How to Stay Organized in College

This post is based off my previous post, How to Stay Organized in High School, that was super popular. I still live by the majority of these tips, but I’ve made it through my freshman year and now I think I have some new knowledge on how to stay organized in college!

How to Stay Organized in College | Hannah With a Camera

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Create a master syllabus

One of the best things I did in my first semester of college was creating a master syllabus with all of my classes. After coming from high school where my teachers reminded me every day of what we had coming up, this was a lifesaver to guarantee that I didn’t forget anything. Keep it mind that your syllabus will change, so don’t make it fancy enough that it’s hard to write in changed due dates. I made it simple by just having the due date, class, and the assignment, but you could add several more categories if you wanted.  This post goes a lot more in-depth on how to create one to keep you sane!

Use the Pomodoro technique

This is a repeat from high school, but I’ve used it even more now, especially during finals week. I’m the kind of person that either needs a burst of energy to work for three hours, or I get distracted and can’t even finish ten minutes. This method has you work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. After 4 rounds (or pomodoros) of this sequence, you can take a 15 minute break. I use the Pomodoro Time app for Mac, but there’s also the Tomato Timer  option online. If you want to have this on your phone, there’s also several options- but I would use it on airplane mode only so you’re not distracted by other notifications.

Always do the reading assignments

I was so guilty of skipping a reading assignment the day before and then bombing a quiz or being completely lost throughout the whole lecture. In my second semester, I realized that even if it took thirty extra minutes to do the reading, it helped keep my attention throughout the whole class because I actually knew what the professor was talking about. This also made my notes more helpful because I wasn’t trying to jot down every single thing the professor was saying, I just had to write down the main points.

Take your notes, but take them twice

I always took my notes by hand, mainly because some teachers required it. This way I could color coordinate everything and structure things the way I wanted on the page. However, after I took this notes from class, I would go home and re-type them into the OneNote by Microsoft app for Mac. This is the best digital notebook I’ve found yet–I like using it much more than using  Evernote or Google Drive. This way I would keep the information in my brain by writing it twice, and I could re-organize them a little bit to my liking. If you take notes on a computer, I would absolutely recommend hand-writing your notes afterwards to retain the information even more (unless you need to translate chemistry diagrams or mathematical equations into your notes). This Mental Floss article explains the benefits of writing by hand.

Test yourself 

I’m a journalism and graphic design double-major, so in my journalism classes I’m able to use vocabulary terms and test myself on some history events as well. I know that this technique would work a lot better for classes that have a concrete term and a definition rather than a concept. Quizlet is a very popular tool used by a ton of college kids, but here’s the deal: more often than not, you’re just glancing at the definition and telling yourself you know the answer. Instead of making a bunch of useless flashcards, I like to put all my terms in Quizlet, then make a test from my cards. To do this, you create a set, then click the ‘test’ option. In the right column, you can make it a written test, matching, multiple choice, or true/false. This really helped me actually learn the material I needed to and focus on what I needed to work on before a big quiz or a test.

I’d love to answer any questions you have in the comments!

xo, Hannah

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Preppy College Dorm Room Tour

I’ve been meaning to do this post since August when I first moved in, but I’ve never had a room this clean since the initial move in! Honestly, the only reason there isn’t a bag thrown on the floor or a sock somewhere in these photos is because my mom came up this past weekend for Mom’s Weekend with my sorority. So while my room might look somewhat like #goals currently, it’s definitely not that way all the time!

Dorm Room Tour | Hannah With A Camera

I have the Peyton bedding in Royal Navy from Pottery Barn Teen and I absolutely love it. (It’s on sale in the pink and light pool colors!)  My all-time favorite color scheme involves some variation of coral, turquoise, and navy, so this was a perfect way to combine them. I also have a long body pillow in coral (on the left). My roommate Jordan and I are in the same sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, so we hung our flag from bid day up over the window.

Dorm Room Tour | Hannah With A Camera

I have this strand of photo clips from Urban Outfitters that’s been great for hanging photos without sticking holes in the wall. Before college, I printed out a ton of photos from Mpix and I definitely recommend using them for printing photos! The tea towel of Lawrence is from Tammy Smith Design–it came in a print version too,  but I like having the bigger size of the tea towel to hang for decoration. She has a ton of cute drawings of other cities as well and if you’re from a big city area, that’d be a great way to have a little piece of home in your dorm.

Dorm Room Tour | Hannah With A Camera

I used washi tape to put up the photos on my wall and the majority of them have stayed up since August. The two canvases on the left are from my friend Abby (top) and my big diamond sister Mackenzie (bottom). I painted the ‘h’ canvas myself. In the space under the canvases on the left, I had a Hogwarts travel poster (this one is similar), but it fell from the command strip recently for some reason! On my desk I have a lamp with two outlets on it (which has definitely come in handy), my alarm clock, a couple decorations, and a plastic organizer from Target with 3 drawers to hold my jewelry.

