Hoarding or Conserving: What to Keep Semester after Semester

By Debora V. Aberastury on December 29, 2020

It may have happened to you already.

The semester or term ends, and you are drowning in notebooks, papers, and even more papers. You don’t even know what half of it is, but you used a majority of it to prep for exams and finish research papers. Now, your dorm room is a mess.

What, of all of the notes and projects you’ve accumulated, are you supposed to keep?

KEEP: Notes from a class related to your field of study

Let’s say that your major is international relations. You wouldn’t keep notes from a science class you took in your freshman year – but you would likely keep notes on a class on comparative politics or even a history of foreign policy class.

Look at the notes you have on the subjects you have, and ask yourself: will I use this either in future classes or in my future career field?

KEEP: Notes on how to write good well

No matter the time that passes by, I STILL have a document – both the original print and a scanned copy in my Google Drive – that explains the dos and don’ts of writing for political science papers. I don’t refer to it as much as I would have, but it has helped me refresh my memory from time to time.

It doesn’t matter what your field of work is, what you expect to do after college — writing well and writing clearly is always and will always be an asset. Whatever information you are able to gather throughout your college years that makes sense to YOU and that YOU can benefit from to better hone your skills – keep it.

KEEP: Summaries and Class Notes from Essential Readings

Let us pretend that your major is English. A class on Shakespearean literature will likely result in you both a) reading a whole lot of Shakespeare’s works, and b) accumulating a boat full of notes and summaries from throughout the semester or term.

Flash forward to a semester later – you may be wanting to reference a certain Shakespeare work in a paper for another class, but you can’t quite remember the details of that certain play. Here is where the notes come in handy: rather than sitting down and reading the entire thing all over again, by being able to just pull out the summary, you save time.

When SHOULD you toss your notes? 

You may think – ‘well, you never know when it may come in handy’…..which, to some degree, it is true. You don’t know. But listen to your gut.

- If the class was required for your general education credits and it is far from what you are actually interested in – toss it.

- If you completely forgot that you even took the class, toss it.

- If you failed the class (or nearly failed) and you have absolutely no intentions to retake the class, toss it.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format