How to Use Syllabus Week to Get Ahead this Semester

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Syllabus week is the best week of the semester in my opinion.

And not just because there aren’t any huge assignments due yet.

It’s because you have so much time to organize your entire semester!

I have a few things I would do during every syllabus week that would help me get ahead in the semester and I’m gonna share those tips with you.

I believe these tips are the reason I was on the Dean’s List every semester in college!

Here are the 5 Things I did during every Syllabus Week:

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1. Create an Organization System that Works for You

At the beginning of every semester, I would create new pages in my current planning system to organize everything school-related.

I’ve used bullet journals, Notion, or even just a composition notebook. Just create some sort of system that will work for you.

Next, decide how you are going to organize all your papers and notes for each class.

Are you going completely digital? Will you have a separate 3 subject notebook for every class?

Also, you probably want a few simple folders too, right?

Make all these decisions at the beginning of the semester rather than a few weeks in to avoid losing those first few important papers, like your syllabus…

2. Save all of your professors’ contact information somewhere safe.

Now that you know where you’re going to organize all your notes and papers, let’s find an easy-to-access place to keep your professors’ contact information.

Each syllabus you get for each class will contain your professor’s email, phone number, office location, office hours, etc.

Instead of keeping track of a handful of syllabuses, why not combine all that information onto one sheet.

Get a sheet of paper and write down all the information you need for each class.

You can paste this paper on the inside cover of your planner, or have it as a document you always keep on your desktop, clearly labeled.

Just put it somewhere that you won’t lose it and it is easily accessible.

syllabus week 2
By Shreya Dalela on Pinterest

3. Put all exam dates into your calendar!

For the most part, your professors have already planned out the entire semester and already know when your first exam will be.

They will usually include the dates for all your exams in the syllabus they give you.

Take the time you have in the first week of class to write down all these important dates.

Here are a few ideas on where to put these important dates:
  • Google Calendar – You can even set it up to remind you a week before the exam. Google calendar can also be viewed on your phone for easy access.
  • Dated Planner – If you’re a physical planner person, flipped to each month in your planner and write down each exam for each class. You can even highlight it so it stands out!
  • Wall Calendar – As long as your wall calendar is in a place you’d see it every day, this is a great spot to write down your upcoming exams.
  • Future Log – If you use a bullet journal like me, you haven’t yet written out the next 3-4 monthly spreads. Instead, create a page at the beginning of your bujo for a future log. You can write down all your exam dates there.

4. Create a Running Assignment List for All Your Preplanned Assignments/Projects/Readings

This is a tip I recommend to everyone because this is what changed the way I planned out my semester.

For the most part, your professors include a list of assignments and due dates for the entire semester in your syllabus.

Take the time you have now to organize all your assignments in one place.

The best way I’ve found to completely organize all my assignments is to use Notion. Here’s an example of my Notion Running Task List:

Using Notion you can enter all your assignments and projects in any order, then using the sort function, you can sort it by the due date.

As you complete an assignment you can check it off, then using the filter function you can have Notion not include assignments that are checked off.

As the semester goes on this list gets shorter and shorter.

What’s more satisfying and rewarding than that?!

The best part about using Notion in this way is that you’ll never lose track of an assignment as long as the due date is correct.

You can even see if one week is gonna be harder than the week before and do a few assignments ahead of time to reduce the stress for that week.

*I’m not sponsored by Notion. I just love using it and I think it’s an awesome tool.

5. Create Your Weekly Schedule

Probably the most important thing you could do is to make sure you know where you need to be every day.

I highly recommend putting your class schedule into your google calendar so you can clearly see how much time you have in between classes for food, studying, or if you need it, a quick nap.

I have a separate blog post on how to time block your college schedule using google calendar. Check it out!

That’s it! Those are the 5 things I do during every syllabus week that gets me ahead of everyone else. Is there something I missed that you also do during the first week of classes? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you have more questions about Notion, let me know!

I hope you have a successful and full-filling Winter Semester. Good luck and you can do it!

Check out my other college life related posts.

Syllabus Week 3

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3 thoughts on “How to Use Syllabus Week to Get Ahead this Semester

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