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Let’s face it: college is exhausting. You’re either in the middle of making that bittersweet adjustment from online to in-person classes, or, for our bright-eyed freshman, experiencing navigating college for the first time. Those “day in my life” TikToks filled with yoga, matcha, and gratitude journaling feel like a world away from the sweaty walk you just took to make your 8 a.m. However, with a few simple steps, you too can achieve this aesthetic while chasing your degree.

1. make your bed

Start the day off right! Before you do anything, roll back that comforter, fluff your pillows and be confident that an item of productivity can already be checked off the list. You’ll gain a sense of accomplishment by completing a task before your day even commences and be rewarded with a nice clean dorm when you return later that day.

2. water

A happy girl is a hydrated girl, and nobody is immune to this Texas heat. Drink a big glass, and while you’re at it, fill up your water bottle for your day’s adventures. This step is also customizable! Lemons are a great addition and usually run under 50 cents at the grocery store, so grab a few next time you’re at Kroger to throw in your dorm. Other great additions are apple cider vinegar, chia seeds, or coconut water powder.

3. Squeeze in a workout

This can be anything you want as long as it counts as a good, purposeful 45 minutes of work. Great news — walking between classes counts! And remember, don’t just work out when you’re feeling good, work out when you’re feeling your worst and reap that endorphin boost after. If braving the rec is overwhelming, YouTube workouts are a great alternative. Find a space in your dorm or apartment, grab your roommate and/or a yoga mat and pull up a video or two. Options are endless, but some places to start are MadFit’s song workouts, a cardio dance burn set to Mamma Mia’s soundtrack, or anything by John Benton. Bonus points for a chance to throw on your cute new athletic wear. Nothing says that girl like a matching set.

4. Fuel

It takes energy to keep up the aesthetic! As the first meal of the day, make sure your breakfast is packed with nutrients. I’m a personal fan of the Rollin N’ Bowlin kale smoothie which boasts almond butter, kale, pineapple, banana, apple, and coconut milk. Oats are another easy, customizable meal. Buy a big container of oats for cheap that you can microwave with milk or water and add protein powder, cinnamon apples, or frozen fruit. Before working out, try the Celcius powder packets to mix in your water and save money and space.

5. treat your Mind

I don’t know about y’all, but the furthest I typically go in terms of gratitude journaling and guided meditation is downloading the Calm app and then never again opening it. Instead, add in some mental wellness to something already part of your daily routine. Listen to podcasts on your walk between classes or combine journaling into your school planner. Papier has an amazing collection of academic planners with additional pages for monthly goals and sections titled “I’m grateful for…” that will help elevate your school schedule. Anthropologie is another favorite of mine for stationery. I recommend their Daily Overview Notepad for a place to list daily tasks, priorities, and intentions.

It’s as easy as that! Even if you’re not feeling it the first day, adopt the “fake it till you make it” mantra and get your TikTok sounds prepped, because this semester I’m ready for a sea of it-girls on campus.

Morgan Curran is a Sophomore at Texas Christian University majoring in Strategic Communication. She's lived all over, but responds D.C. when asked. In her free time she can be found out to eat with friends, watching reality tv, or if having a particularly accomplished day, maybe at a workout class.
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