Starting university can be an overwhelming time, so below are some simple organisation tips, ranging from note taking to meal prepping, that I have found useful over my first year.
Decide how you want to take notes from the start
It is important from the offset of your degree that you are organised in terms of notetaking. When you first start university, you aren’t familiar with your lecturers, so you won’t know how fast paced their lectures are. Personally, I tried writing in a notebook in the first semester of my first year and felt like I wasn’t catching everything the lecturer said. Consequently, in my second semester, I used an iPad to take notes, which meant that I was able to record of all the useful information that the lecturer was saying.
Look after your handouts
Continuing from above, I think it’s so important to keep handouts that you receive in lecturers organised. Taking a cheap folder to university in your bag means that the handouts won’t get crumpled and ripped; therefore, you’re more likely to look at and learn from them again. When this folder is filled up, it’s a good idea to buy, again, a cheap ring binder and file dividers to file away your handouts in order for your different modules. This means that you know exactly where everything is when it comes to assessment periods and you don’t have to stress as much and hopefully, you’ll then do well in your assignments.
Prepare your lunches at home
Even though it’s extremely tempting, try to resist lunchtime meal deals as over the week, they can add up. It’s so much more cost effective making a sandwich each day, or even alternatives such as couscous to switch it up. Also, buying a water bottle is a good idea, as refilling that throughout the day is much cheaper than constantly buying bottles of water.
Pack your bag the night before
You will have heard this hundreds of times, but it is so important whilst at university to pack your bag the night before you have any classes, due to the books you need. I am studying an English Literature degree and it was annoying for the lecturers when people forgot their core texts as they were essential in being able to follow along and consequently keep up in seminars. I imagine this is similar with a variety of degrees.
Remember the little things
This sounds trivial, but it is also important to make sure that in the bag you take to university, you have things you might need but would forget to take in on a daily basis. There is nothing worse than getting a headache in a lecture and not being able to concentrate. Therefore, putting a pack of paracetamol in your bag is beneficial. Small things that I have in my bag are hair bands, throat lozenges and mints. It is honestly so worth it.
Hopefully some of these organisational tips will inspire you to kick-start new habits in the upcoming academic year. I wish you the best of luck.