Oberlin Blogs

Finding a Routine

February 12, 2022

Tim Martin ’22

One of the things that helps the most in college is developing a daily routine. Developing a routine is important as it allows you to stay on top of your studies while also keeping you feeling refreshed. With the spring semester starting in a couple of weeks, it is important to start thinking about what your routine will look like as you adjust to the new opportunities that a new semester presents.

One of the first things I consider when developing my routine is when my assignments are due. On syllabus day for my classes, I check when the big projects are due as well as what smaller assignments there are in between. It is important to take note of both the big and small assignments so that no assignment sneaks up on you throughout the semester. A great way of keeping track of assignment due dates is by adding them to your Google Calendar. By doing this the dates will be loaded into your phone as well as your laptop, and you can even set up reminders for the assignments.

After considering the due dates, it is important to keep in mind how you like to get work done. Some people like to gradually work on assignments over time, while others like to work in spurts. If you are the type of person that works in spurts I would recommend making sure that you don’t wait too long to do an assignment as this could lead to having multiple assignments due at the same time. Waiting too long to do assignments will cause a stressful weekend, as you will have to work vigorously to catch up.

Another key ingredient to a successful routine is thinking about what time of day you like to get work done and how that may relate to your class or work schedule. Personally, this past semester I had track in the evening and work at night, but nothing in the afternoon. This led to me to doing schoolwork in the afternoon hours and then I would also get a bit of work done after I got out of work. Being productive in the hours you set aside for work allows you to relax in the hours you want to relax. Over the past four years, I have found that setting aside these high productivity hours has allowed me to successfully get work done when I want to work and consistently meet deadlines I set for myself, while also allowing for time to relax mentally.

When I was a freshman at the college I attended a meeting with my advisor and I was very excited as I was about to register for college classes for the first time ever. Towards the end of our meeting, my advisor stressed that time management was one of the most important skills to develop in college. One of the key tips she gave me was to take advantage of the random fifteen minutes here and twenty minutes there that get lost throughout the day. Utilizing this tip has allowed me to boost my productivity throughout college and stay on top of my schoolwork while being a student-athlete.

Being a student-athlete has made the need for strong time management skills an even bigger necessity. Throughout my athletic career, I have found myself participating in road games that keep us away from campus for a day or two. I have also been at track meets that last the entire day. Personally, it has always been essential for me to plan ahead when I know a situation like this is going to occur and I have an assignment due shortly after. A lot of times I look at a day where I have a track meet as a day where I won’t get any work done, that way I make sure to get extra work done in the days before the meet so that while I’m there I can solely focus on my team. In situations where I absolutely have to get work done that day, I will bring my laptop with me to the track meet and after I complete my events I will work on my assignments. Typically, I have found that working during my track meets isn’t necessary; however, it’s good to always plan ahead and assess whether you will have to get work done at the meet or not.

Once you find a routine it is crucial that you are able to stick to it. One of the best ways you can stick to the routine you developed is through utilizing the tremendous resources provided for you by Oberlin. Oberlin provides free one-on-one peer tutoring to all students and has multiple other tutoring programs that students can take part in. Oberlin also has a writing center that is completely drop-in-based which can help you through all stages of your writing process. I worked in the writing center last semester and it was a great experience filled with peer-to-peer learning. Additionally, Oberlin also provides great mental health resources free of charge to the students such as the counseling center and the MindSpa. I’ve always felt one of the best things about Oberlin is the emphasis they put on your success as an individual, and this is evident with the resources they provide for students to succeed inside and outside the classroom.

With one semester of college left, I am excited to dive into my last set of classes before graduation. In order to have the most success possible, I’ve been thinking ahead about when I plan on getting schoolwork done and what resources I can use to help me with my classes. Overall, I can’t wait for the semester to start and to keep you all updated on what I will be doing throughout the semester. Make sure to comment below and let me know what tips you have for finding your best daily routine!

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