It’s back to school time, and many people want to start their new school year off on the right foot, as organized as possible. I’m here to help, because after eight semesters of college, I finally figured out how to most effectively parse a syllabus for the semester. When you get your syllabi, these are four things to do to prepare to have a great and organized semester and stay on top of your assignments!
Figure out how you’ll keep up with weekly work
I’m one of those crazy people who really does try and do her readings for every class, but I’m not good about checking my syllabi every time I open a book or I’ll forget an entire class altogether, so I had to find a new system for myself, and it is one that a lot of my friends have since stolen and adapted for their own schedules. Every semester I took 4-5 classes and each had weekly readings, so I create a Google sheet using every single syllabi where I put in every single reading and assignment for the upcoming semester. It takes a bit to put it all in there, but it is SO worth it. I like Google sheets rather than a printed out aspect because I can hide rows when they are finished, highlight what I have and haven’t done, and adjust things when inevitably a professor changes something.
Here’s what it looks like:
Mark down any major assignments in multiple places
Major essays, problem sets, poster presentations, et cetera should be noted early on in the semester, especially if you’re taking multiple classes. No one wants to realize three days before they are due that they have two essays due in one week. But if you know ahead of time,you can handle that. I not only put major assignments like essays and problem sets into my regular syllabi tracker but I also write them into my paper agenda not only on the weekly pages but on the MONTHLY pages so I can see them ahead of time whether I’m looking for them or not. It helps you plan ahead and keeps your eye on the future.