Plan your college semester - weekly planner

How to Plan Your College Semester in 4 Easy Steps

A lot of what you’re going to read about and do while planning your college semester is reminiscent of an earlier post of mine about managing your time. Because, really, that’s what planning is. It’s so beneficial to plan ahead so that you don’t get overwhelmed right out of the gate!

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Creating a college semester plan

1. Get all syllabi

Sometimes – especially for online courses – you can obtain the syllabus for each class before the semester begins. If you’re really motivated, you can contact your professor in the week leading up to the start of classes and ask him/her if it’s available for you to review.

Each syllabus should tell you the dates of when reading assignments, quizzes, tests, and essays or other projects will be due. These are always subject to change, so don’t rely on them 100%!

2. Get a planner!

A planner can help you plan out your college semester

If you’ve been reading my site for awhile, you know how passionate I am about having you purchase a planner!

A weekly planner or daily planner will both work for planning out all of your assignments, but I would suggest the weekly planner over either of them. This will allow you to see more things at a glance. If you’re like me and enjoy planning out each day, though, you might want to purchase both!

3. Plan out your entire semester

  • Take all of your syllabi and write down everything that is due in the appropriate dates.
  • If you need reminders, you may want to use part of the weekly planner pages to include reminders of what’s coming up in the next 1-2 weeks.

4. Pay attention to big assignments/projects

  • Check out your big projects/assignments and work backwards. (Future post will be written about this method.)
    • Refer to my post on time management if you need help on how to use your planner correctly.

What are the benefits of being prepared by planning out the entire semester ahead of time?

More organization = less stress

It’s easier to look at a central location to see what’s coming up versus having to shuffle around five different syllabi. Sure, some dates might change, but most courses will stay on track and the dates won’t shift around a whole lot, if any.

Complete assignments on time and earn better grades

If you know when things are coming due well in advance, it helps you complete the assignment in time. If you aren’t rushing to complete a big assignment, chances are you will do better, and thus, earn a better grade.

More time for fun

Planning so that you can stay ahead of your assignments will allow you to have more fun during your college career, and you won’t have to worry about forgetting things!

It’s more than just assignments

Other things to plan for

  • Work hours
  • Family responsibilities
  • Social time
  • Relaxation/self-care
  • Appointments (of all kinds – advisor, doctor, instructor, etc.)
  • Supplemental Instruction
  • Study Time
  • Lining up babysitters in advance
  • Meal planning
  • Much more!

There are so many things that need to be planned into your schedule. That’s why time management is so, so important in college. If you’ve planned ahead and are able to stick to the plan, you will be well on your way to a successful college career!

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