Winging it or planning it? Organization is key to success

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons | A student’s life can be overwhelming. Features editor Isabella Abbott believes the key to finding balance and achieving student success is being organized. A good way to stay organized is by utilizing a planner.

Isabella Abbott | Features Editor

Feb. 9, 2023

It’s 11:49 in a class ending at 11:50, and the professor hasn’t announced homework yet.

While others are packed and ready to head out, I’m patiently sitting at my desk, purple pen in hand, waiting for the day’s assignment to be called out.

I know some have other places to be, like another class, but I know I need to get the homework done for next time so I’ll stick around a few extra minutes. Without it written in my planner, it won’t get done.

The saying “organization is key” always comes to mind when I think about success in college. You have to be organized to stay on top of classwork and work in general.

While some may say they don’t need to stay organized to get good grades, I’m someone who needs many different steps of an organization method to keep myself and my work accounted for.

Between internships, classes, club meetings and sports, there’s no time to not to be organized. There’s always something that needs to be planned beforehand or known about in advance, so organization is a big factor in my day-to-day life.

I’ll write down anything from a work schedule to a day I have to be on a race course. Nothing can be forgotten when it’s right in front of you on paper.

However, when I see unorganized people doing great in class, I always have to ask myself if I could do the same.

The answer is definitely not.

I’ve seen others without planners who get their work done on time and wonder how they can operate without a written down schedule showing them exact due dates and specifics.

They seem to have somehow memorized the homework rather than myself who would forget about it five minutes later when the class was officially over.

On the other hand, I’ve also seen unorganized students who’ve struggled to get work done on time and who turn in assignments late, it may just depend on the person.

These are the people who forget the homework like me but don’t have a written down backup of it. So, their grades tend to drop fast as they scurry to turn in late assignments.

I’ve even seen classmates who have come into class asking if there was homework the night before, something I’ve never had to wonder about since I would always have a reminder telling me when it was due.

And it’s not as if these homework assignments weren’t graded or unimportant, they were usually the ones that needed to get done for a decent grade in the class.

Do students not care about organization or do they not care about a class grade?

Although, I may just be forgetful in general with assignments and day-to-day activities since I go from practice to work to class then back to practice, if I wasn’t organized with my stuff, I’d miss events, assignments and probably even scheduled work hours.

Maybe I’d even miss the deadline for this story.

I’ve been using a planner ever since middle school, a time when I probably didn’t even need one, but each year I buy a new one, it ends up filled with activities, events and homework assignments that need to get done. Some of these assignments probably even helped me get to where I am now in college.

I know I had to write down when college submission forms and essays were due, one of the last things you’d want to turn in late.

I’d like to think my organizational skills have allowed me to succeed.

I’ve been able to turn in assignments and job applications earlier rather than later. I even turned this story in early, knowing I had to get it done on time.

I would even say checking my email is a great way of organization too.

I don’t understand how students can leave their inbox filled with over 40 unopened emails, I would think I missed something important or even necessary for other assignments or work.

I’ve even had experiences with emailing other students who don’t get back to me until five or six days later.

Don’t even get me started on emails with members for group projects.

I saw a team member forget they had a final presentation and had to sit out after arriving at class as the group was presenting. That’s a big assignment to be unorganized for.

Wouldn’t they want to check to make sure they’re not missing deadlines and grades?

I guess not.

And that’s exactly why I overcheck my email and write down everything that needs to be done throughout my days. It not only keeps me organized, but it allows me to know when items are due which helps me stay productive.

Not only has this helped me to thrive but I’ve been able to be known for my organizational skills, even convincing a coworker to get a planner.

He always turns in his assignments now.

For some, you may stick to your routine of remembering homework assignments off the top of your head.

But for me, I’ll stick to my overly-written in planner.