Brian Eckert: What Can a Little Structure Do For the Average CWRU Student?

Student Mind

Planning is a big part of so many lives in today’s society. So many people can make a living by simply being great at planning and organizing. Wedding planners, construction supervisors and even certain engineers can make a living on planning events and projects so that they run smoothly.

I love efficiency and logistics, and being at a school full of engineers, I’m sure that I’m not alone. I think that planning is one of the most important things that someone can do to improve their life overall. I personally keep a planner that is the sole reason for my maintained sanity. I left my planner at CVS one day while I was picking up a prescription and for the ensuing 14 hours I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. I ended up going back and meeting the workers as they opened the doors the following morning at 8 a.m. I don’t think of myself as overly organized, but I was still on the verge of a total meltdown. I can’t imagine what someone more obsessive-compulsive than myself would’ve done, other than not leave their planner at CVS.

As a frequent user of alarms, reminders and sticky notes to remind myself of things, I find myself much more at ease when I don’t have to remember homework, meetings and my friends. Throughout high school, I lived my life without any regard for organization. I feel as if it had a negative effect on my grades and mental health in general. My school didn’t have access to much technology, and therefore didn’t have online assignments or reminders or even syllabi. I was left committing everything that I dared to, to memory. I definitely had some rushed work that I ended up turning in without much effort or thought put into it. Luckily my senior year I decided to start writing things down, and without that late push I’m not sure I would be here writing this article.

This organization feat doesn’t just work for me though. Look at the article, “The Impacts of Study Skills and Organizational Methods on Student Achievement.”

The authors stated, “Teachers at three separate public schools analyzed possible reasons behind low grades. All problems (late work, unprepared students, lax attitudes) related to students who were not organized for learning.”

The teachers surveyed were from three separate schools, teaching a variety of ages from third through seventh. This supports my point even more. Organization is vital in improving grades. Not all students need to keep a planner or write down assignments, but if you’re struggling with managing school work and extracurriculars and social events, I would highly recommend revamping your organization. It helps to relieve my stress because I can focus on studying and simply look down and remember what I need to do tonight, or at 6 p.m. in Tink.

I love the little things in life and this is one of them for me. By writing things down on a paperback notebook I got for free, my stress level has decreased tenfold. If you’re feeling stressed or can’t remember things, organize them. Different people have different ways of organizing things, but there’s something for everyone. So find your favorite way to stay organized and reap the rewards.

Brian Eckert is a first-year finance and economics double major.