. Designate places for your debit or credit card and your driver’s license.  Those of you, who, like me, have a penchant for misplacing things, should especially consider adopting this system.  When everything has a place, it is a lot easier to notice when something is missing.
2.      Organize your time- Time management is probably one of the most important things to learn. Everyone uses it, particularly college students.  Break up your day into sections and do what you need to, in order of priority. I do this by making myself a to-do list for the day, and tackling the most important thing first. Don’t stress yourself out by planning too far ahead; take it a week at a time.  
3.      Don’t procrastinate- This tip may seem rather obvious, but procrastination is something all students are guilty of.  Trust me, I know school work can be boring, but having that twelve page research paper on Napoleon done before you try going to that party is so important.   Having things done ahead of time will leave you stress free, with more time to do things you actually want to do, and who doesn’t want that?
4.      Write it down- I certainly do not have a super-computer memory.  If I can barely remember what I ate for lunch, how am I supposed to remember the English paper due next week?  As soon as a professor assigns homework, be sure to write it down somewhere safe. I recommend investing in a calendar, there’s even pocket-sized ones you can carry to class! Personally, I have two, one for my desk and one to carry around during school. That way you always have a handy reference for when everything is due, and you never have to worry about conflicting engagements.   
5.      There’s an app for that- In our highly technological age, I’d be hard-pressed to find someone without their phone attached to them like life support.  If tangible lists and calendars aren’t your style, there are countless free organizational apps to make your life a little less crazy.  “myHomework” allows the user to keep track of their studies by viewing their assignments and due dates on a calendar.  If you don’t want to tangibly follow Tip #4, electronic notepads, calendars, and list-makers are a great solution to aid the more technologically savvy of us to organizational enlightenment. 

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