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Staying Organized

Rebecca Smith | February 10, 2017

In the beginning of a new semester, the first few days are filled with excitement as you reunite with friends you haven’t seen in a month, unpack your suitcase(s) and move your essentials back into your dorm room, and then complain about your 8am class on the first day back. But the first few days are also filled with big plans and desires to be extremely organized, stay on top of class readings, and to exercise regularly. While these goals would drastically change your experience here at La Salle, many students try to make such a large lifestyle change that it is unrealistic, resulting in the student giving up on the goal after a few days of struggling. Here are a few realistic habits to adopt for this semester in place of very lofty desires.

  • Instead of “I will work out every day,” try “I will incorporate exercise into my weekly routine.”

Dedicating an hour each day to the gym is a lot of commitment for a student, and will likely require giving up an hour of sleep or a much-needed Netflix study break. Instead, walk when you normally would take the shuttle. For example, walk with a friend to the Shops at La Salle and carry your groceries back to your room instead of waiting for the shuttle to take you there and back. Or, make the trek from South Campus to B&G on the weekends for brunch instead of deciding the walk up is too much effort. Incorporating small bursts of exercise into your routine is much more manageable than deciding to lift every day, but still gives you some health benefits of exercising. If you can realistically make it to the gym 3-4 days a week, take advantage of the early morning and late night hours of the IBC, where there will be fewer people and more space. The IBC is open Monday-Thursday from 7am-11pm, Friday from 7am-8pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 10am-8pm.

  • Instead of “I will be ahead on all of my class readings,” try “I will keep up with the expected reading materials.”

College students, as hard as we may try, rarely get ahead on school work. This semester, don’t focus on getting ahead, but rather not getting behind. Set up a reading schedule that allows you to read the required materials while still having plenty of time to break and refuel. You may want to invest in a planner, and write down how many pages in each subject you want to complete each day. Making a schedule can let the workload appear much more manageable. Remember, take advantage of the weekends to do the next week’s readings! If you need help with time management and want help creating a work schedule, stop by the Center for Academic Achievement in Lawrence 409.

  • Instead of “I will keep my room spotless this semester,” try “I will not let my room turn into a pigsty.”

College students are messy, and part of that is from cramming a large amount of clothes and toiletries and books into a small space that is also shared with another person. While it’s impossible to keep a dorm room immaculate, use this semester to tackle two aspects of your room: your bed and your laundry. Start each morning by making your bed. This should only take between 30 and 60 seconds, depending on how restless of a sleeper you are and how many decorative pillows you have. Not only will a made bed give you an incentive against going back to sleep after our 8am, completing a task at 7am can make you feel as if you have already accomplished something that day, putting you on the path to be productive. As for laundry, keep your room tidy by scheduling a laundry day for each week. On this day, wash, dry, and PUT AWAY all your now clean clothes. In the meantime, make sure that your dirty clothes get into your hamper and any clean clothes you decide against wearing go back into your closet. These two things will not only make your room look much less messy, but also make it appear as if you have your life together.