Is it the fall semester already? Spring? Summer? Whatever the semester, this ritual, which I created for myself in undegrad, is a “beginning of semester” ritual that keeps all of my information in order even as a PhD Student. It is a rather simple too.
The first step of this ritual is to have a finalized class schedule. Do not try to do this if you do not have all the classes you KNOW you are going to take. I know sometimes you may get the class name, time, and professor but not the class location, so if you are experiencing that, it is ok.
When you have your classes, open up your preferred calendar app or schedule keeper. Usually, your University should make Google or Microsoft web and desktop apps available to you as a student. At Boston University, we have Google, so in my case, I am opening the Google Calendar browser application.
STEP 3 (optional..but highly recommended)
I have organized my calendar in a highly regimented and compartmentalized way. In my Google Calendar I made 1 separate calendar corresponding to each class that I am taking. In my case, I do not have more than 1 class per day, so I simplified my structure by the day of the week I have class. In addition, I made 1 additional calendar that represents the timeframe l devote to actively working on course/homework. I think this is an important step because when you begin adding all of your classes to your calendar, Google will make sure to organized all of your course activities by color. Before you move onto the next step and start plugging in your class schedule, checkout what a typical week in October looked like for me in the fall semester of 2020.
At this point, it is time to start plugging in all of your class meeting times. As you can see for my schedule, I have 3 classes. One on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 5pm-7:45pm. The basic structure for setting up each class in your calendar as events are as follows.
- Title: Make sure your title is straight to the point and quickly reminds you WHAT class it is.
- Location: In the age of COVID, location means what LINK will you use. In this space, paste the Zoom, Teams, or other video conferencing link your class will use weekly.
- Event Description: Inside of the Event Description, I usually put four items:
- Class Folder: I use all cloud documents, so I keep my class artifacts in a Google Drive Folder. In the folder, the usual items are class notes, slide decks, and any other documents that are produced throughout the semester. Keeping everything in the cloud is a great way to keep all of your content updated and accessible to view and edit from any device that you are using.
- Course Syllabus: I put a link for the Course Syllabus for quick access for course information.
- Zoom/Location Link: For safe keepings, I put the link/and or class location in the description just incase the link does not register in the Location section.
- Course Books: Since most of my books are available online, I make sure to put the title of the book as well as the web access link for quick access.
- Reoccurrence: Make sure that you modify your event so that it reoccurs on your calendar as frequently as it is supposed to. In my case, all of my classes were once per week, and did not go beyond the week of December 10th.
Checkout the screenshot of what my class event looks like.
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