How An Agenda Can Save Your (Student) Life

January 12, 2018  |   Found in Editorial

Austen Powers planner meme

As a student, balancing school, work, volunteering, and a social life can become overwhelming. Thankfully, over my years at the University of Calgary I have learned some tricks that help me stay organised and on top of things. Below are my top 6 tips to keeping an organised agenda.

1. buy an agenda and actually use it.

If you’re not used to an agenda it can seem annoying at first, but I promise it is so worth it. Instead of having a million dates floating around in your head, you have them down in one place. Once you get into the groove of using your agenda it will probably become your best friend and you won’t be able to imagine a day, let alone an hour, without it. Personally, I prefer an agenda that shows you two weeks at a time because it keeps you extra-aware of your deadlines, but any agenda will do. You can even get super cheap ones at the dollar store.

2. If an agenda just isn’t for you, find another similar system that works.

For example, I know some people keep track of things on their phones or computers. Google calendars can sync all of your activities together so if you’re really dedicated to up-keeping it, it can work wonders. That being said, I stare at my phone enough in a day and I like having my agenda separate from everything else.

3. input all your important dates as far ahead as possible.

Meaning as soon as you get your syllabus at the beginning of the semester, put those dates in! As well, write things down as soon as they come up. This way you don’t need to worry about forgetting them. There is no worse feeling than waking up in the morning and realizing you forgot to do that assignment or missed that meeting.

4. If you’re a visual person, colour coding your agenda can be a saving grace.

I like to use colours that relate to the topic at hand. For example, for things that involve the Students’ Union, I use blue. For things like midterms and other important academic deadlines, I use red to reflect the feeling of urgency and impending doom.

5. write down EVERYTHING.

Even if it seems small and insignificant or repetitive. I promise that in the long run when a last-minute plan comes up and you’re overtired from writing a million midterms and papers and all you can think about is sleeping in, you’ll appreciate the fact that you wrote down every single 9am lab you have. Because chances are you’re going to forget about it once or twice.

6. Finally, make sure to schedule some fun and relaxing time for yourself.

I’ve honestly found that since I started keeping an agenda I’m more aware of my free time and take advantage of it. I actively set aside time where I can stop stressing about school, hang out with my friends, or have a lazy day all to myself. As you can probably tell, I love my agenda a lot, maybe even a bit too much. But it keeps me sane and makes my hectic life so much easier. I hope you find these tips useful and can apply them to your own life!

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Carly Checholik is in her fourth year of Archaeology and Development Studies. She likes cuddling cats, drinking coffee, and watching the Gilmore Girls. Carly works as a Program and Event Assistant at the Students’ Union.