The Secret to Staying Organized in College

The high school to college transition can be a little shocking for some. With a flexible schedule, more freedom, bigger class sizes, and more difficult coursework, being able to manage time effectively is a struggle for some people. It is possible, however, to manage your time so effectively that you have more than enough free-time.

The one simple thing* that you need in order to accomplish everything that you need to do, as well as everything you want to do, is a big calendar. (*Provided that motivation and self-discipline are already existent.)

Seriously, a big calendar that you can hang on your wall is my biggest piece of advice for not only getting all your assignments done, but done on-time and with time to spare.

During the first week of classes, all your professors will hand out the syllabus for the class. Normally, the syllabus contains dates for ALL of the assignments, projects, quizzes, and tests that will be due. That’s where the calendar comes in.

When you get your syllabi, sit down in front of your calendar and transfer all of the due dates from the syllabi onto your calendar. I wrote each thing in a bulleted list with a pencil, but it could also be really helpful visually to color code each class, assignment type, etc. It’s up to you how fancy you get with it, but even minimal effort will help you stay on track.

Below is my calendar for September (minus one assignment schedule that hasn’t been handed out yet):

september calendar

Now that you have all of your assignments for the entire semester written down, you can visualize what you need to do each week in order to stay caught up in each class. When you finish something, check it off on your calendar. For bigger papers or projects, give yourself smaller due dates ahead of the actual due date so that you are able to turn in the final product in time.

Hang your calendar somewhere that you have to look at it often. Last year in my dorm room, I hung mine in a spot that I saw when I got in and out of bed, and I could see it from my desk, too. Make sure that it is hanging up somewhere! It is not useful to go through the work of putting all your dates in one place just for the calendar to sit on your desk and get covered up.

Good luck this semester!

Let me know in the comments if you use a big calendar to manage your time or if you have found something else that works great, too!

As always, drop any questions in the comments below, or shoot us a contact submission!

Until next week (maybe),



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