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Uni student called in a panic tonight.


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Sunday night of course. I just saw him Saturday. Sigh.

 

Okay, he is struggling with procrastination and organization. I knew this was going to bite him in the butt. He missed a class where there was a test. He would have an A, but now will have to settle for a B probably. Still doing great in his other classes but finding time to do homework & focus as well is a problem. Yeah, I gave him advice - more sleep & being organized & less socializing.

 

His biggest problem. HUGE. Is that he is not organized. He doesn't plan. I fought with him and tried to make him learn how to organize and plan in high school. Not interested. So now it's crunch time he has to learn how to get himself organized.

 

I'm organized, but I don't know how to help him because we think differently. What do you suggest?

 

I will send him a calendar.

 

I need help with:

 

Which paper student planner?

 

Any good student planner apps for the iphone or will a regular calendar one like I use work?

 

Any good websites that can help him and is very simple, concise, & cut to the chase?

 

This is his wake up call about being organized. I hope he takes it. Thanks so much for any and all suggestions.

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I think there is a key line in your post: We think differently. We all do. What works organizationally for any given person may not work for others. Some people need things organized visually--where they can see everything. That's why, for instance, they pile stuff. They can see it. That is anathema to many naturally organized people.

 

Your ds has to find what works for him.

 

My freshman ds is also struggling with this kind of thing. A lot of them do.

 

I wonder if campuses have help for students with this. It would make sense.

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I think there is a key line in your post: We think differently. We all do. What works organizationally for any given person may not work for others. Some people need things organized visually--where they can see everything. That's why, for instance, they pile stuff. They can see it. That is anathema to many naturally organized people.

 

Your ds has to find what works for him.

 

My freshman ds is also struggling with this kind of thing. A lot of them do.

 

I wonder if campuses have help for students with this. It would make sense.

 

Yes, I plan on calling in the morning. Surely there is somewhere they can go to get some organizational help.

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Doesn't your ds have a computer. He's probably got a calendar to which he can add appointments and due dates with alarm reminders. He might have something like this on his phone too. An electronic calendar is probably a good bet for a college student.

 

It's got to be his thing. He's got to figure out on his own he needs it. He may need to have worse things happen before the needs sinks in. Mom can't do that for him. Ask me how I know.

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A normal calendar won't be enough, he needs a student planner, whether paper or electronic but probably one he chooses or he won't use it. Also, there should be Student Advisers on campus (maybe they're called something different at his uni). They're available for this exact type of problem. It's one on one, and they may have some other ideas.

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Unless the student had asked for it, I would not send him a calendar. Your student will see it as a lack of confidence in his ability to pull himself together. You could ask if a calendar would help and then offer to buy one, but let it drop if he says no. Planners definitely don't work for everyone. Generally they are least likely to work on those who need them most. Mostly, he sounds like he needs to establish some ground rules for himself. You can help him brainstorm some things that will help him get back on track. Obvious things like, party no later than 11pm on weekends...that sort of thing. You can't really learn to plan ahead until you've learned to do the hard thing and tell yourself no first. Hugs. I have one of those and I'm not looking forward to the college transition.

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I agree it is really individual what works and if you step in too strongly it may just discourage him from sharing with you next time. I reassure him that lots of students have bumps in the road and he will get past this. I would gently encourage him to see him to talk to the professor of the class he's struggling with and to also see his academic adviser and ask about study skills help if he feels he needs it. There are resources out there to help him.

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Unless the student had asked for it, I would not send him a calendar. Your student will see it as a lack of confidence in his ability to pull himself together. You could ask if a calendar would help and then offer to buy one, but let it drop if he says no. Planners definitely don't work for everyone. Generally they are least likely to work on those who need them most. Mostly, he sounds like he needs to establish some ground rules for himself. You can help him brainstorm some things that will help him get back on track. Obvious things like, party no later than 11pm on weekends...that sort of thing. You can't really learn to plan ahead until you've learned to do the hard thing and tell yourself no first. Hugs. I have one of those and I'm not looking forward to the college transition.

 

He asked for a calendar. He asked for help. All I can do is offer suggestions at this point. I am sending a him a calendar, planner, and told him to find an app.

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I think there is a key line in your post: We think differently. We all do. What works organizationally for any given person may not work for others. Some people need things organized visually--where they can see everything. That's why, for instance, they pile stuff. They can see it. That is anathema to many naturally organized people.

 

Your ds has to find what works for him.

 

My freshman ds is also struggling with this kind of thing. A lot of them do.

 

I wonder if campuses have help for students with this. It would make sense.

