As a summer-enthusiast, I hate to say it. But alas, it's time to state the inevitable: the summer is coming to an end. And you know what that means...back to school! For some of ya'll. And some loved ones that belong to ya'll. Oh, come on. It's not that bad. Back to school means school snacks! And teacher pranks! And Trapper Keepers! Whether you're starting grad school, continuing medical school, or entering college, staying organized is key for a successful year. Start listening, take notes and let's make sure this academic year is a tidy one.
Keep a detailed calendar and schedule. Planning is a MUST when it comes to school (and life, but let's focus on school today. Baby steps.). Make sure you have a central place to list class schedule details, project deadlines, vacation days, and my birthday (February 1st). Take some time exploring the various planners that are available. My personal favorite is this one. Keep in mind that you want space to write in on each day. An overview of the month is very helpful too. Here's what I mean:
Separate your school supplies and books from the rest of your belongings. Get a backpack or big tote for all of your school-related things. At home, elect a shelf or drawer for your school books and notebooks. Separating these items from your clothing and knickknacks will help you stay organized and keep track of where things are.
Pouch up your supplies. DO NOT throw all of your pens, highlighters, white outs, and protractors right into your bag. They will sink to the bottom and a black hole will be created. You have been warned. Avoid this mess with a pencil case or supply box. Some of my favorites can be found here.
Pay attention to each class. If you prefer binders, make sure there is a clearly marked section for each class. If you're a notebook person, buy a separate notebook for each class or buy a notebook with dividers and dole out sections to each subject. Whatever you do, DO NOT clump all of your notes into one, long tale. Granted, the anatomy-history juxtaposition may be a funny one, but you'll have a hard time when it comes time to study for only one of those subjects.
Date your notes. But not that kind of date. Write the date each time you take notes. This will help you keep track and create a natural timeline for you to refer to. It's also super helpful if your classmate missed a day and wants your notes (how flattering!).
Stay positive. A positive mindset is a major crutch on the path to tidiness and success. You got this! Make some friends, share your snacks, stay on top of deadlines and study hard. You'll be getting those A's in no time.