How to get organized for your college studies

Photo of author
Written By El Gwaro

Did you ever reach a certain point during school years where you wondered what exactly you were studying, what you had done so far, and how your studies were related to your future?

Well, it’s a déjà vu for most of us. In such moments you felt very distracted from your studies that you would rather go back and start all over again.

Nobody wants to go back to junior classes, it’s a complete waste of time, so people just decide to move on and wait for whatever to happen. We can avoid such situations.

I will take you through a few steps to consider doing when commencing your college so that your studies will have a flow for the rest of your college life.

1. Understand your course

The first thing you need to do when you settle in college is to get as much information about your course. You need to go to the department and get a list of all the units you will be doing for the number of years in college or at least for the first year.

Study the list and comprehend the patterns. There are units that advance with time like in engineering courses you do calculus 1 to 5. Having this information prepares you to study the course in a sequential manner so that you can see how the dots connect.

2. Know your Lecturers and Rooms

Lecturers are very integral to your performance and they should never be treated with ignorance; they dictate what you will score. You should never joke with the jury. Rather, you should strive to know them and perhaps create good relationships with them.

During the first lecture, lecturers introduce themselves, give their contacts and office locations. Go that extra mile of visiting them in their offices and strike a good conversation as you ask for their golden advice about life in campus.

Once they start treating you like their child, they create opportunities for you that you could never have imagined. Knowing where all rooms are within the institution is also crucial, you don’t want to start searching for them during class time. Do this during the orientation.

3. Make class partners

A class partner is a course-mate who you study and do course-related tasks with. We underestimate the importance of the people around us but wait until you are in a dark valley and no one is there to listen to your pleas.

At the beginning of the semester, socialize with your course-mates and with time sieve out those friends you believe are focused and seem comfortable to study with.

Come up with a group of study buddies and try as much as possible to keep the connection strong. These partners come in handy all the time. You can do group work, research, projects, and other tasks together.

They also keep you updated with classwork hence you can never lose track. Having an opposite sex member in your group makes it even more interesting. Think about The Big Bang Theory and see how that group strives together.

Also, ensure you stay in the same room or at least the same floor in an apartment with one of your study buddies.

4. Get access to study materials

I remember back in high school, most enemies were made as exams approached. Guess why? Some students didn’t have notes, textbooks, or stationery so they ruffled other students to assist them, which the latter obviously declined for it would inconvenience them.

Also, other students who hadn’t studied enough disturbed the rest with tons of questions that wasted their time. You wouldn’t want to make enemies at such crucial times so my suggestion is that you get hold of all the materials required for the semester-long before the exams.

You can borrow textbooks from the library or buy them. Also, get notes in pdf form which you can access at any time through your laptop or smartphone.

Buy the stationery needed, like T-square and draughtsman set for engineers, lab coat for medical students, etc. Just ensure you have everything needed at the beginning of the semester.

5. Manage your timetables

There are two timetables that will guide your life in campus. The course timetable and your timetable. The first step to take is getting hold of the course timetable.

It is usually posted in the department offices and the college website or forwarded to class representatives it is pretty easy to have access to. Study and comprehend the timetable and see how it works for or against you.

Then make a timetable that fits your lifestyle. Ask yourself questions like, when do you wake up and sleep and what extra-curriculum activities do you take part in?

Fit the course timetable into your personal timetable and come up with the Grande-timetable. It should guide you all through the week. With the Grande-timetable you are sure to always have your time organized.

Well, these are the five basic steps to take in order to have your course organized all through campus. Other micro-steps include

  1. Having a filling system for all your documents
  2. Having a single book for any one unit that expands into some of the years.

You are encouraged to add any suggestions you have in the comments section. Thanks for your time, leave any comments or questions you have below.


  1. I was having the same problems and situation when i was studying my first degree and i was so lucky that i manage to successfully gone through all the obstacles.
    Another thing that i would add is that you will be facing the same problems again once you decided to further your studies in post graduate program. That was what happened to me a few years ago when i took MBA course.
    My point is, it does not matter what level of studies that you are going through, to follow all the tips that you have listed in your article is very crucial if you want to succeed in your studies.

    • Wonderful. That is very good advice and I really appreciate your contribution to this post. At least i see that this tips do apply after college.

  2. I have to say that I was totally guilty of not managing my time correctly and it put me in more than one tight spot. This is where a great class mate and a good reputation with the teacher can come in super handy. It is amazing how much they might let slide if you are good student or at least take the time to make an additional effort outside of class time.
    And course a buddy is always there to provide extra notes, different outlooks on things, and will always serve as a study buddy to help you both pass a class. I got a degree in biomed sciences and I was totally unprepared for the course work. It was very trying and I was caught offguard—def. should have done more homework on what I was getting in to. I ended up taking 8 chemistry classes for my degree and I dont’ even have a degree in chemistry!!!
    So just to add on here I would say once you look at your full class syllabus it might be worth looking into whether or not an extra class or two might get you a dual degree if you feel so inclined. This can push you ahead especially if you are looking to go onto higher education like a masters program or law school etc.
    Thanks for the info,

    • I am honored that you actually took your time to share your experience with us Jean. This anecdote comes very handy for college student who should take it seriously. And you have added more reasons why a course buddy is very important. Thanks very much 🙂

  3. It’s amazing how much college has changed. But in a lot of ways it hasn’t. These are all good points. #2 is likely the most important if you are on a large campus. Professors don’t take too kindly to students coming in late. And it’s super hard to get your bearings at first.

    • HI James, thanks for your insights, proffessors are really integral to students and respecting them is what students should do.


Leave a Comment