Oxford adjusting

By Madelyn Hopkins

The first month of school is exciting, busy, and sometimes even nerve-racking. Even as a junior, I find myself feeling a little anxious coming back on campus. With an entire year of classes ahead of you, there’s a lot of pressure. It’s important to find your own balance the first few weeks of school and stay in a schedule. By staying on top of things from the beginning, you’re setting yourself up for year-long success.

Courtesy of Madelyn Hopkins

Syllabus week has come and gone, and now it’s time to get organized. You’ve had a week of classes under your belt, and you now need to look long term.

I do this by sitting down and looking over each one of my class’ syllabi. Although I don’t own a planner, I mark in my notes important class dates such as exams or big papers. This’ll help you get a mental picture of when you’ll be most busy throughout the semester. As someone who likes to go on weekend visits to other schools, this gives me a clear timeline for my semester and allows me to see when I’m available to go on my mini adventures.

After big picture timing is out of the way, I write out a weekly schedule in both my phone and computer notepad. Day by day, I put down my classes, assignments I need to work on, if I plan on exercising I’ll place it into my schedule, and even allotted space for grocery store runs and going out at night with friends. Then, each day as I complete a task, I’ll erase the completed chore. It’s a good feeling looking back at the end of each week and seeing the chore list empty, knowing I’ve stayed on top of everything I needed to. By doing this, I feel like I have control over my own schedule and am motivated to be productive.

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Courtesy of Madelyn Hopkins

By no means am I here to tell you to live your life by a schedule; however, finding some organization in your life is essential, especially when you’re starting off the school year. I  probably follow 75% of my daily schedule, but writing everything out helps me mentally take note of all I have to do.

Making sure you start the year off on the right foot will help you have the best year possible. Less school-related stress means more free time and more fun! And let’s be real, that’s what everybody wants.