Staying Organized in the New School Year 

By Catherine Fields

Organized case of pencils

The beginning of the semester at The Ohio State University… we all know the drill. You are reuniting with your friends, exploring the University District and getting used to the weekly tornado siren tests. Class work is going great so far; mainly busy work and reading.  

But then it happens. Your first forgotten assignment. You cannot believe your eyes when the glaring “missing” sign appears on Carmen. How could you have let this happen? And how can you keep it from happening again? 

There is no magical fix, but there are some strategies to help you stay organized. 

Go to class 

I know it is the oldest line in the book, but sometimes you just cannot get it together and make it out of the house. But regardless of whether your class is in-person or virtual, go. Even if attendance does not factor into your grade, being in class is important. It not only guarantees you time to absorb the material and ask questions, it also helps to get you into a scheduled routine which is a helpful factor in getting organized. 

Check Carmen Canvas 

Canvas’ “To Do” tab should be your best friend. Check it every day and pay attention to the time work is due. Certain assignments may be due at times that are seemingly arbitrary with unclear reasoning. Even though some professors take steps to reconsider how they assign deadlines, this is still an issue you will run into. 

Do not stop there. Make sure you are actually checking on your classes’ modules and syllabi; some assignments, like discussion post responses, may not show up in the to-do tab. If you regularly check these items, you will be organized in no time. 

Have your schedule where you can see it 

It is easy to forget commitments, especially with constantly shifting due dates and meetings. Writing these obligations down on a daily planner where you will see them is a huge help.  

Personally, I found that using a desk calendar that I updated at the beginning of every week to be very effective. If you prefer a digital approach, there are many apps that help with organization. For example, Remember the Milk lets you schedule one time or recurring reminders with varying priority levels; they even send you notifications so you will be more likely to remember your tasks. 

Be ready the night before 

Despite how much we may try to avoid them, morning classes are often a necessity. Waking up is enough of a struggle already, so why make things harder for yourself by scrambling to pull things together in the morning? 

The night before your classes, gather everything you will need to be ready: set your clothes out, have your school supplies in your bag, the coffee ready in the machine and your dry cereal poured in the bowl. It may not seem like a lot, but these little steps really help streamline the morning

You’ve got this! 

You are not alone in struggling with organization. For more tips on staying organized, you can check out dynamic YouTube channels like Ways to Study and Instagram or TikTok accounts like Study With Ara. While these helpful strategies will not make the problem disappear, they will help relieve some of the stress that comes with being a Buckeye! 

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