How to Stay Organized While at University

How to Stay Organized While at University
  • Opening Intro -

    The transition from secondary school to university is not a seamless one for most students.

    Indeed, many a college student starts off his or her university education with a bang, only to fail courses and withdraw by the end of the freshman year.


These students were not necessarily unable to grasp the educational challenges of a post-secondary education, instead a lack of organization and discipline may have played a large part in their academic collapse. You can succeed while at university, provided you are disciplined too.

1. Be resolved. Inspiration and perspiration will get you far in life, therefore resolve to start and finish your university education no matter what. Certainly, there will be challenges — some of your classes will be ridiculously hard, your schedule might be unbearable and your relationship with your roommate, a classmate or a professor may become strained. Hang in there — every problem eventually passes and in some cases can be removed or surmounted.

2. Get organized. Clearly, your university schedule is much more complex than it was while you were in high school. More so if you went to a small, secondary school and are now attending a large university. Much will be thrown at you — some good, some not so good. Get yourself a planner and resolve to mark it up with the dates that projects come due, when quizzes and tests will be held, and list other deadlines too. You may be good with keeping things in your head, but do not rely on memory only — you need to be organized to master your studies.

3. Show discipline. Certainly, university is not all about attending classes, reviewing your notes and studying for exams. It can seem like that at times, but that represents only a part of your college experience. Balance your schedule with personal activities including clubs, a part-time job and spending time with your friends. If you stay organized with the former, then the latter will come without stress. Find the right balance and strike a chord for discipline.

4. Attend classes. Always resolve to attend your classes with the lone exception for illness. Class lectures, hand outs, video presentations and classmate interaction are all part of the learning experience. If you are not there, you will miss out, plain and simple. Your professor is also likely to put some weight on class attendance. Miss too many classes and that could spell the difference between grades and harm your grade point average.

5. Review your notes. As soon as possible, review your class notes after each class This is important as it will help you retain what you learn. It will also help you to make corrections and to study for you exams. Some students find that writing outlines can help them retain information better. Find the notes review method that works for you and study as you learn. Cramming for tests does lot help you retain information beyond the exam.

6. Stick to a schedule. University students will find their schooling less stressful and more enjoyable if they stay to a schedule. From Monday through Friday, classes should be attended, notes reviewed and assignments completed. That also means scheduling everything else including your eating, sleeping and leisure time. Back to your planner — be as detailed as you need to be to get everything done. This means filling in the hours and half-hours to detail what you need to do and when. If you like to exercise daily — put that on your schedule. Is there a football or basketball game that you want to attend? List that on too. A planner is not meant to constrain you, rather to help you manage your time. You will end up with more free time and you will find the time to do those things that suddenly crop up.

Your Personality

Sign up for classes on a schedule that suits you. For example, if you are a night owl, take your first class in the late morning and continue your day until the late afternoon or early evening. Also, find the right place to study — for solitude types, that might be the university library. For students that feed off of other students, the student center or cafeteria may be the best place to study.


Cornell University: Note-taking and Information Management for Humanities & Social Sciences Research: Tools, Techniques, Tips —

See Also — Study Tips For End Of Semester Exams


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Categories: Personal Advice