How to Stay Organized in University

Posted by Sunera on November 6, 2013

On-board to York

stressed out
Stressed out?

Are you starting University in January? If so, don’t stress! Follow these survival tips to beat stress, (or at least minimize stress.)

Surrounded by the diversity of people and events at York, it is very easy to get over-involved in the campus. So, how do you manage your time and stay on top of your commitments to the campus? Here are some tips that work for me which hopefully will prove to be beneficial for your university life.

Know your lifestyle – A Full course load consists of 30 credits per year. If you want to be involved and think 30 credits maybe too much for you try perhaps 27 or 24 credits. As long as you take more than nine credits per academic term. You are still considered a full-time student.

I took 15 credits in the summer (which is a full time course load for summer,) with a work/study position on campus and 30 credits in September. I am also doing a work/study position on campus right now with several volunteer positions as well as attending events. By staying organized I am able to enjoy student life, work, hold volunteer positions and still take time out for friends and family on the weekends.

Be on top of your readings – I cannot stress this enough! Not only am I on top of my readings, I try to do them in advance if I can, long weekends are a perfect opportunity for that! This way if you’re sick or something comes up, you are all caught up.  Cramming to do all your readings before the exams will only stress you out and not get the best results you had hoped for, that is if you are even able to do all your readings last minute.

Throw flowers with joy!

Go to class – A teacher will not call your home if you don’t show-up; no one will force you to go to class so the choice is all yours. However, if you choose not to go to class you will have a hard time understanding the material. The professors are giving clues to exams entire year long and how to prepare so you don’t want to miss these hints. Plus, if you don’t understand something, this is your golden chance to ask. Building good relationships with professors is very important especially if you are considering Grad School or even references for employment. Most professors are available during office hours to help you outside of class-room hours.

Weekends – If you have to sacrifice a few weekend social gatherings in order to study, then so be it. The results will pay off! If I sacrifice a weekend, I make sure to reward myself either by watching a movie with some good food so I can relax, go for walks, bake or do anything that would recharge me. Mostly I reward myself at the end of the day so I’m motivated to stay on track and have something to look forward to.

Fresh baked goods and coffee…my weakness and the best way to unwind.

Pace yourself –You don’t want to end up hating school because you are always buried in books. Studying all weekends and having no time left for social-life will seem like the biggest punishment so keep it balanced. We all meet new people and make new friends so it’s important to enjoy time with them.

Get a Planner – An agenda is my best friend while here at school! All my homework, readings, upcoming events, assignments and volunteer commitments are recorded here. I always mark exams and assignments due dates ahead of time so I know what needs to be done when. This keeps me focused by not over booking myself close to assignments due dates or exams.

Hope you found these tips helpful. What’s your secret for succeeding in University? And how do you cope with stress? If you have any tips for me, I would love to read them, so do tell! 🙂

Also, I hope you had a Happy Halloween and wishing to all those celebrating a very  Happy Diwali!

Bon voyage till next time!




Sunera graduated from York University in May, 2016 with an Honours BA in Work and Labour Studies.

See other posts by Sunera

  • Megan

    I usually use Google Calendar and Post it Notes on my computer but I’m not finding it as effective as it used to be. I’ll definitely give an agenda a try for next semester ^_^

  • Avatar
    Sunera Ali

    Thanks Megan! I highly recommend it, I don’t know how I would survive school without an agenda.

  • Megan

    Love this Sunera! I’ve seen a bunch of York bloggers recommend an agenda and now I kind of want to give it another try. I might pick one up in January to start for the winter semester because I’ve definitely had bad organization this semester.