Dorm Room Tour | Hannah With A Camera

Dorm Room Tour | Hannah With A Camera

Under my bed I have a butterfly chair, another organizer with 3 drawers to hold some random craft stuff, my dresser (provided by my dorm), and some more boxes on top to hold random things that don’t have a specific category to them. I also have a shoe hanging organizer to hold random things like command strips and nail polish.

The majority of these have come in handy, but I definitely didn’t need it all. Keep an eye out for an updated post of my college dorm essentials!

Thanks for reading!

xo Hannah

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How to Stay Organized In High School

As a senior in my second semester of high school (two months and twenty-six days as of today!), I feel confident that I know how to stay organized and on track. On most days, that is. I’ve rounded up five tips here on what works for me!

How to Stay Organized in High School

Make to-do lists.

I use my Kate Spade agenda in the medium size with the Bella Bookshelf print every single day. When there’s five or ten minutes left in each class, I take it out and write down my assignments for that class. That serves as my to-do list for the night and I’ll write other small things to do as well, like write a post for the blog. I use the app on my Android, but I love using the web version as well! I organize my to-do list into three categories: School, Blog, and Personal. This app is great because you can assign a due date for each task, color code them, etc. You can share lists with other people and in the premium version you can collaborate with other people on lists, which could be handy for group projects.

Use the Pomodoro technique.

This has been a game-changer for me lately and I wish I would have discovered it sooner! This technique is a way of teaching yourself discipline when studying and encourages you to get things done more efficiently. This article on Lifehacker explains it more in detail, but it’s a simple tactic. You work for 25 minutes straight, then take a five minute break. After four sessions of working for 25 minutes, then you can take a longer break, usually between 15-30 minutes. I use the Tomato Timer to track my time. I used to have an app on my phone, but every time I went to start the next timer I’d get distracted by another notification, so this is a good alternative. I feel like this has increased my productivity by a ridiculous amount!

Live by your syllabus.

In the first week or so of school, most teachers will hand out a syllabus, or a list of due dates throughout the year. Some teachers do it for the quarter, or for the semester. When I get my syllabus, I write all my due dates for big projects, quizzes, and tests in my agenda. This helps me stay on top of studying in advance. It’d be helpful to write this out on a monthly desk calendar as well, but I currently use my calendar for scholarship due dates.

Teach the tricky topics.

If you’re having trouble with a certain topic, teach it to someone else! I usually ending up explaining the topic to my dogs because my family doesn’t want to listen about codominant and incomplete genetics, but hey, whatever works. Before our last final, my biology teacher had us split into groups and pick a topic that we were unsure on and then teach it to the class. Afterwards, I felt confident on the topic that we had taught. Teaching a topic requires you to know all the little details to answer questions and explain the general idea, so this one works for sure.

Talk to your teacher.

This one may seem obvious, but I can’t stress this enough! Sophomore year, I was in Honors Pre-Calculus and math has never been my strong suit. I would go in every morning before class and have my teacher work me through an example of a problem that I was having trouble with. Being able to break it down into smaller steps usually helps me understand. For math, I take an example and break it up into every tiny step and write the calculator commands or the written explanation of each step off to the side. This has helped me a ton. I’ve also found that if you go in and ask questions of your teacher, they usually tend to favor you more and will be friendlier in class.

If you’re in college, check out my updated post for more tips and tricks that you can also use for high school!

I hope you found these tips helpful! Thanks for reading!

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Pottery Barn Teen Study Supplies

I’m a big fan of PB Teen in general, but I’m especially a fan of their study supplies. This post is a follow-up to my post on dorm items from PB Teen–you should read that after this!

Printed Desk Accessories

This desk accessory set in pool blue with white trim would be great for keeping my desk organized. Since I already have a busy bedspread, keeping things neutral on my desk is the way to go. The scalloped wire set would also add the perfect feminine touch.

Flip-Out Lap Desk

 After seeing this flip-out lap desk on Kate’s blog, I thought it was a great idea. I use lap desks when working at home and the ability to make it flip out is perfect. My posture is often slacking when I’m writing in bed and I slump like nobody’s business, but this would force me to sit up like I should!

Dry-Erase Calendar Decal

Getting organized in college is a must, so this dry-erase calendar decal would be perfect for staying on top of things. I love the amount of space to write whatever you want. If I had more space in the dorm, I’d opt towards the Peyton set in pool blue that comes with a dry-erase calendar, two pinboards, a caddy, and an open cube. When I was younger, I used to go on the PB Teen website and design my own systems. Any of these organization systems are perfect too for someone with a big amount of space!

penn task lamp

College will call for some late nights…of studying, of course. This Penn task lamp in pool, navy, or white would be so helpful for keeping me on track and awake.

Thanks for reading! If you love Pottery Barn Teen as much as I do, tell me in the comments your favorite product! Don’t forget to read the first part of my post here.

navy monogram

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