 

Yup. He needs to see it I bet. A BIG desk blotter sized calendar was my friend in college. with multi colored markers. And a bunch of sticky notes. Sticky notes are the only reason I was able to hold a job, lol. I would write each task I needed to do on a note. When the job was done I threw away the note. If the note is there, you have work to do. Works better for me than a to do list by far. I am naturally VERY unorganized, but those two things saved me.

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Since he asked for one, buy him a big calendar with a lot of white space on the dates. He should put it somewhere where he cannot miss seeing it throughout the day. Place a container of pens, pencils, highlighters near it. Highlight test days. It's not too time consuming, and if he does this, he will be reminded often of test dates.

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The campus book store often has calendars and student planners - good ones that students actually use or else their inventory would just sit on the shelves. My son just told me that he's made a day-by-day schedule for one week as he feels all he does is go to class and study and was feeling depressed by it. So he has built in actual "down" times, gym times, etc along with his school work and classes. Since he started this I can see or rather "hear over the phone" the change to his voice - sounds like my old kid again. (Unfortunately, he's still not an overly happy camper at college - time will tell!)

 

Myra

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Yup. He needs to see it I bet. A BIG desk blotter sized calendar was my friend in college. with multi colored markers. And a bunch of sticky notes. Sticky notes are the only reason I was able to hold a job, lol. I would write each task I needed to do on a note. When the job was done I threw away the note. If the note is there, you have work to do. Works better for me than a to do list by far. I am naturally VERY unorganized, but those two things saved me.

 

He's a guy and it has to be very, very simple. LOL I sent him a good calendar from amazon, a student planner, recommended a great app, sent a short article on organization for the college student, and told him to find the most organized guy in his house and see if he can help him get organized (there are actually quite a few).

 

Yes, I am probably still mothering him too much. Yes, I am still emotionally emeshed with this child. I have backed off a lot. When the kid texts me in panic mode on a Sunday night after all the drama of my week already with teen girls here it sends me into a panic. Plus, I think I am pmsing.

 

Anyway, I offered what I could. Now I let him figure it out. Natural consequences really are the best way, but I wanted him to learn this before he went away to the big uni. Ah, well, time to suck it up and go handle a different crisis here. :lol:

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I am a "fly by day" type of person. For me, planners were great in theory, but if you don't use it, it's useless. :glare:

As a morning person by nature, I tried to schedule the bulk of my courses in the morning, and my goal was to have all papers/ homework/ studying done before dinner. I feel as though the social scene really picks up in the evening on college campuses, and having all of my work out of the way early was the best way for me to keep myself on the deans list.

 

Good luck to your son!

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Help might work, but he is going to have to make some routines to develop his own workable system. The best thing for many is to simply do the reading and assignments now...not later.

 

He's a guy and it has to be very, very simple. LOL I sent him a good calendar from amazon, a student planner, recommended a great app, sent a short article on organization for the college student, and told him to find the most organized guy in his house and see if he can help him get organized (there are actually quite a few).

 

Yes, I am probably still mothering him too much. Yes, I am still emotionally emeshed with this child. I have backed off a lot. When the kid texts me in panic mode on a Sunday night after all the drama of my week already with teen girls here it sends me into a panic. Plus, I think I am pmsing.

 

Anyway, I offered what I could. Now I let him figure it out. Natural consequences really are the best way, but I wanted him to learn this before he went away to the big uni. Ah, well, time to suck it up and go handle a different crisis here. :lol:

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I wonder if campuses have help for students with this. It would make sense.

 

My 19 y.o. dd took a study skills class her first term at the university. And it was her idea!

 

She said it was really helpful. Never mind that these great "new" strategies were almost identical to the ones I suggested when she was a freshman in high school. (And no, I haven't even breathed a hint of this....I just smile and say "That's great, honey! Is it helping?")

 

Cat

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When I was in school, I made my own weekly schedule using Excel. It helped me to remember just by setting up the format I wanted and entering the information. I had to make a column for each day of the week and then block out class times, etc. Along with the day chart, I had an ongoing "To Do" list. Talk to him about making a chart showing him the days of the week and highlighting each class.

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I was horribly disorganized my first semester of college. What finally worked was a giant wall calendar with Jan, Feb, March and April pulled out and hung side by side on the wall above my bed. I went through the syllabus for each class at the beginning of the semester and put all the pertinent dates on it (color coded by class). Then I crossed off each day with a sharpie as it passed.

 

It wasn't pretty but it gave me the big picture I needed to plan ahead and showed me that there was an end in sight.

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