Would you like to normalize a less chaotic college lifestyle? If so, it’s time to take the power back over your life. College students don’t have to put themselves through burnout, stress, and depression to achieve a degree. A healthy morning routine for college students is key.
Juggling classes, relationships, friendships, extra-curricular activities and work-study can be a lot for teenagers and young adults to handle.
When you’re in high school, teachers and advisors talk about how fun college will be but rarely give students any tools to manage hectic schedules.
We expect college students to adjust to campus life right out of the gate. Six college-level courses (or more) per semester can make anyone feel as though they’re drowning.
The workload and hours of studying required for a full-time course load is enough to trigger overwhelm. When mid-terms and finals come around, students deal with high stress levels, fatigue, and easily get sick because of their weakened immune systems during this time.
College students who have to deal with external pressures at home, financial or food insecurity, or a lack of social and emotional support are more likely to be affected the most.
Believe it or not, there’s an additional solution to eating a healthier diet, getting the proper amount of rest at night, and implementing a fitness regimen – it all starts with a daily routine for college students.
As a college student, your weekly schedule is your roadmap to academic success, less stress, and a healthy lifestyle your older self will applaud you for.
We all know that starting the day off on the right foot will yield positive returns.
What is a good morning routine for a student?
- Wake up at 5AM
- Stretch and exercise
- Eat a nutritious meal or smoothie for breakfast. Be sure to include a protein, fat, and carb.
- Go for a 15-minute walk or read a fiction book to relax
- Use a planner to write out your homework assignments and block out 1-2 hours to study
- Spend time in prayer, journal, or meditate before class
- Do not respond to emails, text messages, or calls unless they are emergencies until noon
- Listen to an inspirational podcast on your way to class instead of scrolling social media
- Grab a coffee, energy drink, or cup of tea to wake up your mind
- Show up to class a few minutes early to ask questions about assignments or course topics
- Turn off your phone
Obviously, some students have it harder than others. The average college student can’t afford to have gourmet meals prepped and ready to eat throughout the day.
Most college students are living with roommates, commuting from home, and working part-time jobs during the week and weekend to make ends meet.
As a former struggling college student, I remember feeling like time was never on my side.
I lived on-campus and off-campus. Where I laid my head at night didn’t affect my unhealthy lifestyle in college, because the choices I made were poor.
I stayed up late on weeknights, slept in on the weekends, and fast-food restaurants prepared my daily meals.
I had no plan in place other than jumping into fight-or-flight mode when excelling in my classes.
Most of the time, I was in search of extra credit opportunities, joining study groups for help, and cramming three months of content into a week’s worth of studying.
Office hours with teaching assistants and instructors were my lifeline every semester.
Now you’re probably either wondering why I was so irresponsible and disorganized in college or you can relate in more ways than one.
My issues stemmed from a lack of preparedness in high school and a disorganized daily routine as a student at home.
The lifestyle of a high school student is drastically different from a college student. I entered my university with the same mindset I had my senior year of high school.
I thought I could play around and hang out at the beginning of the semester, then get serious about making up my grades towards the end. Boy, was I wrong.
Adapting to college life on-campus felt like a culture shock. There were limitless distractions, some good, some bad.
From the non-stop partying, the number of clubs and organizations to join, building a social circle from scratch to all the food we could eat to provide a sense of comfort while far away from home; these factors all contributed to my unhealthy college routine.
And please don’t get me started on the Freshman 15.
Set yourself up for success as a college student by following several routines. Your week doesn’t have to be jam-packed with classes, study halls, work, parties, and meetings.
Once you establish a daily college routine through trial and error that works best for you, you’ll see your grades skyrocket, your energy level rise, and you’ll feel mentally at ease and stress free.
My go-to healthy morning routine for college students is for everyone.
How do you make a morning routine in college?
Create a morning routine based on your weekly schedule. Take your classes, extra-curricular activities, and job into consideration.
Most full-time college students take on part-time jobs working less than 20 hours per week while others may not have time to work at all.
Part-time college students may attend school in the evening after leaving their full-time jobs.
Some college students may want to focus on studying and fully immersing themselves in the college experience and opt out of working altogether.
As a college student, I worked part time during the semester and found seasonal full-time jobs during the summer.
College students juggle so many priorities they have to leverage routines to stay on point.
My morning routine allowed me to excel in college. A hack I lived by in college was scheduling all of my daily classes before noon. This allowed me time to spend with friends, study, and join clubs or events in the afternoon and early evenings.
A study routine for college students is a must. When you’re in college, reading becomes a way of life.
I incorporated studying into my morning routines. I’d select a textbook to read for at least thirty minutes to an hour before my first class.
Before creating a morning routine, consider using a time tracker to determine where the gaps are in your schedule throughout the week.
