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It’s your first year in college: You’re excited for new friends, social events, dorm life and seemingly living on your own, taking exciting courses and learning new things; the list goes on and on.  However, all of these exciting new things can often be overwhelming and difficult to balance; especially within your first year of school. Developing a routine for yourself is a great way to start to balance your daily activities, studying and school work, and social events.  Here are a few reasons why a routine in college is important, and how it can benefit you as a student.

Creates Structure

Routines create structure, and structure is an asset when you have a lot of things on your plate.  Your time at college can be quite demanding; between lectures, assignments, exams, and squeezing in a social life, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.  Structure brings balance and can drastically reduce feeling overwhelmed and stressed. It’s important to remember that structure can also be flexible.  Don’t stress yourself out over your routine. Create one that works well with your schedule and daily tasks, and if something comes up that may bring your routine off course, don’t sweat it; just make sure not to stray too far, and bring yourself back on track as soon as you can.  This will not only help you during your time at school but also when you transition into the career world following graduation.

Helps You Focus

With all of the different activities and classes that you’re involved in, it can be easy to lose focus.  Thinking about the exam you may have forgotten to study for, or the sorority/fraternity event you have later on that night may take your focus on your specific tasks at hand.  A routine will help you learn how to balance all of this, so you can remain focused on what’s happening at that moment. For example, consider the exam you forgot to study for.  Rather than fitting your study sessions into random days and times, build a structure so you know when you’re studying and for how long. This will reduce forgetfulness, and make studying and other important activities a regular priority.

Fosters Good Time Management Habits

Many students, as well as graduates,  find that there just isn’t enough “time in the day”.  While this is a valid feeling, a routine can alleviate the stressors of poor time management.  Rather than waking up and trying to plan each day out individually, incorporate some of your tasks into a routine, so you can allow yourself enough time to complete them, while still leaving yourself time for extras.  “When we carefully design a set routine to follow, it eliminates the need to plan our activities every morning and budget and allocate our precious time. It takes the guesswork out of our day and allows us to wake up and ‘do’ instead of wake up and ‘plan’.”