This blog post was written by Jennifer Rodriguez, our Campus Ambassador from Connecticut College.
The New Year has already started, but with the holidays over that means it’s time to get back in the game for a new semester. Try not to waste all of your hard earned money, if you had a winter job, on clothes and other random stuff. Tell yourself: Do I really need that dress?
What you should really be doing now is focusing on saving money on books and to end the school year with a blast. Are you joining a new club? Is that class you have to take for your major requires intense research? Whatever the case may be you may want to create a goal to upgrade your organizational skills. I don’t know about you, but I love the new semester because that means I get to buy new supplies and reflect on the previous semester & possibly on what I could have done to decrease the amount of stress I experienced.
I love to be involved and I have a tendency to come up with projects that take a lot of organization and if I don’t commit, I end up having too much on my plate with absolutely no appetite to finish it.
Next semester I will be going abroad and I plan to try to nail down my organization techniques to fully enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity. Maybe they can help you as well, even if you are stuck on campus for another semester before your own adventure begins.
Clean out all unused things
If you haven’t used it at least once this past semester, chances are you won’t use it in the next one. I have a tendency to become a pack rat when it comes to clothes, books and supplies. I have dozens of books that I’ve saved from my previous semesters, thinking that I will use them again. All this does is take up much needed storage space. Try selling them to your college bookstore or online. If you can’t sell them back anywhere I recommend donating them to your school’s library. You’re not going to use them, so you might as well give them to others who will. The same goes for clothes. If you don’t fit into them, don’t like them, or have never worn them— donate them to your local homeless shelter or thrift store. Start the semester with a clean slate and room. Chances are you might start liking your room more to study in; reducing the amount of distractions couldn’t hurt.
Buy a Planner
If you haven’t bought one yet, let me advise you that this will be your best friend. Freshmen year I thought I didn’t need a planner –boy was I wrong. Now every year it’s on my To-Get list when I go shopping for school supplies. There are tons of planners you can buy at your local store or online. I love my Moleskine pocket planner. It’s cute and every new week has a page to write notes and To-do lists of the week. Planners are a perfect way to keep track of meetings, shifts, homework and events throughout your semester. And it’ll help decompress your brain from trying to remember so many things at once. Write it down, worry about it later and move on to the next topic.
Get a Wall Calendar
This semester I bought a dry erase board calendar and stuck it to my wall. Just like my planner, this was a great way to see what and when things were due. I wrote scholarship deadlines and exams/quizzes as well as essay due dates. If I saw that I had a quiz on one day and a major paper due the next, it motivated me to get a head start.
Invest in binders
Separating each class into its own binder helped me to not lose articles, tests, and handouts. Trust me, it comes in handy when midterms and finals are among us and you want to review old exams. The best part, if you take care of them, you can reuse them every semester until the day you graduate. Talk about recycling.