Getting College-Ready: Why Your Own Routines Make a Difference

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Getting College Ready Routines

Entering college is a huge milestone in a person’s life. It’s the beginning of a new chapter that’s both thrilling and terrifying. You will experience challenges and exciting opportunities you never really thought about before. It’s definitely a time to explore who you are and what you want in life, but this exploration comes with it’s own challenge…getting things done! Amidst the anticipation and eagerness, it’s easy to overlook the importance of establishing some routines that you choose for yourself before starting life on your own. There are many things you can do to start preparing for college, but after working with hundreds of college students I can definitively say that laying down a solid foundation of habits and routines is the best way to create a smooth transition and overall college experience.

The Transition Phase: Navigating the Unknown

For many students, the transition from high school to college can be overwhelming. Suddenly, you find yourself in a new environment, surrounded by unfamiliar faces and responsibilities. The structure and guidance provided in high school may no longer be readily available, leaving you to navigate the unknown terrain of college life on your own. You no longer have people telling you when to wake up, when to work on your homework, or forcing you to go to class. So if you want to be successful in college and in your adult life, you have to start holding yourself responsible to do what needs doing.

The Power of Self-Started Routines

This is where self-started routines come into play. Rather than relying solely on external structures and schedules, cultivating your own set of routines empowers you to take control of your time and productivity. You get to decide when to wake up in order to get the amount of sleep you need, make it to those morning classes, and still have some fun in your life! By establishing habits that align with your goals and priorities, you can create a sense of stability and consistency amidst the chaos of college life.

Time Management: A Key Ingredient for Success

One of the most valuable skills you can develop as a college student is effective time management. This is something we work on in our College Success Program constantly! With a myriad of academic, extracurricular, and social commitments vying for your attention, it’s easy to get imbalanced. Students often get caught in the trap of spending too much time having fun and suffer academically, or too much work and struggle with burnout. It is absolutely essential to allocate your time wisely, and self-started routines provide a framework for organizing your days and ensuring that you make the most of your time.

Setting Realistic Goals

In addition to managing your time, self-started routines allow you to set and pursue realistic goals. Whether it’s passing your exams, completing assignments ahead of time, or the equally important role of having a social life, creating consistent routines enables you to make steady progress toward your objectives. By breaking down your goals into actionable steps and integrating them into your daily routine, you can turn your hopes into tangible achievements.

Cultivating Healthy Habits

College life often brings with it a newfound sense of freedom and independence. While this can be exhilarating, it also comes with the responsibility of taking care of yourself both mentally and physically. Establishing self-started routines that prioritize self-care, such as exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy eating habits, is crucial for maintaining your well-being amidst the demands of college life. There is a reason everyone has heard about the “Freshman Fifteen” and it’s because most people really do gain (or lose) an unhealthy amount of weight when they start out on their own in college. Your physical health is vital to your happiness and your academic success! By incorporating these habits into your daily routine, you can ensure that you are functioning at your best both academically and personally.

Building Resilience

College is a time of growth and self-discovery, but it’s also a period of challenges and setbacks. From academic struggles to personal obstacles, you will inevitably encounter obstacles along the way. However, having a solid foundation of self-started routines can help you push through the hard times with resilience and determination. By sticking to your routines during times of adversity, you can maintain a sense of stability and control, allowing you to bounce back stronger than ever.

Finding Balance

This is a word you will hear a lot from your College Success Coach; balance. In college, there are a million things demanding your time including classes, studying, social events, student organizations, jobs, family, friends, and your personal health. It’s easy to go too hard into one or two things, and find yourself out of balance. Those who rush greek life often find their grades and bank accounts diminishing. Those who are determined to get straight 100s in all their classes find they have no friends and actually hate being in college!

This is why balance is so important. And as we said earlier, you are the only one responsible for you! So some self-started routines can help you strike a balance between your academic, personal, and social commitments. By prioritizing your time and energy based on your values and goals, you can cultivate a sense of balance and real fulfillment in all aspects of your life.


As you get ready for your journey into college, remember the power of self-started routines. By establishing habits that prioritize time management, goal setting, self-care, and resilience, you can set yourself up for success in both academics and life. So take the time to reflect on your priorities, create a couple of small, simple routines that work for you, and embrace the transformative journey that lies ahead. Your future self will thank you for it.

Getting College Ready Routines

Kurtis Vanderpool



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