Thursday, September 15, 2011

5 Key Tips for Surviving Freshman Year

Staying Organized
by guest blogger @lindsayleboyer, Lindsay LeBoyer

The transition from middle to high school can be a big challenge. Staying organized is essential for doing well, and not getting overwhelmed by the social scene and academically competitive atmosphere. If you abide by these five tips, you'll be an organized high-schooler in no time.

 1) What to put on the list when there is no list
Staples "better binder," $9.99
Since most high school don't give a list of schools supplies, you aren't required to have anything on the first day. Bring a small notebook and jot down the supplies your teachers suggest. Many teachers won't even have a specific requirement, so as long as you have something to write on and a place to store handouts, you'll be prepared. For freshman who are used to a concrete list, it can be hard to figure out exactly what's needed. They key is to buy what you like. If you hate binders, stock up on notebooks and pocket folders instead. If you like to have everything in one place, buy one or two large binders and use dividers to separate different subjects. Use supplies that work for you.

2) Color Coding 
Five Star composition notebooks, $4 
There's nothing worse than rushing to class only to get there and realize you grabbed the wrong notebook. The simple solution? Color coding. Assign a different color to every subject. Your science binder might be green, your Spanish folder can be red, and your English notebook blue. Within the first few days you'll have each subject and it's color memorized so you'll always have the right supplies for class.

3) School Planner 
"Plan Ahead" daily planner, $3.99 CVS 
Write down all your homework in a planner. A lot of students rely on their just their memory and end up getting a zero because they forgot there was an assignment. Another benefit of keeping a planner is that you can make a list of everything you need to do and prioritize. Then you can check each thing off as you get it done. You'll feel more accomplished that way, and confident that you did everything you needed to do.

4) Pencil Case 
The blogger's pencils and Trompe L'Oleil
pencil case (bottom right) $12
You don't want to be that student who pesters everyone for a pencil before a big test. Keep a pencil case stocked with pens, pencils, highlighters, and erasers. This way you'll have all your writing utensils together, and they won't get lost at the bottom of your bag.

5) Prepare on the night before 
When you're rushing out the door in the morning, have clothes already laid out and a packed bag ready to go. When you're fishing through messy drawers for something to wear you'll feel frazzled when you get to school. You're also more likely to leave books at home when you're first getting your backpack together in the morning. Make a habit of picking out your clothes and packing your bag up every night. When you wake up you'll know exactly what to put on, and your backpack is right there, ready to go.

Artist are notoriously messy, what are your tips for staying organized at home and in the studio?

Blogger Lindsay LeBoyer is an intern at Schulman Art. She writes a fashion blog called The Style Child.