Organizational techniques differ between students – Web Exclusive

Julia Halpin | Staff Writer

For some students at Mason High School, organization is a key to achieving academic success, but according to senior Rohit Rao, organization has never a main factor in his academic life at MHS.“Some people will organize their homework with this [folder] for this class and [another folder] for this class,” Rao said, “My homework organization [consists of a] stack of stuff in one folder. The most recent stuff is on the top, so then I know where to get it. But if I have to look for something behind, then it’s a lot of flipping.”

Others at MHS, such as senior Blayr Richie, have a more orderly way of organizing their lives at school.

“I am really organized as far as notes go,” Richie said.  “I color coordinate things and color code them so I know exactly what I’m looking at. I take pretty meticulous notes so I guess in that regard, I’m pretty organized.”

According to Richie, she manages to keep her life on track with a very specific way of organization, which is shown through her color-coding methods.

“Certain colors go with certain days of the week,” Richie said. “So, I’ll start out with purple and green and use them for a few subjects, and that way I kind of know, [how to] keep myself on track.”

Along with her organization methods, Richie said she has multiple aids she uses to help coordinate everything she needs to do.

“Usually, I try to write everything down,” Richie said. “I bought myself a big planner because the school’s planners weren’t adequate. I also use my BlackBerry a lot to keep myself organized. But obviously, I can’t use that at school, so that’s more outside activities, e-mail, that kind of thing.”

According to Richie, her own way of accommodating her school life is something that works for her specifically and may not be the best for others.

“I really think it depends on the person,” Richie said.  “[For] some people, they don’t have to be organized and they can just deal with school. [For other] people it really decreases the stress and helps them.”

Even though Rao said he is comfortable with his own type of organizational techniques, he does think he should work on them.

“[I’m] probably somewhere in the middle between really unorganized and really organized because, I’m not as organized as I think I should be,” Rao said. “Really, I don’t take that much effort to organize things.”

Even though his black homework folder is often noticed by others for its huge size, Rao said it’s not the most unorganized area of his life.

“My room’s not very organized,” Rao said. “My locker has gotten better, actually. I think it’s probably because I don’t stuff as much paper in it as I did freshman year, I just kind of throw it away or it’s in my homework folder. [Last year] it jammed because there was so much paper on the bottom.”

For Richie, she said that peers will often comment on her organization for quite the opposite reasons.

“People make fun of me about how I take my notes all the time, like constantly,” Richie said.  “They mock me for it. It’s not really very nice. Not many people do [organize like I do], so it’s kind of weird.”

According to Rao, while his life may be viewed as cluttered to some, he is able to keep track of his belongings and assignments on a regular basis.

“I don’t really lose things,” Rao said. “And for me that’s a good thing because with my homework organization, everything is right there. I don’t put anything anywhere else. There’s only one place to look, [so] it’s got to be in there.”

For Rao, as long as he continues to get his assignments in on time, he said that his organization habits will not affect his academic achievements.

“You have to be organized to the fact that you have to know when your stuff is due and when you need to do things,” Rao said. “As long as you know that and you can meet your deadlines, you don’t have to be like, ‘This goes here; this goes here.’ It’s good to be that way so you don’t lose anything, but I don’t think its super necessary.”

Even though he doesn’t practice the best of organizational skills, according to Rao, he does view it as a positive characteristic in the lives of others.

“If you are more organized it’s easier for you to find your things and review things, basically to plan out what you’re going to do, and therefore, you know what you’re doing,” Rao said. “While if you’re unorganized sometimes it’s kind of like you’re just blundering through. You do what you have to do.”

Overall, Rao said that no matter who the person is, how someone organizes his or her life is completely up to what helps them the most.

“[My way of organization] does work for me,” Rao said. “It might not work for some other people, but it works for me. For each different person there’s something that works for them that they’re willing to do, and if it doesn’t work for them, they’ll change it to something else.”