Advice for Incoming College Freshmen: Get Organized

Get organized, or you may lose track of things.

Flickr user Jenn Vargas

The excitement a student gets when they are accepted into a college is incomparable. We have been planning our college years since the beginning of high school, if not longer. We know what classes we want to take, the clubs we want to join, and maybe even the fraternity or sorority we want to rush for. The next four years (or so) of our lives are completely planned. But still, once we start attending classes and realize what life in college actually is, we forget our goals.

College brings a lot more freedom and responsibility

We find ourselves with more freedom than in high school. That brings with it something that isn’t nearly as fun: responsibility. When college starts, most students tend to move out of their houses and into the campus dorms. And now that they live by themselves they realize the huge help their parents represented. Who woke you up those times your alarm clock didn’t go off? Who did your laundry or cooked lunch and dinner?

Balancing academics and a social life

Parents have always been there to guide us through every stage of our lives. They were the ones that forced us to study that Sunday morning because we had an important test the next week. Parents were the ones who helped us stay organized when we needed to write three essays and attend two club meetings in three days. They thought us something that we can’t forget once we start attending the university: organization.

The stress of having to get good grades, but still maintain a social life, hits every student at some point or another. At first, we think it will be easy. We plan on attending our classes early in the day and meeting with friends later in the afternoon. However, we don’t keep in mind extra factors such as homework, studying, exercising and getting a job. When these things come in the picture we realize we have a thousand things to do and not enough time to get it all done.

Get organized!

This brings me to the most important piece of advice I’ve been given: stay organized and focus on your goals. Organization is key in any aspect of your life. Once you get organized you will never say “I don’t have enough time” again. Make a schedule and stick to it. You’ll suddenly have time to do everything, from going to class to cleaning your dorm/apartment and hanging out with friends.  A good way of staying organized is reading your syllabus as soon as you get it and writing important due dates down, on a calendar, a board you see often, an agenda or even your phone or laptop. I personally recommend you write it down on paper so you can see it often and don’t forget a thing, because you’ll probably forget to check your phone calendar.

Staying organized will help you be more focused on your goals. Goals such as getting good grades, staying in shape, and working in order to get money, will be achieved faster. You’ll be able to know how much you’ve done and how much you still need to do in order to get where you want to. Ignore people who bring you down (you’ll find them every once in a while all along your life), keep a good attitude and remember who you want to be and what you want to achieve.