College offers the opportunity to approach your academic work with independence and freedom. And, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “With freedom comes responsibility.” College students must keep track of due dates, exams, and assignments; plan ahead for busy times of the term; and juggle academic and personal commitments. Using big-picture and long-term planning techniques can help you juggle these tasks. Term-long planning takes practice and is an organizational skill that you can use in a wide range of careers and occupations.List of Commitments

By definition, “term-long” organization takes into account all of the commitments you have occurring during a given term. Planning ahead for your entire term is a good habit to get into at the beginning of the term.  Doing so allows you to actively consider what the expectations for each course are, when assignments are due, and how assignments and exams in each course may overlap. This planning will give you a better sense of important due dates, exams, and events; it will also help you identify when you will have busy weeks so that you can strategize how to manage your workload.  At OSU, we recommend a worksheet called “Term at a Glance” to begin your term-long plan. You may find similar tools called assignment calendars, term schedules, and 3-month calendars on other websites.  Many tools will be useful for identifying details you need to effectively plan your term, and the "Term at a Glance" worksheet is a good start to a broad overview of the term's requirements.


  • Create a term-long assignment calendar at the beginning of the term.  Include information from all of your courses, as well as busy weekends and other life commitments.
  • Integrate your tests and due dates into your weekly planner at the beginning of the term so you can plan ahead for these major assignments.
  • Work backwards with your planning. Look at big projects and events and create sub-goals, smaller deadlines, and other manageable milestones to break up the project.  Remember to a lot enough time needed for each project and overestimate when unsure how long a task will take.
  • Plan ahead. Identify spots in the term when you have many commitments - personally, academically, and professionally.  Decide on specific ways you will prepare for those times so that they do not become stressful and overwhelming.