5 Ways to Stay Organized and Stress-Free in College

We all know the panic that spreads like wildfire during midterms and finals season. You have 5 essays, 3 projects, and 10 assignments due all in the same week. It’s chaos! Suddenly, you wish that you had started that essay when it was assigned instead of waiting until the night before it was due. Trust me, I’ve been there - we've all been there.


Over this first month or so of school, I’ve managed to actually stay ahead in my classwork. This means that I have so much free time! While my friends are rushing to get their homework done at the last minute, I’m calmly planning that essay that’s due in a few weeks. 


If you also want to stay ahead on your schoolwork, then check out these 5 tips on how to make it happen!


1. Get a Planner

Ok, maybe this tip seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how people don’t have a planner! Or worse– they have a planner… on their phone. Not to sound like a baby-boomer, but nothing beats having an actual physical copy of a planner. It’s much easier to see everything you need to do when you have a big planner in front of you, than it is to flip back and forth between a couple pages on a phone app. 


2. Go through Your Entire Syllabus

This is advice that is likely given to all college freshman, so you probably didn’t take it very seriously… Or, if you’re as nerdy as me, you religiously flipped through every single page of your syllabus and wrote down every single assignment. As a Junior, I can tell you that this tip works. Seriously - do it. Go ahead and write down all of your assignments and their due dates in your planner! This lets you see whether or not you have a super busy week coming up and to plan accordingly.


3. Color Code!

If you’re a visual person, like me, then this step is definitely for you. Grab a pack of colored pencils or pens and assign a color to each class you have. That way, you know what assignments are for which classes. And you can use brighter colors for due dates to make them catch your eye– you’ll never forget to do an assignment again.


4. Dedicate Time to Homework Sessions

It’s super important to set aside time to do homework, papers, or simply to study. I recommend dedicating one day to all of your assignments for the upcoming week. I have no classes on Friday, so I usually try and do all of my homework then. If you’re week is super busy, then dedicate your time between classes or between shifts at work to doing your assignments! Trust me, there’s so much free time that we waste without even realizing it!


5. Stay At Least 2 Classes Ahead!

By this step, I mean that you should do the assignments for your upcoming class and the class after that. So if you have Math101 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, try and do your homework for both class days on Sunday (instead of waiting until the day before to complete your Thursday homework).

This is a super important step if you want to have free time! Sure, it may mean spending a few hours doing extra homework, but it also means that you can sleep in on the weekends or go out with friends without any lingering thoughts about upcoming assignments.



If you follow these steps, I guarantee that you will have SO much free time on your hands. Of course, some weeks will naturally be busier and more stressful than others, but at least you’ll be prepared!


Remember, Collegiettes: it’s easier to stay ahead than it is to try and catch up if you fall behind on your schoolwork!


Stay organized my stress-free friends!