So we all have our "Sylly Week" traditions, plans, etc. Over the weekend I took a trip to Texas. Cool, right! While spending time with family is great, I'm slightly behind in some other things. Good thing it's never too late to get ahead. One thing you should always include in your syllabus weekend plan is time to get ready for the new semester.
Getting Organized for a New Semester
Print all of your course syllabi
If you do not own a printer, this can get pricey, but paper copies are so much better. If your professor changes something at the last minute it's easy to add a sticky note or cross it out immediately so you do not forget.
Tip: Try keeping syllabi together in one folder. If you have a three or five-subject notebook, use the syllabi as dividers.
Set up your planner early
First, write all assignments down on the monthly calendar pages. Set up the weekly planners a week to two weeks in advance.
What if you decorate your planner? Even though I use the Happy Planner, I have written all of my assignment due dates in pencil. This way I can go back to decorate and make changes.
Include the deadline time
Not every assignment will be due at 11:59pm (but bless those that are). After a while, you will know the due times for each class. Be sure to fill in the times for assignments that are not at the normal deadline time. If all of your classes have different deadline times, create a reusable key. Instead of writing it for every day transfer the key each week. Do not miss easy points because you realized an assignment was due an hour ago.
Try creating a bookmark, this way you always have your schedule, but also it will be easy to find the current way of the week. This semester, all of my work is due before class, except for one class, so that one class will be easy to remember, but I have used the bookmark in the past.
Buy a few folders
Folders are a great place to keep your syllabi, project planners (see this post for a printable), and assignments you are working on. Be consistent in the way you divide your folders i.e. by class, type of assignment, etc.
Add an office hours schedule to the folder you keep all of your syllabi. It is nice to have your syllabi just in case you missed something. Making an office hours schedule will help so you do not have to dig through the syllabi every time you want to go to office hours.
Do not get overwhelmed
Writing everything can be overwhelming. It may seem like a lot up front, but it looks worse on paper. If you need to take a break, take one. Try completing January and February. Finish the rest mid-February.
I personally am a plan the entire semester ahead person. When I first set down to do my planner, not all of my classes had shared their syllabi. I filled in January of what I could. This past weekend, I filled in the rest. It was overwhelming because I am taking 17 credit hours this semester. There is basically something due everyday, which I am not used to. But now that everything is written down, I know it will all get done to the best of my abilities.
How many credit hours are you taking this semester? How do you plan to stay on top of things?