Welcome to/welcome back to UNH! I hope you all had a great summer and you’re ready for another great year of studies and everything that the university has to offer—and that’s a lot! Being back at school, or if this is your first year, the first few weeks of classes are all about getting organized and getting into your new routine of classes and daily activities. These can get a bit jumbled if you don’t start organizing yourself and your schedule fast. Everyone has their own way to stay on track but here are just a few tips and tricks to stay organized this academic year.
Classes: Print Your Schedule
Having a printout of your schedule is always helpful even if you’re someone who has everything programmed on their phone. My tip is to print out at least one copy of your class schedule and either keep it at your desk, taped to your closet door, or on the door to your room. Put it somewhere where you will always see it. Plus it is super helpful to just check it on your way to class as you’re opening your door or leaving your desk anyway. I know, even at midsemester, I’m always checking my schedule print out just to make sure that I know exactly where I’m going. Especially on one of those hectic days where you think it’s Wednesday but it is really Tuesday (yikes!).
Classes: Syllabus Cheat Sheet
It is still early, so most professors haven’t posted their syllabi yet on Blackboard. As soon as they do, you’re going to want to do two things: 1) print it (or download to your computer) and 2) make a cheat sheet. If you print out the syllabus before class, you know you’ll have it with you and you can go over it before class starts. Not every professor will hand out copies on the first day, so this can be a life saver. Once you have it printed (or saved/open in front of you on your screen) you can make your cheat sheet. Take the first few pages of your notebook and write in main topics by week or important dates for the class.
Classes: Pick a Planner
Remember back in middle school, at the beginning of every school year, the school would give you a planner? I miss those days…. But UNH does this too! If you look around generally by the Student Senate Offices at the beginning of the school year, you’ll be able to find some free planners for you to use to write down your assignments and important due dates for classes. If you can’t find one or you don’t like the free version, stop by the UNH Bookstore or one of the stores downtown and pick up a weekly planner! Even if you’re putting everything into your phone, writing down tasks and deadlines on paper can help you remember them. You don’t want to wake up Monday morning to realize that you haven’t done that bio lab report that you swiped “ignore” on the notification on your phone…
Personal: Calendar Prep
Having some kind of calendar can also be very helpful not only for keeping organized with your academics but also with your personal life. I like having a desk calendar on my desk so that I can see every day what my week and month look like. I even get a little crazy and try to color code everything—a color for each class, a color for personal events, a color for work, etc. Sitting down at the beginning of the month and filling in your calendar can also be really relaxing and give you a plan for the month ahead.
Personal: Set Aside Time
When it comes to being organized, it is important to set aside time in your schedule for personal time. When you’re jotting down your class schedule, homework time, and work shifts, make sure that you pencil in some time for yourself—whatever that may be.
Personal: To Do Lists
To Do lists are my favorite. There, I said it. There is nothing more rewarding than crossing off another item on the list. And I highly recommend making either a daily or weekly To Do list—especially when you know you have exams coming up.
Living Space: Schedule Chores
Just because you are living at school now doesn’t mean that the chores go away. Put some cleaning time into your schedule (I always like Sunday afternoons for this). If you’re in an apartment or in the dorms, talk with your roommates and see what day or time works best for everyone to clean. Divide up the chores and at the start of every week your room will be spotless and ready for another busy week.
Living Space: Organize
Making sure that your living space is organized is also a great way to keep the rest of your life organized while you’re at school. When you’re unpacking on move-in day, try to organize as you go. You’ll be much happier on the first day of classes, that Monday, when you know where everything is.
Living Space: “Family” Time
Finally, make time for “family.” Make sure that during the week you schedule some time to call home and let them know how you’re doing. Tell Mom and Dad about how you didn’t think that you were going to pass that French oral quiz and then totally nailed it! And family doesn’t even have to mean your real family. It can mean your friends too! Set aside some time with them. Weekly dinners together or hanging out on T-Hall lawn while it’s nice out. Head over to a weekend movie at the MUB or try a club together. Just make sure that you have time to do it!