Fall Quarter Doesn’t Mean Falling

Some helpful insights on organizing yourself for success.

Paris Apodaca, News Editor

Some students take summer breaks off and forget all the golden habits they’ve built up. It’s easy for students to start off on the wrong foot. So, here’s a few tips to start off the school year.
What does it take to start the fall quarter off successfully? Organization. It sounds quite simple, but it’s quite hard to achieve on multiple levels.

Students’ schedules are unique and personal which makes them the most important element of organization. Planning out schedules can be as complicated as a notebook or simple post-it notes to keep them on track. When building a schedule it is vital to establish what time slots can’t be changed, such as class, work or other priority activities that are firmly inflexible. Mark out the times you’ll be in class. When studying online, it is recommended to have a set time every day to study and work on class work.

Students should schedule their time based upon their own strengths and weaknesses. To put it simply, things take as long as they take. A student who struggles with reading or focusing takes longer to read. If a hard assignment comes at you, plan accordingly and take more time for it. Make educated decisions based upon how long tasks take. This will change over time as you learn more about yourself and your classes so change expectations when time estimates need to be readjusted.

Example of a planner (Paris Apodaca)

Evaluating assignments

Set aside some brief time to review your assignment load. By reviewing assignments, the brain constructs thoughts about them. If a student needs to write a long essay that is due on Friday, that student may need to be brainstorming and thinking about it for the whole week. Having a set time to think about assignments is great because the brain can come up with shiny new ideas and build upon them.
Many students do easier assignments first and harder assignments last.
By getting tedious work out of the way, these students can allocate more time for harder assignments while still accomplishing important work. While there’s no exact formula for success, finding the right mixture of time and opportunity is worth its weight in gold.
When working on challenging assignments, it’s important for students to take breaks and reward themselves. Like cardio does for the heart, this trains the brain to work harder and smarter because students need to develop stamina to do work and perform at their best. Don’t forget to schedule recreational activities. This is both an incentive and a reward, so enjoy it!

Supplies (Paris Apodaca)

Having a lot of materials can be appealing but sometimes it’s a waste of time. Although it would be fun to have a rainbow assortment of pens and markers, it may not be very productive. If students can’t find what they are looking for among a pile of supplies, owning the item is a waste. Valuable time spent searching for a pen can distract your train of thought during lectures. Colored notes are appealing to the eyes, though, so consider buying a multi-colored pen rather than multiple single pens.
Using colors wisely can be a fun tool for organization. Color coordinating journals, binders, folders, or sections in accordion folders can save time. When using journals, color the top of pages a certain color associated with a subject or class. This method tackles the issue of rummaging through your bag and wondering what notebook is for which class.
Mental organization can also be helpful. Some students need to be more forgiving when they miss assignments. On the other hand, tough love is needed when handling yourself, but if it’s a constant source of stress, it might not be the healthiest. Writing in a journal can help you manage your thoughts. Students should identify their academic insecurities and then rationalize them. Life happens. Cars break down and family members get sick. Struggling in academics is not a death sentence.
In the autumn, leaves change their colors, aging into a fine gold. Just like the leaves, becoming a golden student is what fall quarter is about.

Stay gold, Phins (Royalty Free Images)

“Stay Gold” – Robert Frost