lifestyle
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Maryam Hassan / Staff Photographer

Though we’re delving deeper into the semester, know that it’s never too late to start forming good habits and making resolutions for your best year yet. Whether it’s to improve your GPA, try out new clubs, or meet more people, one strategy to become your best self is to be more organized. Spectrum has compiled a list of tips to help you along the way!

Use a planner

Whether it’s an electronic planner like Google Calendar or a paper planner, write all your tasks down you so that you don’t forget to complete them! Take some time out the night before or in the morning to plan out your tasks for the day/week. In doing so, you will help eliminate stress about not forgetting a task or stress after you have missed a deadline.

Keep a master calendar with important due dates

Aside from your planner, it is extremely useful to keep one calendar (e.g. a whiteboard, electronic or even printed calendar from google images) that includes all your major assignments and events. This way you can visually plan ahead of time if you have multiple assignments or events in the same week.

Clean your space

This is especially important if you prefer to work in your room: Keep your work desk clean! Keeping your space clean minimizes distractions when you study and helps you locate readings or loose papers. Also, it’s always comforting to come home to a clean room after a long day! This doesn’t mean that your room has to be impeccable at all times—just set a time during the day when you can clean up and make your bed.

Clear out the clutter

On the topic of cleaning, make sure you’re not keeping anything that you don’t need! If you have readings or work from past semesters, free up space by recycling them. The same goes for your personal items; donate your things, sell them, and if it’s unusable, then throw it out (recycle if you can!). It is especially important to clear clutter from your backpack because you want to easily identify important documents and not lose them amidst the clutter.

Understand your limits

One way to have a more organized semester is know when you’re stretching yourself out too thin. If you have too many commitments, it will be harder to stay on top of everything and the quality of your work will also be compromised. Utilize time management skills to keep yourself organized about all of your tasks and be okay with saying no.

Prioritizing self-care

It’s easy to get lost in a spiral of overworking yourself, which is why it’s important to set aside time every day to give yourself a breather. Whether this is socializing, watching a movie or putting on a face mask, remind yourself that your mental health is the most important thing and that the only way to be the best version of yourself is to take care of yourself. Once you do, everything else gets so much easier!


It can be tough to juggle college, and it’s perfectly okay to feel overwhelmed at Barnumbia. If you ever need more help there are many resources at both Barnard and Columbia that are available.

Have a great (and organized) semester!


Staff writer Jazilah Salam can be contacted at jazilah.salam@columbiaspectator.com. Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

organization tips semester self-help self-care wellness self-improvement
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