Organization revitalization: How students can bring order to their studies

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Jonathan Sulgrove

One method of organizing for school is by class. Students can sort emails and assignments this way, which may help prioritize tasks.

Jonathan Sulgrove, Opinion Editor

The switch to a hybrid schedule has left many students discontent with their school situation, as the schedule makes it challenging to keep track of classes and assignments.

However, there are a few students thriving in school during this semester. These are the students who are organized, keep track of assigned work and due dates and practice effective time management without giving up their social life.

Sophomore Allison Gause is one of these students. “The hybrid schedule makes it easier for me to work on my own time,” she said. “I am able to schedule what time I work on my homework based on other things in my life and… I can accomplish more things.”

Organization is not a superpower; even students who are not inherently organized can become organized by getting into the habit of three things daily: checking their student Google account, writing their assignments down on an easily accessible device or notebook and managing their time wisely.

Check your student Google account

Google Classroom is the hub for most assignments and announcements, making it important to check daily. The “To-do” page lists all uncompleted assignments by due date, which may help with determining priorities when it comes to homework.

If you have the Google Classroom app, you have the option to receive notifications for new posts and assignments. Unfortunately, this solution is not ideal, as there is a potential to miss resources and announcements posted by teachers if notifications are ignored.

Instead, you can monitor your school email. If enabled, Google Classroom will send email notifications about new resources, announcements and assignments. Furthermore, your school email is the best way to contact a teacher when you are not in school.

The increased email traffic from Google Classroom may cause many students and teachers to have a problem with the sheer number of emails they receive daily. This can be tough to navigate and overwhelming, but with a few setting changes you can make it much more manageable.

By creating a good folder structure, you can easily organize emails, and by creating filters, you can easily check them, since filters can automatically sort through emails for you.

Write down your assignments

Not all assignments are administered via Google Classroom. Teachers occasionally give assignments in class, and it is important to write them down. This is also more beneficial in determining priority when it comes to homework.

Do not just write down in-class assignments; write down all assignments, as well as other important things to do. Try to break down large assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks. Your task list might be longer, but the smaller tasks are easier to accomplish.

Planners are available for $1 at Student Services (next to the library), but you do not need to buy a planner to be organized. Creating notes in your device’s notes app or Google Keep is easy to make and update, it fits in your pocket and you will have it everywhere you go. Other planning apps are available as well.

Gause uses her planning app daily. “The way I do it is the night before, I make a list of the assignments I want to get done for the next day, and then I base my schedule around how much I have to do,” she said.

“Using a planner app… works the best so I can set reminders for myself… [and] keep track of my assignments and tests,” Gause continued. There are numerous apps out there that do the job; choose one that works best for you.

Senior Katelyn Clark utilizes another method of planning. “I’ve been keeping up with a bullet journal and writing in it every day what is required for the day both academically and for my personal goals, so I can balance it,” she said. “I’ve been able to get stuff in on time, but it’s definitely a struggle to keep organized.”

Bullet journaling is a form of planning similar to the planner available for purchase, but instead you create the pages yourself in a notebook. This is more customizable to your own needs and allows you to plan things other than schoolwork.

Manage your time wisely

If you want to go even further, you could try to estimate the time it would take to complete each assignment. Be careful though, as assignments can take a lot longer than expected.

If you find yourself underestimating time to complete assignments, multiply your estimations by some factor, such as 1.5, to give yourself enough margin for error.

The best thing to do is avoid procrastination. Instead of setting aside free time and using the rest of your time for homework, set aside time for homework first and, if necessary, use any remaining time for more homework.

For students who work better under pressure, set deadlines for yourself before the homework is actually due. This way, if you cannot finish before when you would like to finish, you still have time.

If you have other obligations or scheduled activities, make sure to set aside time for those as well. Your homework time is more flexible. The trick is to find the balance between extracurriculars and homework. Just do not forget you have an extra eight hours to do schoolwork every other day this semester.

 

It may seem like a lot of work, but once you pick up these habits, hybrid learning will become more manageable. You will be more organized and maybe not as discontented with the schedule. You might enjoy the hybrid schedule more, your stress levels may lower and you could potentially have more time to spend with friends and family.

Learning these habits also help prepare you for college. Plus, by turning in all your assignments you would have forgotten, you may get a better grade in your classes!