As the semester draws to a close, I am left with a mess, of sorts. I have lots to study and work on, and that means that I have lots of junk lying around. I'm the sort of person who likes to have lots of space to work. Give me a table that is designed to seat 6-8 people, and I will easily fill it up with things I am using to get my work done. Mind you, it's not that I need to use the space, by any means. But I like to spread out. It makes me feel more organized. Usually, though, it winds up being a paradox. Instead of increasing my efficiency, the spread makes the work take longer. I have to take the time to organize my stuff somehow, and that adds to the overall time of geting things done. Regardless, I'm still happy.

Quite often, I'll start a semester very gung-ho about staying organized, believing that it will make me a better student if I'm more organized. This mindset usually lasts for about a week. At that point, I find other ways to amuse myself. Well, that and real life kicks in, in which there is homework and study. There is no time to be extremely organized if one wants to have a life in addition to an education. The only time I've found that it's good to be very organized is in a work setting, where I can use company time to organize myself. At my last job, it always gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling to be able to tell my boss that I really was being productive when he would come to tell me off.

So anyway, my organizational skills are, to say the least, superb. If you don't believe me, consider the following. Given that I have given up on spiral notebooks in return for simple folders and spirals, I have managed to reduce the amount of space used in my backpack. This saves me time when it comes to packing up, it saves space, and it saves my back from an awful fate of crippling from hauling around too much stuff. Notes are taken in spirals, eliminating the need for putting dates on papers and filing them in the binder, not to mention being able to keep them in one place. Everything gets filed into my backpack, in some sort of randomized order. On my desk, papers lie all around, and random papers can be found throughout my spirals and folders. However, given their size, I am able to rank them in order of importance. Smaller papers are not as important, whereas large papers are. Handouts from classes for lecture or advertisement are placed on the day's notes, and if it gets messed up, it's no big deal. What it comes down to is a theory of mine that, if it's not important enough to put in a decent spot or to actually remember, it's probably not all that essential. Granted, there are times where this isn't true, but it's true most of the time.

Now, keep in mind that I am no slob. I may seem unorganized, but really I have made a trade-off between focusing on what I'm learning and how I wanted to maintain a flawless organizational system. Before I went to college, I was always organized, but college took away some of the motivation for staying this way. First off, there are no grades for this like there was middle and high school, and second, there's no time. I spent so much time keeping everything neat that I was losing time on the studying end. I lightened up lots, and have been happier ever since. So this happens to be my particular system, and it works for me. If someone were to try to find a specific something in my backpack, they would probably fail. If that someone tried to describe how it is I organize myself, that person would probably die trying, especially if I was there to watch.

My favorite part of this whole deal is that, usually, at the end of the semester, I'll gather all my stuff together, organize it, and file it away so that I can use it for reference in the future. In the beginning, though (and this is what really kills me), the second I have everything in its place, I forget where I put it all. I'll go for quite some feeling confident that I know where everything is. That is, until I actually need to find it and use it, at which point it escapes me. After letting this frustrate me over the years, I have finally come to terms with this, and expect it. I still forget where I put everything, but at least I know that it's normal for me to do so.

In the end, I suppose that this odd quirk of mine makes my life a little bit more interesting (or strange, I'm not sure which). Lucky me.