5 Tips for Going from Overwhelmed to Organized

With midterms right around the corner, its time to admit that we are all a little stressed. We have piled on our social life, health, and every other little thing to the top of our heaps of homework. Now that it’s almost time to start reviewing the first half of the semester, I have a few tips and tricks to help you stay sane.


  • Don’t overlook the usefulness of sticky notes

This one may sound a little weird at first, but I promise sticky notes can come in handy. Write down helpful reminders and stick them somewhere you’ll notice.


For example, what if you saw it was going to rain and needed to remember to grab your umbrella before heading out for class? Just write it down and stick it on the door the night before.


You’ll more than likely see it, take note of the reminder, and grab your umbrella. These little notes can also be helpful to boost your mood. Write down and stick around positive thoughts, quotes, song lyrics, or anything else you feel may be useful in upping your attitude.


  • Utilize to-do lists

Similar to a planner, to-do lists organize your thoughts.


However, they clearly outline your tasks for that day, and that day only, which makes it much less overwhelming to understand. It is also helpful to review the events throughout the day and check them off as you go. You may want to break down your tasks into categories such as school, social, and personal.


  • Keep a planner

I know you’ve heard this a million times, but I cannot stress enough just how helpful my planner has been for my first semester thus far. I recommend color coding your assignments for each class.


I also want to stress how important it is to schedule other events in your planner like study time, social time, and any club activities you may have. Online planners are also a good resource. Apps like Google calendar and Timetable make it easy to enter and categorize all of your events.


  • Prioritize your tasks in your planner or to-do list

Although these tools are helpful, the amount of things college life throws at students may still seem like a lot to handle. Now that you have your plan or list, where do you start? In order to answer this, it may be helpful to prioritize your tasks into the following three categories:


A-level tasks: top priority (must be done as soon as possible)


B-level tasks: medium priority (can be done over the course of a few days)


C-level tasks: low priority (items that may not need to be done right now, but should be given some thought)


This gives you an idea of which task you should do first and which ones can wait.


  • Study in multiple ways

When I’m in class, I prefer to take handwritten notes, but when I’m studying I find it helpful to type my notes in an organized, bulleted fashion. I am a visual learner, so I find that this method allows me to insert pictures or graphics into the notes that make the content more memorable.


I also find that flowcharts or webs make ideas easier to connect and remember.


For auditory learners, utilize recordings of lectures if your instructor has given you permission or posts them online. I also recommend recording yourself reading your notes and playing that back while studying them.


As for kinesthetic learners, hands-on activities like flashcards could be a useful tool. They are also active learners meaning it may help to be active while studying such as chewing gum, using a fidget cube, or even walking around while reading.


Don’t be afraid to try these different study methods no matter what type of learner you are. They may help you organize the information in a way you’ve never seen before.


Overall, college can seem like a lot at times. I know I’ve only been here for a little over a month, but I can clearly see how overwhelming it can be. I’ll admit it was and still is a little much for me at times, but I have used these ways to turn the craziness of college into an everyday schedule of early adulthood.


With these tips, you can join me in making this adjustment and conquering the chaos of college life.