Fall into an Effective Routine

By Rebekka Strom

It’s officially the first day of fall and depending where in the country you are, you may be feeling Autumn’s blissful impact more than some of us (hello, humid Atlanta…). While the seasons will soon make a switch, use this time to “nail down” some strategies in preparation for midterm grades. Whether you’re just starting off on your undergraduate journey as an incoming freshman, or you’ve been down this road before, these tips are helpful in whichever season of life you find yourself.

Take 5
Get organized! After each class, “take 5” (or more) minutes to recap what your professor just discussed. Over the next months of school, make the calendar your go-to. Whether you choose to invest in a bright Vera Bradley agenda that you bring with you to every class or punch in important dates in iCal on your iPhone, take the time to jot down any upcoming assignments or important messages. Following every class, skim over your notes (I would always type mine up from the chicken scratch I concocted during lectures), and get a plan in place before your next meeting.
Record every reading, homework, quiz, test, report, or essay in your calendar. Spending the extra time dissecting your class syllabi at the beginning of the semester will save you time in the long run when you find yourself pulling all-nighters, knowing the Starbucks’ crew by name, and studying for final exams.

Get Moving!
Just like you schedule your 50-minute lectures in your calendar, carve out time to be active! Whether the stationery bike at the gym or a trail run around campus is more your speed, make an active date that you don’t break! This is the part of the day where you can be selfish and take time for you. Catch up on your news and views while reading a magazine on the elliptical, try out a new fitness class with friends, or unwind and go for a jog outside and soak in the changing season. Bottom line: Making the effort to stay healthy in college will keep your mind sharp and your lifestyle balanced–no matter what life throws at you.

From the cafeteria lady to the research librarian, take the extra few minutes out of your busy day to connect with someone new. Make an effort to learn the names of staff members, and chat with them. You’ll make their day and especially, at a large school, it’s always nice to meet another smiling face!

Try it Out
The four years of college are an amazing platform to try new and exciting things that you may not try normally. Either with your roommates, with a couple friends from class, or on your own, get involved on campus and try out something new! Whether you decide to try your hand at a new fitness class at your college’s gym, join an intramural team, volunteer on service projects, or get involved in a club, it’s a great opportunity to meet new people and discover new passions you may not know you have!

Go Off the Air
Every week, set a specific time to “go off the air,” and unplug from your electronic devices and social media. Use this time to catch up on that book sitting on your nightstand you told yourself you’d read, go outside, or catch up with a classmate over pumpkin spice lattes.

Now is the time you “fall” into a successful routine that will help you throughout the rest of your college career. Take it all in–enjoy every minute!

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