Getting ready to go back to school can be stressful especially if you are unorganized or unprepared. Going into your first year at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, it is hard to know exactly what to expect and how to be prepared. After learning through trial and error, I have a few tips on how to get organized for classes and how to succeed once they have begun.
Get a planner
In my experience, having some kind of planner or organizer is the ultimate way to get organized, stay organized and pave your path for success. Invest in a nice one that has space for each individual day to write about each class, fill in homework and add reminders. It is important to consistently fill it out and keep it updated. It is one thing to have a planner. It is another to check it and fill it out every day. It is easy to forget important tests or papers, so if you get in the habit of putting everything in your planning, you can avoid a rush of fear at 11 p.m. when you realize you have a five-page paper due at midnight.
Have separate notebooks, folders
Another way to get organized and prepared for classes is to have a notebook, folder, and/or binder for each class that is labeled and organized. Color coding is a good way to help remember which notebook is for which class in addition to the labeling. Labeling each notebook, folder, etc. with a sharpie stating the class, and even dates and times, can help you get your schedule down and prevent any confusion. Keeping your notes organized will benefit you in the long run when you go to study for tests. Writing clear headers to each lecture topic and dates on each lecture will save you time in going back and trying to find materials. Organization is one of the best methods in getting students on the track to success.
Use the Tutoring-Learning Center
Lastly, one thing that helped me greatly, especially my first year, is tutoring. It is inevitable that you are going to have to take classes in subjects that are not your favorites. You might even dread them. But tutoring can help you relieve stress from the difficult courses. My first year I took advantage of the free group tutoring for my biology class. I went once, maybe twice, every week to go over that week’s lectures and ask questions. Because I went regularly, and not the last minute right before the tests, I almost always had one-on-one help from sometimes more than one tutor. Not only did they help me build my knowledge of biology to succeed in the class, but also my confidence.
With just these three simple tips, and some drive and motivation, success is highly possible for any student. Ask questions and seek help. The tutors and professors are here for a reason and it is worth your time.
Alyssa Deem is a communication major from Lake in the Hills, Ill.