Getting Organized for the New School Year

I’ve been in Athens for almost three weeks and while I love relaxing and being able to hang out with my roommates, I am ready for classes to start. I feel like I’m absolutely frying my brain with my phone and TV shows right now (I’ve been marathoning Game of Thrones for a week). So, I might regret saying this a couple of months from now, I’m ready to get to work on this semester.

giphy

Shocked? Honestly me too, I rarely ever look forward to going back to class after summer break, but classes aren’t the only thing I’m looking forward to this year which is why I’m probably itching for the school year to start. On Monday, I’ll be starting my social media internship with the Career Leadership Development Center at Ohio University and I am PUMPED. I didn’t have an internship this summer, so I’m excited to work hard and learn a lot this year. I’ll probably give you more updates on my internship as the year progresses and let you know about all the cool things I’m learning and doing!

I’m also involved in two organizations on campus: The Post and 1804 Communication. The Post is a student-run print and digital news publication at Ohio University and this year I’ll be working there as the Social Media Director. It’s kind of a huge undertaking for me, because although I’ve previously had that title at another news source on campus, I’ve never been in charge of a social media staff as big as the one at The Post. Still, I’m really excited for the challenge and getting to know my staff.

My other big commitment this year is working as a Strategy and Media Account Executive at 1804 Communication. 1804 Communication is a student-run public relations and advertising firm at Ohio University. I’m really looking forward to my involvement in this organization this year because this is the first year it has existed; at the end of last year ImPRessions and Thumbprint Advertising merged to create this new group. It’s exciting to get involved at the ground level of 1804 Communication and help shape it for future students.

At this point you might be wondering how I’m going to go to class – you and me both.

635760297573591890100296302_giphy.gif

Just kidding, I have a really nice schedule this semester with several huge gaps between classes to go to work, do homework, and fulfill my responsibilities in these organizations. However, all of these commitments are going to require some decent organization and planning on my part. So for this blog I’m going to give you a couple of tips on how I plan to stay organized this year and if you’ve got a busy semester ahead of you too, maybe some of them will help you out!

Buy the right school supplies

Shopping for new school supplies every year is one of my favorite things, it’s like a little office supply Christmas (I know, I’m a nerd, you don’t have to point that out to me). This year, on my annual school shopping trip to Target, I paid special attention to some of the items I was buying. One of the most important things I buy every year is my planner, because in my opinion it is the most important piece of the organization puzzle. So, instead of picking out my planner based on color or pattern, like I usually do, I paid closer attention to how it was organized. I think I found a pretty nice planner for this year and here’s why:

  • It has a place for my three most important to-dos of each day, which I think will help keep me on track during my busier days.
  • There is a section under each day for things that need done or happen at night. That will most likely be filled with meetings that I have in the evening, but I can also use it to remind me which homework needs done each night.
  • When the planner is open it shows me the entire week, which is something I really love because I like to plan ahead so the I know what’s coming each week.

Basically, I just love this new planner I got and if you’re as obsessed with school supplies as I am, let me know in the comments what your favorite planner or school supply was that you bought this year.

Write things down, don’t just rely on your phone

Okay, so I know technology is awesome and it can help a lot of people stay organized, but I still believe that a pen and paper are your best friend when it comes to planning. While I do have my meetings, work schedule and other appointments saved in my calendar on my phone, the old fashioned person in me also makes sure I write all of those same things down on my wall calendar as well as my planner.

Why? Because sometimes your phone dies or you forget your laptop at home or you drop your phone in a lake or your laptop explodes or crazy Athens squirrels steal your phone (only the first two of those things have actually happened to me but like you never know, right?). If one of those things happens, but you have plans, homework assignments, meetings, etc. written down on paper somewhere, there is a better chance you won’t miss one of them or forget to do something.

Procrastination is enemy No. 1

636027483427769376-436938410_hp7

Move over Harry Potter,  because procrastination is about to take over your spot.

I have been a member of the procrastiNATION for as long as I can remember. I used to do homework on my bus ride to school in the morning and I’ve been up into the wee hours of the morning several times in high school and college. But this year is going to be different! Hopefully. In all honesty it has to be, because each day I’ll have a limited amount of time between classes, work, and meetings to get things done. I’m also hoping to keep late nights to a minimum because every day, except for one, the latest I wake up is 7:30 am (dies internally). So, I don’t really have a tip for avoiding procrastination other than recognizing when you’re wasting time and trying to keep that to a minimum, especially on busy days.

