Organization: Your Key to Success

How to Navigate Your First Year in College

Coming to college, you may be uncertain about how different it will be from high school. It is not uncommon for students to scrape by in their high school courses without really needing to study or be organized, however, college is a little different. Taking different classes on different days, being involved in on-campus organizations, intramural sports, and working can all make for a busy schedule that is hard to keep track of and maintain. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through your freshman year and maybe even make the President’s list. 

First things first, make a list of all of your classes, their location, and time. Sometimes setting an alarm on your phone beforehand, even for afternoon classes, will ensure you never accidentally miss class. Remember, some professors take attendance as a grade and it is required to pass the course. 


Next, invest in a planner. This is a very good place to write down all appointments and meetings you have so you do not double book yourself or forget about an event you need to attend. It can also serve as more motivation, it is a breath of relief being able to physically cross off your task once it is complete. Your canvas dashboard is where all of your online assignments and tests will show up, make sure to visit this multiple times a week in order to complete all assignments given to you. 


Class organization is very different in college, you have the opportunity to bring your laptop, you have to learn how to take lecture notes instead of fill in the blank style worksheets, and a lot of the time in a large lecture hall, it is easy to get distracted and not pay attention to the lesson. Put in extra effort to create good class habits your first semester at college. Before class, create a binder for each subject. Try taking notes on paper if the professor lectures at a pace you can keep up with, then typing up the notes from class, printing them out and putting the notes in their respective binder. This process allows you to reread what was learned in class and further reinforce it in your brain. Repetition assists in memory. 


Google Drive is another key tool, if you are unfamiliar with Microsoft Word this can be easier. Drive allows you to utilize folders which can be made for each class for any documents downloaded from canvas, so all resources are in a condensed location. 


Success is dependent on your will to put in the work. Studying hard and staying organized are instrumental in your success as well. All of these tips and tricks are sure to set you up for a great first year at college!