Billy Leung, Pullman Scholar, University of Michigan, ’16

In my senior year of high school, I remember being constantly stressed trying to figure out how I was going to afford a college education. Thankfully, my high school counselor told me about the Pullman Foundation. With the Pullman Foundation’s generosity and support, I’m glad to say that I have just completed my junior year at the University of Michigan.

The support I’ve received from the Pullman Foundation has been more than just financial assistance; the Pullman Foundation has also provided the resources to help me succeed in and outside the classroom, manage my time effectively, and reach my career aspirations. In addition to using the many resources on the Pullman Foundation’s website, e-mails, LinkedIn blogs, and Facebook page, I had the opportunity to attend the Pullman Scholar Symposium, where I got to meet other Pullman Scholars and Pullman Alumni.

At the symposium, I attended a personal finance crash course, where I learned the intricacies of creating a personal budget, saving for retirement, and building credit. There was also an etiquette seminar, where I was able to learn proper networking and eating etiquette. This came in handy as I had to attend networking events and dinners during my internship search this past fall. Finally, I was able to listen to a panel of four Pullman Alumni speak about their experiences from college to their current careers. After listening to the panel, I was surprised (and relieved!) to learn that life really has a strange way of working out. Some of the alumni ended up in careers related to their college majors while other alumni ultimately ended up in positions completely unrelated to their college majors. The Pullman Alumni taught me that it’s okay to not have the future completely planned out. (more…)

By Izzy Rubin, Intern.

Know Thyself

The best way to get on track for the semester is by knowing your current habits, strengths, and weaknesses. Is your backpack a black hole for folders and papers? Try binders. Do you lose track of time easily? Set daily alarms. Do you have trouble remembering due dates? Use a planner. Self-awareness will help you choose an organization plan that works for you. Figure out your current habits, and target what you could improve.

Be Ahead of the Game

Try to organize your calendar, papers, and supplies as early as you can. How and where will you store your papers and books? Consider making a folder on your computer for each class instead of having individual files scattered throughout. If you already have a system in place at the start of the semester, you will be ahead of the game and won’t have to play catch-up.

Get a Planner

There is too much to keep track of in college without a calendar or a planner. Forgetting about assignments and appointments is costly to your academic performance and overall well-being. Write assignments, chores, meetings, social events, club responsibilities, and anything else you need to do in your planner. Having everything written in one place will give you an idea of how to structure your day to make it as productive as possible.

See the Big Picture

While planners help with day-to-day tasks, a separate monthly calendar will help you see the big picture. At the beginning of the semester, gather your syllabi and mark big assignments (projects, exams, and essays) in your calendar. Don’t forget to mark events for your clubs or important personal events. What weeks look busier? Knowing ahead of time that you’ll be traveling the weekend before a term project is due will help you manage your time to do your best work.

Do the Little Things

Staying organized takes effort, but in the long run, you’ll improve your grades and state of mind. Place papers in their proper folders in your backpack. Save downloaded documents to the correct class folder. Organize all of your materials before going to bed each night. Set electronic calendar reminders for appointments. The little things you do for yourself now will prevent you from being overwhelmed later.


University of Michigan’s Advice on Keeping Planners 

Cornell’s Time Management Resource

How to Use a Syllabus