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The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

Tips to stay organized for school

Leslie Magaña
Organization Tip Graphic by Canva.

As school begins, get your school supplies ready such as notebooks, pens, devices, and tips to stay organized. Going into my senior year, I have found that these tips help me sort out all the things I need to get done. Being organized can reduce your anxiety and feelings of uncertainty. 


Rate My Professor 


While looking for classes to take, it can be helpful to look up the professor who will be teaching the course. You can find ratings of some professors, but not all on Rate My Professor. You can find some good tips, advice, and some things you can expect while taking the course. 


Note that all comments made on Rate My Professor are based on individual experiences. If you find that you have some worries about the professor or class, you should reach out to them with your fears. If you find that you are no longer interested in taking a class with a specific professor, find another one that aligns with your schedule and learning skills. 


Make a schedule and have a planner 


As a student, there is always something to do. Having a schedule or list of things you need to do can be helpful in not overwhelming you. 


Making a timesheet of your class schedule, study time, work schedule, and personal downtime can help you maximize your time and increase efficiency. 


Not everything will go as planned and having time increments with planning helps reduce your feeling of being overwhelmed. If you have an online class or asynchronized class, you can mark time for when you will work on your own. 


Not everything you write and plan is set in stone, much like professors’ syllabi are not set in stone. Things change and that’s OK, the best way to get ahead of it is to get a planner to write new day-to-day things. Make a list of things you need to complete and rate them by priority starting with #1 and continuing.


Read the Syllabus ASAP 


The moment your professor makes their syllabus available, read it line by line. Being well-informed on what is to come and what is expected is a good way to prepare for a course. 


Write down any questions or concerns and ask your professor about them. Highlight key policies your professor has, as well as how you can get in contact with them, like when and where they hold office hours. 


Having an open line of communication with your professor is important to your success in their class. Make sure to also note what materials you will need for the course. If you are unable to get one of the materials, reach out to your professor about how they can help you.


Go through your syllabus and write down all your future assignments. Having a visual of it all laid out by month can help you keep track of what is due and how much time you will need to complete it. 


You can even color-coordinate your assignment per class to see what you have to do per each course. If you have an asynchronous class you can mark down what days you will be meeting. 


Connect with your peers


Why suffer in a class alone, when you can suffer with your fellow students? On the first day of instruction, get a peer’s contact information to stay in communication with them. 


This can be helpful if you miss a day of class or have a question. You can also ask how others are doing on an assignment and give each other support and helpful insights. Sometimes one does not feel so comfortable talking to a professor, so having a peer to stay in contact with can help.  


Stay organized with folders


Make a physical or digital folder where you can keep all your materials for class. Sometimes as a student, you are given many resources or handouts, whether digital or physical. Having a place to put them in and find them later can reduce your anxiety. This is a good way to keep all course material together where you can always find it. 


Ask for help 


As a student, it can be intimidating if you do not know what you are doing. If you have any questions, ask someone. If that individual does not help you, ask someone else. 


Admitting you do not know something is better than not knowing at all. This can help you feel prepared for a course or being a college student in general. Sometimes asking for help can be hard, but once you learn to advocate for yourself it will become easier.

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About the Contributor
Leslie Magaña Arias
Leslie Magaña Arias, Senior Multimedia Reporter & Magazine Editor-In-Chief
Leslie Magaña Arias is a reporter for the UT and Editor in Chief of the UT Community Magazine. She is a vegan and a human rights activist who enjoys doing investigation pieces and features on underrepresented communities.

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