By: Mateline Moore | Campus Activities Chair, Chi Omega |PanHellenic VP of Finance |President, Global Business Club
Who I Am
Hi all! My name is Mateline Moore and I am currently in my second year here at the University of Wyoming. I am a Finance major and am hoping to add a second major of Business Economics (wish me luck!). This keeps me pretty busy with homework. Besides my seemingly endless hours of homework, I stay involved in three main things: I am President of Global Business Club, Vice President of Finance for Panhellenic Council, and am Campus Activities Chair for Chi Omega. This all keeps me pretty busy.
With all this busy-ness, you can imagine that I have had more than one experience with being overly stressed and experiencing a lack of organization. I have had more than one instance of stress-crying in front of others, which can make for an awkward class. I also have had more than one instance of not being organized enough and therefore completely forgetting about things that I needed to do. Needless to say, these things caused a few problems my freshman year. That's why I decided to write some tips and tricks to avoid extreme stress and to help you stay organized.
How To Stay Organized
1. Keep a Planner
I know this one seems obvious, but if you’re like me, you tend to use a planner for the first week of school and then forget about it. DON’T BE LIKE ME. There are endless reasons that a planner will keep you organized and on top of things. The first, obviously, is because everything is in one place that you can easily refer to. Another reason to use a planner is because there is science behind writing things down and remembering them better, which is also why handwritten notes tend to be more beneficial. Also, determine your own way of organizing your planner. This semester mine is color-coded. Green is school, pink is Chi Omega, blue is Global Business Club, and peach is Panhellenic. This helps organize tasks and keep things in line.
2. Stay Organized on All Platforms
In today’s technology driven world, your computer and phone are probably high up on the list of your most important belongings. Use these important tools to stay organized! Your planner shouldn't be the only place your to-do list is located. I tend to lose everything. But to insure that I always have what I need I put all the info. in my calendar on my laptop, which then syncs to my phone and my iPad. This way, when I leave my planner in some random classroom, I still have what I need.
3. Set a Timer
This one sounds weird but it makes sense, trust me. I always set a timer when I’m studying. I usually set my timer for about 35 minutes which I have found to be the longest I can focus on what I am currently doing. After the 35 minutes is up, I take a 5 minute break and go into another 35 minutes. It keeps me focused, and the fact that I am on the clock is a constant reminder to not get on Instagram or Facebook.
4. Keep a Folder for Each Class
Last year I tried to run on the one-folder system. It was a DISASTER. There were so many papers, so many syllabi, and so much mess. I could hardly find a thing and by the end of the year my folder was falling apart. So don’t do that. Instead, have many folders so everything can be where it belongs and so everything is easy to find!
5. Color-Code Your Notes
I love a good color code method and you should too! Develop a system to make your notes easy to decipher and to distinguish which sections are the most important and which ones you need to review, etc. My personal system is red for test material, blue means I need to learn more about it/I don't fully understand it, and black is extra/less useful info.
How To Avoid Stress-Crying
1. Remind Yourself that Everything Will Work Out
Life has a funny way of working itself out and it is important to remember this when life feels overwhelming. Always remember that the world will work itself out and understand that in the grand scheme of things one event won’t make or break you.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
I am a control freak. I admit that I have major problems delegating tasks, for fear that they will not be the way I want them. In my freshman year I realized that this is incredibly unhealthy and unhelpful. I tried to do everything, even things that I had no idea about--like making t-shirts. This ended up with me sobbing in my friend’s room, like full on Kim Kardashian crying. Luckily, she was quick to start delegating tasks to people: “Call Lindsey, she can design a t-shirt”, “Lillie, email people that want to volunteer” etc. This event allowed me to take a step back and realize that delegation is the key to success.
3. Call Your Mom/Dad/Anyone Outside of College
It is tempting to just talk to your college friends when you are stressed, but then you run the risk of hearing mutual complaining. If you are stressed about a class, you will probably hear, “me too, this class is so hard”. This isn’t helpful. What is helpful is your Mom/Dad/Uncle/Aunt telling you that you are over-reacting and that everything will be fine. It takes someone outside of the situation to truly reassure you that everything will be fine.
So there they are, my down and dirty list of ways to stay organized and not overwhelmed. I hope this list helps you avoid stress-crying! Have a stress-free year!
If you have any questions or insights please comment below!