Preparing for the Semester
By Briyana Carter
Remember when you were in elementary school and the teacher sent out the supplies list and how excited you were to go to the store to pick out all the new crisp notebooks? I would always go home and organize my pencils, folders, and notebooks by color for each class. Signing my name in all my materials.
The excitement of starting a new year has followed me all the way to college. At the beginning of each semester, I do the same tasks to prepare myself for the first week of the semester. Time management is the most important thing to have and understand as a student in college, and more specifically a STEM student. A lot of our time is spent in labs and studying more than 20 hours a week. The main key to my success throughout the semester is my Google Account. The calendar is the main tool I use because it can be used in a variety of ways to keep myself organized.
The first thing I do is put the time that I have my classes on my calendar. There are two different ways that you can do this. I myself like to keep all my classes the same color so that when I look at my calendar I know that's when I'm in class. Other people make each class a different color so they know when they have that specific class. The next thing I do is add when my professors are available for their office hours and I add the link to their virtual Office hours or the room number so I know where to go to speak with them. Once I get my syllabi, I add all of my due dates of the recurring assignments, quizzes, exams to my task calendar. Google Calendar can be used as a planner as well. This is a great way to have everything in one place.
Once the calendar is done I move on to my Google Drive where I set up a folder that says the semester and the year (ex: Fall 2021) and I make folders within that folder for each class I'm taking. The first thing I put in the folders is my syllabus so I always have access to it and it's easy for me to look back and refer to. Now my folders are ready for any papers, whether electronic or scanned in, I’ll know exactly where to look. Depending on each class, I’ll make additional folders for homework, quizzes, and additional resources.
This is a great way to use your Google account while you're in school to help you keep everything organized and maybe even help you with your motivation. I think it's important to go through your calendar weekly to understand what tasks and homework assignments are ahead so that you can plan correctly for them. This system keeps me accountable for the work that I need to complete throughout the weeks.
By taking my time to plan out and organize my structure for the semester, I have a good idea of how to allocate my time for classes and where I may choose to study depending on what would be next on my calendar. I feel like this gives me a good head start. I hope you're able to incorporate some of the organization methods in your coming school year.
Edited By Rachel Alvarado