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When I was in college, I had high hopes for my organizational skills. Each year I’d buy new calendars and organizers—and each year they would end up unused, waiting on some corner of my desk to be mined for scratch paper. Invariably, instead, I resorted to what I termed my “little scrap of paper organizational system.”
Purses, backpacks, and books from that time brim with little bits of paper covered in scribbled notes-- receipts, post-its, torn scraps from those unused calendars. And they record an only semi-knowable record of my schedule and concerns: phone numbers without names attached, lists of library call numbers with no titles, the time of a meeting without the attendant date. Not much of a system.
I learned how to organize myself before I applied to graduate school.
When you’re applying to grad or professional school, you need to stay organized. Juggling multiple deadlines, essays, letters of rec, and other supporting documents can be daunting. Creating a system that works for you will not only ease the process by ensuring you’re on track and have all your information in one place—it can also help you organize your thoughts as you start to work on your essays, saving time and effort later.
Here are some tips:
I still occasionally find scraps of paper tucked into books or folded into the inner compartments of bags. But for applications, I relied on a more organized organizational system. We urge you to find one that works for you.
Dr. Rebecca Blustein, Accepted.com editor and former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, is the author of Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School, an ebook, and Get Your Game On: Prepping for Your Grad School Application, a free special report.
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