By Tara Theresa Hill


Organization and time management are important skills to develop if you want to succeed in college.  The first thing I did before the beginning of every semester was get my desk and school supplies organized.  Every August, I bought a new school planner to help me keep track of my assignments.  I divided my binder into class sections, printed out a copy of my schedule, and made sure that my bag was completely packed for the first day of school.  I did all this preparation before even stepping foot inside the classroom, so that I would be ready for my first assignment.


What is the first assignment of every class? 


My guess is that you said the first reading or other homework listed in your syllabus.  However, the real first assignment of every single class is to read the syllabus that the professor gives you on day one.  Even though your professor might go over the syllabus with you in class, you should still reread it on your own.  Your syllabus is one of the most important documents that you are going to read that semester because it is the systematic plan that your professor designed for teaching the class.  If you want to increase your chances of doing well, you will follow the professor’s layout and make any modifications as directed.

List Your Assignments in Chronological Order for Each Class:


After each new class, I reread the syllabus with a highlighter in hand, marking each paper or project.  Then I took out a piece of paper, wrote down my classes and listed the major assignments for each class by date.  I wrote the list by hand first so that I had a hard copy to work from.  Next, I would doublecheck to make sure that my list matched the syllabi.  Once I made sure that all my information was correct, I typed up my list in Microsoft Word, saved it on my computer, and printed myself two copies.  I kept the first copy in my binder as a reminder of when each project was due.

My list of all the tests and projects
My list of all the tests and projects

I taped each page of the second copy above my desk, so that I had a clear visual of the work that I would do throughout the semester.  I did this for a few reasons.


  1. I would see it every day, so I was never unprepared for an assignment.


  1. It actually helped me plan ahead because I would start brainstorming topics for papers and projects way before the deadline. This made researching and writing the papers much easier.


  1. As the semester progressed, I would tick off each project as I completed it. This gave me a sense of satisfaction, especially at the end of the semester when I had everything checked off and had gotten a good grade in the class.


One more thing that I did to keep myself organized was write down all my projects in the school planner that I mentioned earlier.  This gave me another visual to help keep me on track.  The agenda laid out how many days I had left before something was due.  It was also great for writing down weekly homework assignments, quizzes, tests, and other important information.  The more organized you are, the more time you can devote to focusing on the work and getting the best grade possible.


Tara Theresa Hill is a freelance editor and writer.  She specializes in writing both fictional and non-fictional ghost stories.