Tips for staying organized and on top of college classes that meet once a week
by Dayna Diamond, UCSC ’21
A lot of people agree: classes that only meet once a week are the hardest. They’re longer, so it’s trickier to pay attention, and they have fewer due dates, so you have to be more organized. And the higher-level classes you take, the more there are. Now that I’m a graduate student, I only have courses that meet once a week.
There’s hope, though! It’s easy to stay on top of the workload if you stay organized.
1. Pace yourself
Don’t try to do all your assignments the night before the class. I’m a fast reader, and I used to try to do this in my German classes. The result was that I got a massive weekly headache and did not understand the reading as well as I could have.
Now I spread my study time over the week in manageable chunks of about 1 hour before changing topics. That keeps me from getting burnt out, especially if I remember to take a break and walk around once an hour.
And there’s one way that’s really the best for getting organized.
2. Get an organization app
When I just try to remember things, something always gets lost in the shuffle. And since the bestway to do work is not to sit down and try to read seven hours’ worth of textbook chapters, there will be plenty to keep track of.
The best tool I’ve found to keep all your ducks in a row is an organization app like LifeSpace. You can organize your different classes and even free time, keeping track of all the things you have to do.
3. Find a study group
Even if you’re very organized as an individual, a study group will still help. If you miss one class, you might never catch up – unless you have study buddies to help you out. It’ll also give you more accountability: another weekly time when you’ll let others down if you didn’t do your work. Plus, anything you didn’t catch in class will be covered again.
Digital Arts and New Media Master’s Candidate