Organisation 101

University has been one of the best experiences of my young life, and one of the reasons is the social aspect is so much fun! But in between all the fun, you are meant to study. Luckily, I have found a few tricks to help with being organised to make sure I never forget when an assignment is due, when a Res Shield event is or when the next social event is. Here are my five tips for being organised.

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  1. Make a list

I know this might seem like a very obvious thing, but my list is more detailed; at the beginning of each semester I make a list of all the assessments I have for each class, including the assignment type (Quiz, Oral, Assignment, etc.), when the assignment is due, and the percentage it is worth for the class. Additionally when I receive a result back I note what percentage I got to keep track of how I am doing in the class.

  1. Colour Code Everything

I highlight everything. My big yearlong calendar has so much writing and highlighting on it, and it makes such a difference;

  • Res Shield events; purple
  • Assessment; blue
  • Birthdays; yellow
  • Res College Social events; green
  • Parties and Social events; pink.

Trust me, it makes events a lot easier to find.

Additionally with colour coding, if you have individual books and folders, get ones in matching colours, that way you always know the book and folder belong together.

  1. Desk Organisation

Make the most of your space at college. The best way I have found is having desk organisation/storage.  I can actually see my stuff and am more motivated to study. It is so much easier during exam block to know where everything is; pens, sticky notes, notebooks, highlighters, all within reach and easy to see.

  1. Closet OrganisationPic 2

Now I understand some people like to bring a lot of clothing and such to college, so it is important to make the most of your closet space. Hanging storage has been such a space saver for me. I have a hanging section, shelving for bags/shoes/jumpers (depending on time of year), and hanging organisers, it has saved me so much space, honestly.

  1. Under the bed

My biggest asset for hiding all of my mess is giant storage boxes under my bed (labelled so I know where everything is). Additionally I keep a shoe rack under there, and for anyone who plays sports or just generally owns far too many shoes I would recommend this as a must!

I hope these tips were useful for you. Let me know if you have any other organisation tips in the comments below.

When InSaNity takes over

As Hannah Montana once sang, “Everybody has those days … Everybody knows what I’m talking about … Everybody gets that way.” You’re on point Hannah, especially when it comes to uni!Pic 1

We all have those days where we just want to crawl up into foetal position in the corner of the room and rock back and forth. No? If you don’t, you seriously need to share with me how you keep a uni/work/life balance. I, for one, admit that I am a stress head – I stress about the smallest things to the biggest things and it all takes its toll, often at the worst times. It has taken me years to finally realise how to unwind and have some ‘me’ time, to minimise the effects that uni and study have.

It’s good to have stress in your life, it’s inevitable and sometimes a useful motivator. Some stresses can assist you in studying and some stresses can prevent you from studying. Imagine you are swimming in the ocean with waves. Assistive stressors are at the point where you are comfortable swimming, you are able to tread water and float over waves. Preventative stressors feel like you have gone too far into the water and a wave is crashing down on you and you are struggling for air. Hint: you don’t want to reach this point.

Here are some of the tips I use when I can see that wave of stress coming and don’t want it to come crashing down on me.

  • EXERCISE: I’m the type of person that doesn’t run unless they are being chased by a serial killer or see a snake. I personally despise exercise but incorporate it into my daily life (well, try too anyway). I find that when I am stressed, if I go to the gym for an hour I feel rejuvenated and ready to get back into study.
  • CALL MY FAMILY or FRIENDS: My mum is my go to person and I call her pretty much every night (I know, a mummy’s girl). She listens to my worries and gives me advice on how to deal with them. If she’s at work or I need a hug in-person, I go to the friends I feel comfortable with who are always willing to help me out (need those people in your life).

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  • DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY: Sport, painting, crafts or binge watching your favourite or new addictive TV Show. Everyone is different and enjoys different things. I personally like crawling into bed and watching my favourite TV Show (Friends or Grey’s Anatomy) for an hour or five.

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  • GO HOME: Living away from home takes its toll and sometimes all I want to do is be at home in my own bed surrounded by my family. Plan to go home to see your family and friends – it will be exactly what you need (because who doesn’t love a good home cooked meal).

Pic 6To minimise the effects of stress be organised and create a weekly planner of exactly what you need to have done and when you need to have it done by (INCREDIBLY HELPFUL WHEN ASSESSMENT IS DUE). By finding what relaxes you and how to handle and minimise stress, you will live a happy and healthy life!

Remember: Stressed spelt backwards is desserts – eat a bunch of desserts!

It’s all in the preparation- My three tips for balancing Prac and Uni

Practical experiences are a very necessary and exciting part of many university degrees.  Unfortunately this is often the busiest time of the semester. For many of us, whilst on prac our uni subjects continue, content continues to be distributed and assignment due dates loom closer. As I prepare for my next practical experience (woo hoo!), I would like to share with you my top three tips for balancing university studies and practical experience.

  1. Prepare your assessment

Prior to practical experience, prepare to complete as much of your assessment as possible.  Get everything you can to a point that you would be happy to submit.  Prac is an absolutely wonderful experience, one you want to be able to embrace and not be worried about the assignment due the next day which you haven’t started yet and have three lessons to plan for the following day as well!  It is much easier to edit drafted assignments than trying to research, draft and edit an assignment when you are exhausted after spending a week at work.

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  1. Prepare a study plan

Prepare a study schedule to follow during prac. As I found on my first practical experience, completely disregarding all uni work during prac will only come back to bite you later. Prioritise your work. Every little bit that you do during prac is something that you don’t have to worry about later. Write your schedule and stick to it! Everyone has different study patterns and you need to find what works for you.

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  1. Prepare to communicate

Practical experiences are your first glimpse into the big wide world of work that you will be entering into in a few short years. Ensure you contact your practical site as soon as you know where you have been placed to clear up any queries you may have and find out their expectations of you. Once you arrive, be honest and open to your supervisors. They know you are a university student and also have study to complete whilst on prac. They are not mind readers and hence need to be told if you are struggling or have assessment due. They too went to university at some point and know what you are going through! They are there to help you through your practical experience…help them to help you!

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Be true to yourself.  Your practical experience is a very busy, yet exciting time. With sufficient preparation, you will be able to both stay on top of your university studies and enjoy your precious taste of the workforce! Good luck! J