How to Make a Routine at Uni

The life of a student is a simple one. We get up when we have to go to a lecture, we spend 95% of our time, that should be spent studying, procrastinating, and we go out. That is, if we have managed to get in at least one nap during the day, otherwise it is questionable if we will have enough energy to fulfil our expectations for a good night out. This routine, adopted by many, isn’t necessarily the healthiest way to get through a lengthy 11-week semester. Some of us, though glad to be free of the rigidity of school days, find that we miss having some structure to our day.

With many of us having few contact hours, the amount of free time may seem overwhelming. So how do we spend this time? Sleeping more hours of the day than being awake, getting through all 233 episodes of The Big Bang Theory in just a few weeks, and living off pizza for a month (why wouldn’t we make the most of those generous student discounts from Dominoes?) Sound familiar?

We may not have done the laundry or cooked a proper meal in a while, but we have managed to spend over £100 of our precious student loan on a sale of summer clothes from ASOS which we won’t be able to wear for another 9 months. Despite this inner satisfaction of getting that cute top with 75% off, the mounting guilt prompts us to wonder if this was really time well spent. The student solution to this guilt? Scrolling through the hundreds of memes circulating Facebook which inform us that we are not alone. Thus, the vicious circle continues and nothing changes.

Although this relaxed lifestyle seems fun at first, it can take some of the fun away from free time. It is so abundant that it is no longer special.

So, how should we spend our time more productively whilst enjoying the laid-back student life we were ‘promised’ throughout our pressured school years? Well, it might initially sound unappealing, but a routine might be just what you need.

Creating and following a daily routine can give you direction and purpose. It is also a helpful way of keeping organised, making sure you don’t miss anything, and using your time more effectively. This sounds easy in theory, but how do we go about it?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Lectures

You might be sighing as you read this, but it is so important to go to your lectures. As students, we often complain about how unreasonable it is that we have to pay £9,000 a year for so few contact hours. So, why is it then that so many of us then skip them? Let’s fight this ‘cba’ attitude and use our lectures as the bones of our routine.

2. Schedule your day like a work day

Whether you choose to imitate a standard 9 to 5 working day or simply prefer a more relaxed 10 to 3 schedule, plan what you are going to do between those hours each day. Even if you include a cheeky lunch date with your Netflix account to watch Stranger Things 2 (that is if you haven’t already binge-watched it by now), it will feel satisfying to know you have accomplished your goals by the end of the day.

3. Do the mundane

It is so easy to skip doing mundane activities like the laundry and going to the gym, but these chores need to be done, so make sure you schedule them in and do them. We all need to spend some time taking care of ourselves!

4. Societies and Going Out

At this point in the term it is so easy to start getting overwhelmed with work, but we all need some time away from studying and staring at our phone and computer screens. Joining a society with regular meetups will give you something to aim for and structure your time around as well as something to look forward to.

Your new routine doesn’t need to be punishing, nor your newly planned timetable something you can’t bear to look at; rather a way of using your time more productively. So, attend your lectures, go to your society meetings and enjoy your nights out – live your best student life!


Emma Prentice

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