Posted on Thursday, Feb 21, 2019
    Are you determined to be the “best you” this semester?
    Do you have personal academic goals to achieve?
    Do you just want to try out a new organization method?
    Here are the organization tips I personally like to follow for starting a new semester:
    • Print all your syllabi. Highlight all the important parts for later reference.
    Some examples of “important parts” are:
    • Professors’ contact information and time and place of office hours
    • Any required textbooks or supplies
    • Grade breakdown
    • Important dates (homework, tests, and project due dates)
    • Organize all your important academic dates
      • Google Sheets or Excel Spreadsheet (MY PERSONAL FAVORITE)
    Advantages: I can gray-out or strikethrough cells as I complete tasks and prioritize what to work on next. I can always access my list.
    Disadvantages: Requires some technical knowledge. Can seem too rigid and not enough room for creativity.
    • Homemade Paper Check List
    Advantages: Good for creative/ artsy students. Still allows for prioritization and “checking-off” completed tasks.
    Disadvantages: If I leave my notebook at home, I do not have a way to access it.
    • Planner (Electronic or Paper)
    Advantages: Color coding for each class is easy. An already established calendar allows for easy input of tasks onto the right dates.
    Disadvantages: It can be tedious/distracting to include tasks such as reading or any tasks that are reoccurring. It is less straightforward for only academic assignments as your other life events are probably included on your planner as well.

    (I no longer use this method, so this picture is taken from my time in undergraduate)
    • Fill your calendar with any dates not related to your assignments
      • Work (Have to pay for school somehow, right?)
      • Trips (Hometown. Abroad. Concerts.)
      • Breaks (Aren’t we counting down for Spring Break starting the first day of class?)
      • Abnormalities in your schedule (Redefined days. Class cancellation. Reading Days.)
      • Due Dates (Bills. Tuition. Applications.)
      • TAMU or Community Organizations (Fundraisers. Socials. Service Events.)
    • Look at your schedule and plan ahead for your personal goals
    You’re going to be significantly less busy before the semester really gets going. Take this time to implement plans for any goals you have.
    • Want to make it to the gym 3 times a week this semester? Go ahead and place it into your schedule ahead of time.
    • Want to make sure you have time to call your mom or your best friend each week? Coordinate with that person and see if you can agree upon a day and time before your life gets hectic.
    • Want to be better with your finances this year? Set up a budget now and begin to stick to it before the late-night food runs and the frequent coffee stops kick in.
    Take any goal you have and plan ahead for it. It will help so much in the long-run!
    Regardless of what organization tips you choose to follow this semester, be sure to constantly evaluate what is working and what may be hindering your productivity. Even your preplanned goals can be readjusted as the semester goes on.
    Best of luck to you all this semester. BTHO organization!
    Please comment with any organization tips you live by or start your semester with. I would love to try any of your suggestions or hear feedback about any of mine!

    Courtney Adams
    Courtney Adams is a Masters student in the College Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

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