However, that doesn’t mean that having fun is over forever. My old pals Friday and Saturday still come around every weeks. I firmly believe that letting off some steam on the weekends is another key to staying organized and stress free. I will say that my Sundays are definitely reserved for homework, but that homework might get done while I’m sitting on my bed in my pajamas, because Sundays are also for relaxing.

The first semester of my junior year of college starts in four days and I’m excited as well as nervous to take on all these responsibilities. But, I’m going to do my best to stick to these tips I gave you and I also welcome any tips that you have for staying organized during the school year.

Thanks for reading!

Move-In Day Do’s and Don’ts

It’s been two weeks too long my friends, but let me tell you, they’ve been a crazy and very busy two weeks. I moved into my apartment last Saturday and after spending a week settling in and visiting family and friends in Ohio, I finally found the time to sit down and write this blog. So as promised, let’s talk about some of the do’s and don’ts of move-in day.

Do: Take your time

After the initial hour or so of unloading your car, truck, or move-in van, things start to slow down as unpacking begins. I think it’s important not to rush the unpacking, especially if you’re arriving early to campus like me. Obviously take care of the essentials like clothes, toiletries, cookware, plates, food, etc. However, when it comes to decorating your room or arranging furniture you might want to take it slow and really look at the spaces you’re moving your things into.

Most of the decorating I did in my room didn’t happen until the day or two after I had moved everything in, so even though my walls were a little sad my first night in the apartment, the next day I was able to make decisions about exactly how I wanted my room to look without feeling rushed or tired. My roommates and I also moved furniture around a little the first week and are still putting up decorations here and there as we find the time and space for them. I think it’s important to remember that you’re building your little home away from home and you should take your time doing it so it’s just the way you want it.

Don’t: Expect to have remembered everything

Whether you’re living on campus or off it’s almost inevitable that you’ll have to make a few trips to Walmart on move-in day and the days that come after that, even if you think you’re prepared. As someone that lives six hours away from college, I was super worried about forgetting one or multiple things at home because it’s not easy for me to just go back and get them.

I did forget my Keurig which was a bummer, but my roommate brought a regular coffee maker with her and I’ve been able to use that which is awesome (thanks Leah, you da bomb). I also forgot a few little things like extension cords, plug-in air fresheners, and ibuprofen, but I remedied that within the first two days I was here. I’m sure once classes start I’ll discover a few more things I’ve forgotten, but thankfully I have a car and a little cash to take care of that.

Do: Ask questions (even the little ones)

This year, I’m living in a large apartment complex in Athens called Riverpark and I’m already loving it for the amenities and community atmosphere. However, with a large apartment complex comes a very busy leasing office, especially on move-in day and it can be a little overwhelming. Because of this, it can be very easy to forget to ask important questions, which is what happened to me.

For the first several days we had no idea where to get our mail, I had forgotten to ask how to sign up for online rent payment and didn’t get my laundry card; those are some very important pieces of info to be without. Eventually I found all the answers to those questions, but I wish I would’ve asked them on day one because it was not fun worrying about them my first weekend here. So, take my advice and take your time in the leasing office. They might be busy, but you’re the resident, so make them slow down and answer your questions because you’re probably paying them a good chunk of change anyway.

Don’t: Fight your feelings

So, it was the Monday night after the Saturday that I moved in and things were great. I was hanging out with my mom, watching the season finale of the Bachelorette (*SPOILER*: can you believe that she ended up with smooth-talking Bryan? Personally I liked Peter more, but the dude just wasn’t ready to commit) and then suddenly I just got really sad really fast. I couldn’t figure out what exactly it was, but I just felt weird and off. After talking with my mom for a while, I realized that it was just “first apartment jitters.”

Now, I realize that isn’t a real thing, but basically what it came down to was that I was adjusting to the simple fact that I was going to be living on my own for the first time. Of course I had roommates, but I was still on my own to an extent. When you’re in a dorm, there is still someone “in charge,” someone to go to when your neighbors are being crazy loud and obnoxious, and someone who has a lot of the answers to your questions. However, when you live off-campus, you’re in charge, you get to politely try to deal with your neighbors, and the leasing office can answer most of your questions, but a lot of times, you’re on your own. It’s a huge adjustment, but it was hard for me to accept that it made me a little sad and overwhelmed. However, once I figured out that’s what was bothering me and just accepted it, the feeling passed and I got back to being happy and excited to live in my first apartment.

Hopefully you’ll find some of this advice helpful if you too, are moving into your first apartment. But I’m definitely not the first person to have done this, so if you’ve got any tips or tricks of your own when it comes to moving in, let me know down below!