Just as your room and even your car can indicate your emotional state, so can your notes and books show your academic state of mind. Piles of scribbled-on Post-its, incoherent notes, and randomly highlighted books are all displays of your hectic, stress-filled, and often ineffective academic life.
As the semester continues, take time to organize your notes and school materials. In so doing, you can alleviate stress and have a much more successful learning experience!
- Whether you use loose-leaf-filled binders or spiral notebooks, remember to date your notes. The dates will not only help you see the cause-and-effect relations between the material you are covering, but also they’ll prove to be priceless should you miss a class and need to get notes from a classmate.
- Along these lines, exchange contact information with a classmate or two.
- Use the margins in your notes and books to jot questions that might be on the test, questions you have or to write page numbers of textbook material that correlate to your notes.
- Remember that most textbooks have indexes. If you have a topic on which your notes are sketchy, you can look it up in your textbook and take notes from it and/or highlight that portion of the text.
- Purchase a planner/agenda and put important due dates from your syllabus in it. Add information to the planner as the instructor assigns more tasks during the semester.
- Record dates for major assignments or tests several weeks in advance. Then you can begin your work ahead of time and avoid the stress of procrastinating on an assignment or pulling an all-nighter studying for a test.
- Buy a calendar and put it on the wall where you’ll be forced to see it. This is a great way to remind yourself of important dates/deadlines daily.
- Use the calendar feature on your phone to record important test dates and other academic events.
- Consider using different-colored ink or paper for your courses to better organize your classwork.
As always, when in doubt about what you’ve written or how you’ve got a series of events or problems ordered, ask your professors for help during office hours or e-mail them. Remember, staying organized in your academic life can lead to academic and personal success!