By Niamh Devereux
“Next semester things will be different…” We’ve all made this claim at some stage of our college lives. With the second semester rolling in, some students have the usual lectures and assignments to focus on, whereas others have an upcoming thesis and work placement. Fun times.
Letting the work pile up and get on top of you is all too easy. Most of us have learned the hard way that leaving everything until the last minute is seriously not worth it. Beginning a 3,000 word essay the night before it’s due creates a level of panic and stress that you would not have believed was humanly possible, along with an overwhelming sense of self-hatred for causing the situation.
However, there are ways to get organised and prevent this from happening. The following top five steps should help in preventing those dreaded mini meltdowns.
1) Buy some kind of folder
This will make your life so much easier when you need to read up on your notes- especially if you have one of THOSE lecturers who don’t post material up on Moodle. Make sure that you stash your sheets into separate compartments to make a more structured filing system, and colour code each module.
2) Set goals
Write them down on post-it notes and place them in your room, allowing you to be reminded of your aims on a regular basis. If you set large goals, break them down into smaller ones so that you can achieve them bit by bit.
3) Make a to-do list
My housemate is constantly on top of everything by making daily lists of what needs to be done, crossing off each task as she goes. Even noting little things that you have to do, like collecting your laundry, will make a huge difference in your time management.
4) Get healthy
This is probably the most difficult step to follow as college is notorious for deteriorating your health. Late nights plus excessive drinking plus student deals in Dominos equals a recipe for laziness and being seriously unproductive. Improving your sleeping pattern and your diet, even by making sure that you have three solid meals every day, can make a huge difference in your ability to get your work done. However, it is probably a good idea to just accept that Wednesdays will always be a write-off. Toxic Tuesday will do that to you.
5) Sort out your bedroom/study area
This is a major factor in being organised. If you live on campus, you will be aware there is a cleaning inspection per semester. However, this does not mean that on every other day of the semester it is acceptable to be the owner of a floor-drobe. I’m no neat freak myself, but I know how much of an impact a messy room can have on your focus and concentration. Keeping things as tidy as possible will mean that once you sit down to study or do work, you won’t be distracted by the countless empty bottles of Lucozade or months-old magazines floating around, and you might actually get something done.
IMAGE CREDIT: Judy **