A full study load means a full assessment load, a full textbook load and a full exam preparation load.
While we may feel organised going into our next session at university, very soon we can find ourselves becoming overwhelmed with lists of ‘things’ and piles of ‘stuff’.
Here are some of the best ways to stay organised at university.
Keep a new folder for each subject: This simple tip can be the solution to your confusion when it comes to remembering which assessment corresponds with which subject. Keep your subjects separate in their own folder, whether that be the hardback kind or the electronic kind. You’ll be able to keep all your lecture notes, study materials and assessment guidelines in the once place.
Create an assessment or exam schedule: If you have assessments scattered all the way through the session, one way to keep up-to-date is by creating a schedule that documents your assessment details, due dates and percentage weightings. Why is this handy? It keeps you on track and thinking ahead (plus, who doesn’t love the satisfaction of crossing another task off your list?)
Dedicate one day per subject: This is especially helpful if you’re studying a full-time load (four subjects). By dedicating your personal study time to one subject per day, you maintain your focus and avoid becoming overwhelmed. It might help you concentrate better and help you to get tasks completed in a more realistic timeframe.
Use reminders to keep up-to-date with deadlines or important dates: Being organised at university doesn’t just refer to uni work itself, it also means fitting in social events, appointments or work, and of course, some down time. Using reminders, on your phone, computer or calendar, can jog that siren in your brain to tell you it’s time to submit that assessment or meet your mum for lunch.
Create a to-do list: The key to writing achievable to-do lists is being realistic about your timeframes and only writing down what’s necessary. Don’t write a to-do list that starts with ‘finish psychology assessment’ if you’ve only written 100 words. Instead write: ‘complete 500 words on psychology assessment’ to make your to-do list achievable and to help you see your accomplishments. Another great way to get the gratification of crossing things off your list is by completing the easiest or quickest tasks first. The more you feel you’re able to achieve, the more motivated you’ll become.
Contact the ALLaN team or your lecturers early on for help: If you’re beginning to struggle at university, whether that be confusion about a particular concept or a request for extra time, the sooner you ask for help or advice, the less stressed you’ll be and the more organised you’ll feel. The ALLaN team is available to provide support on things like study tips, essay writing or assessment feedback – all things that you can apply to future subjects and sessions to help you feel more on track and organised.