What do you have time for? How can you maximize your productivity in the morning?
There are five key things you need to evaluate before creating a healthy morning routine in college:
- Days and times of each class you’re enrolled in
- Extra-curricular activities and important events
- Evening routine to ensure a proper amount of rest
- Daily commute
- Meal preparation
Class Schedule and Extra-Curricular Activities
You need to find a balance in your schedule that works for you.
Most college courses are 2-3 times a week or once a week each semester or quarter. Are you enrolled in morning, evening, or afternoon classes? When you meet with your academic counselor, let them know what your preferences are.
You can absolutely keep your mornings free if you’re not an early riser.
However, if you’re active in clubs and sports in school, try batching your courses to certain days during the week, so that you have time for yourself in the evenings to study or a few days off to recollect and refresh from a hectic schedule.
Early risers have more of an advantage, because they’re maximizing every hour of the day. Some college students get up early to hit the gym, shower, and eat a healthy breakfast. With time in the morning to spare, they can travel to the school library to catch up on reading or go for a stroll around campus while everyone is asleep.
The ability to wake up early relies heavily on getting into bed at a reasonable hour at night. When you have an evening routine to follow, this shouldn’t be a hard task.
Dinner, a few hours of leisure, self-care, and time to study are all possible, with a routine in place. I can’t stress enough that getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night contributes to the healthy morning routines for college students.
Your sleep schedule will make a world of difference in your performance, productivity, and ability to focus in class. Trust me on this one, goal friends!
Some college students commute to and from campus when they live off-campus or at home when they’re local. This time needs to be factored into your morning routines, goal friends.
Traffic can be a pain, especially when your first class starts at eight or nine o’clock in the morning. That’s rush hour central in most cities. If you’re in a rural town or suburb, then lucky you. Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic or riding on your local transit can feel like a time suck when you’re unprepared.
You can use this time to study, journal, meditate in silence, work on a hobby, or listen to a podcast if you’re in the driver’s seat.
One of my many mistakes was picking up unhealthy sweet treats from Starbucks or grabbing junk food from the grocery store on-campus while rushing to class. Muffins, cookies, and coffee were my go-to’s for breakfast for quite some time. Either that, or I left my stomach empty until noon.
No food in your stomach when you’re a student in college is a disaster waiting to happen.
Your stomach roars loudly, cramps up, and you won’t be able to concentrate without a healthy meal to activate your brain first thing in the morning.
Meal preparation is a must when planning a healthy morning routine for college students.
When you’re in a rush with limited time to spare and even less healthy food options at your fingertips, breakfast gets skipped or chocolate chip cookies quickly become a substitute for a well-balanced meal.
Meal prepping isn’t only for busy, stay at home moms and adulting Millennials. Meal preparation is a vital part of curating the best daily routines for students.
College and high school-aged students are old enough to prepare their own meals as needed.
Relying on the school cafeteria isn’t always an option or the best choice for a nutritious meal. Preparing meals at home helps to develop healthy eating habits.
Students need to refuel their bodies with food after a long night’s sleep to restore their energy, meet daily nutritional requirements, and increase their productivity throughout the day.
You can do meal prep in the evening before class or over the weekend.
Smoothie bowls, mixed fruit, avocado toast, wheat bagels and over night oats are easy meals to make each morning when you’re short on time or running a little late for class. They are all high in nutritional value and will fill you up for the duration of the morning.
Don’t forget to prep your meals with vitamins and raw fruit, too.
Meal prepping as a college student is easy-peasy!
How many hours of sleep do college students need?
College students require the same 6-8 of hours of sleep per night as any other adult. They aren’t exempt from fatigue or excessive tiredness because they have a hectic schedule and coursework to do. A rigorous study routine for college students can combat this. Pulling late night hours to study or waking up in the early AM to cram everything in right before an exam is often unsuccessful.
College students need an evening routine, which includes a curfew, and specific time for bed.
Lights out. No television, books, or devices allowed. Rest is imperative for excelling academically, because our bodies and brain need to recover from the day.
Eight hours of sleep each night yield the following benefits:
- Stress reduction
- Weight loss
- Improved mood
- Immune boost
- Lowered risk of falling ill or deteriorating health
- Increased attention span and alertness
A healthy morning routine for college students requires an adequate amount of sleep every night.
If you’re waking up drowsy and grumpy, you’re setting a poor tone for the start of your day. Start the week off right by taking some of the many tips I shared in this post and incorporate into your new healthy morning routine as a college student.
Creating the best daily routine for students isn’t difficult, get started on your journey today. A healthy morning routine for college students starts with a plan. Take your routines on-the-go by grabbing a copy of the daily routine printable here!
I teach entrepreneurs how to simplify their life and business with less + own their time and maximize productivity towards their personal and monetary goals.