School, homework, activities, jobs, SATs, college search, friends…whew! When you are a senior in high school your time is managed pretty well—by everyone other than you! Here are some sure fire tips for staying organized during your senior year.
Use an academic planner. Stay organized by recording all your college visits, after school activities, class assignments and due dates. Include a row for “college” so that you can plan your essay writing and SAT studying along with your class assignments and exam dates.
Make a to-do list every day. Put the most important task at the top and do that one first. You will feel a sense of accomplishment when you have tackled the hardest “to-do” first.
Set achievable goals. You are more likely to complete your tasks if they are broken down into manageable parts. It is much easier to write one paragraph for your essay in an afternoon than it is to complete the entire common application.
Free gifts. Free periods and study halls are gifts! Focus on your assignments and to-do list.
Keep your work with you. You can always get an assignment done whether you are on the bus after an away game or at a doctor’s appointment.
Organize your environment. It is just as important to have your bedroom, study area or back pack organized. Organizing these zones will help you stay on schedule and focused.
Set up a special organizing system for your college search. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the mailers, supplements, essays, recommendations, etc. Use a rolling file cart, milk crate or desktop filing system that’s easily accessible and visual. Create a file for each school. Staple a checklist for each college with name of school, application due dates, requirements for references, essays, portfolio and financial aid to the front of each folder and transfer all important dates to your calendar.
Organize your college visits. My daughter, Madelyn, a college freshman, offers this advice: “Create an evaluation sheet to use as a ‘brain dump’ after each visit. It will help differentiate the information from each info session. It also organized my notes so they would be useable when writing my supplemental essays.”