Buy a planner and get organized from day one

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Remember those datebooks you always bought, used for the first week and lost? Well college is here, and it’s time to buy a new one.

You might have been able to get away with memorizing homework in high school, but college is a different story. Professors know your classes only consume a small part of your day, and they will assign homework both on a weekly schedule and a semester-based, long-term schedule. Memorizing the list of long-term assignments and weekly assignments takes brainpower that you should save for finals week.

In addition, your professors won't necessarily send you emails the day before something is due. Assignments might be given months in advance and never mentioned in class again.

Knowing assignment dates will keep you on track in school and keep stress levels low when the homework heat picks up.

Bring your datebook to the first day of class, part of the first week of school informally known as syllabus week. Professors will most likely go over the schedule, highlighting the important dates for exams, finals and projects. Writing these down and verifying them in class could prevent you from missing the due date on that 10-page term paper.

If it is difficult for you to get in the habit of writing in a datebook or planner on a daily basis, set an alarm on your phone or sit down after your last class and write down everything assigned in each class.

This will help you see how long you have to accomplish tasks and how to arrange your schedule.

Crossing items off a list is a gratifying way to accomplish things you already have to do. Get in the habit of patting yourself on the back, and you’ll be rewarded with extra time to grab a smoothie at Baja Grill.

Datebooks and planners are available at The Mizzou Store and in most shopping centers in Columbia.

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