Community, Edge

10 ways to make this your most organized semester yet

Everyone knows the hardest part about a vacation is the end. Our brains are stuck in vacation mode and despite classes starting back, and bringing with them all the stresses and struggles that come with being a college student, getting back into the groove of things can be difficult.

So, I have created this list to help all students, especially my fellow hurricanes, stay organized and on top of things this time around.

Here are 10 simple yet effective ways to tackle this spring semester:

1. Buy a Planner

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Using a planner can help you organize all important dates, including due dates for homework and projects. I have been using a planner since before I can remember, and time and time again, it proves to be instrumental in helping me maintain my grades.

2. Use note cards

Turning your notes into flashcards is, of course, one of the most tried-and-true ways to study for any kind of exam. On top of that, rewriting information by hand is proven to help you remember it better, and you’ll have easy access to information instead of having to scan entire documents. There is literally no downside to this trick.

3. Go to the library

Our campus, though absolutely beautiful, can be a difficult place to work. The wildlife, the dogs, the constant activity—they can all be very distracting. Claiming your spot in the stacks is a great way to escape all of that. Sophomore Rachael Kravetz says she gets most of her work done at the library because she can’t focus the same when at home.

4. Get enough sleep

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I know sometimes all-nighters are necessary, but plan ahead to make sure you get in as much sleep as you can. Your brain and body can’t work to their full potential without being well rested.

5. Resist the temptation to skip class

Skipping class can be tempting since there’s no one here who can really make you go. However, missing class can mean missing important information. Also, the more classes you skip, the less lenient professors will be. Think about that next time you plan to skip, and remember than 3 hours a week won’t kill you!

6. Keep track of your syllabi

I know some students may not think keeping your syllabus handy is important, but it really is. Your syllabus contains key dates to keep you organized and answers to many of the questions you’d otherwise have to ask your professor.

7. Keep your backpack organized

Having to sift through an endless pit of unmarked pages at the bottom on your backpack takes time away from the real focus. Buying some 97 cent, two-pocket folders will save you time, stress, and the embarrassment of handing in an old, wrinkly assignment.

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8. Turn off all distractions

I know checking your phone as a college student is almost instinctive. But, when you’re studying or doing work, disconnecting from social media, texts, emails, etc. is the key to staying focused. A few hours without your phone won’t kill you. I promise.

9. Wake up on time

I like to think of it this way: the faster you get up, the faster you can get your work done, and the faster you can lie back down.

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10. Listen to calming music

When asked what helps him succeed, senior Daniel Munera explained that listening to calming music while studying helps him stay focused. I can definitely relate. There’s tons of pre-generated playlists on Spotify, but my personal favorites are “Study Vibes” and “Focus.”

January 22, 2019


Camila Munera

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.