The Power of a Routine in College

Jozlynn Blankenbaker
Jozlynn Blankenbaker

| 4 min read

Jozlynn Blankenbaker poses for a photo on the Wayne State University campus.
After I graduated high school, I was super excited to be moving out and going away for college. Once I got there, I realized I had much more freedom and responsibilities to manage independently. I now had to worry about waking up on time, getting to my classes on time, studying for exams and trying to balance my social life.
In high school I was always well organized, but college takes it up a notch with having to balance so much on our plates all at once for the first time in our lives. I learned that prioritizing a routine is a fantastic way to stay organized and it helped me to feel less overwhelmed. Here are some ways I implemented a routine into my college life.
Waking up early: Every day, I would set my alarm for around 7a.m. so I would have a few hours before my classes would start. I wanted to make sure I was eating breakfast as well as having time to plan out my day with any obligations that I may have. This also allowed me to have some time in the morning so I didn’t have to rush to get ready and could enjoy the morning before my day started.
Having a study schedule: Many times, I found myself cramming in studying at the last minute before an exam; this was not an efficient way to study so I started a study schedule. Every day was a little different, because I had different classes at different times or certain extracurriculars on certain days. So, in the morning, while I was planning out my day, I would fit in two hours of studying somewhere in my schedule every day. This made me way more prepared for my exams and reduced my anxiety significantly.
Setting time aside for exercise: In high school, finding time to exercise was a lot easier as my schedule was not as busy. Going through the transition to college, I learned having a workout routine really helped me make sure I was staying active. I enjoyed working out in the evening, so I blocked off time in my schedule everyday to go to the gym before dinner. My college has a free gym that students use on campus, which made it very convenient to get in a workout.
Having a night routine: Getting enough sleep is vital when you have lots to be focused on throughout the day. You need to ensure your brain and body are well-rested for the day to come, so having a night routine was a crucial part of my day. After going to the gym and eating dinner, I would shower and get ready for bed. An hour before bed, I would stay off my phone and read a book until I fell asleep. This allowed me to wake up early the next day and be well rested.
While the most important part of college is focusing on academics, college can bring many opportunities into your life with different extracurriculars like clubs or joining Greek life. I joined a sorority my first semester, allowing me to meet new people at my college. We have different events that are set at a specific time throughout the week, so I would know I have time to socialize by putting those in my planner. Socializing is very important as it can help reduce the feeling of burnout and helps relieve some pent-up stress from schoolwork.
Having structure in our days allows us to be the best versions of ourselves, especially in college when we are trying to figure out how to manage different responsibilities for the first time in our lives. A personalized routine can help you be more stress-free and organized to balance school, work and socializing.
Photo credit: Jozlynn Blankenbaker
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