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I Tried the “THAT girl” Routine for a Week: Trying to Develop Better Studying Habits.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPRM chapter.

As students, studying is key for academic success. In order to study, you must have both motivation and discipline. Although this sounds obvious and perhaps simple…it’s honestly insanely challenging. It feels almost impossible. It can be incredibly frustrating. 

Lately this topic has been on my mind, not only because I want to excel this semester, but because I’ve seen this trend on TikTok about becoming “THAT girl”. These videos consist of women who get up very early in the morning, around 5 or 6 am, and start their day by working out, having breakfast, doing their entire skin/makeup routine, and studying whatever they need to study—all before 11 a.m. If you want to see what kind of videos I’m talking about, click here.

Honestly, I loved looking at these videos, for they were also edited aesthetically, and everything just seemed so put together. I wanted that. What these girls were doing was amazing, and their videos included great and healthy things such as exercise, balanced meals, and sometimes even meditating. However, when I tried to pursue this lifestyle myself, I ended up feeling defeated. I think I was able to follow the routine “successfully” for a few days. I put the word “successfully” in quotation marks because I was never able to accomplish my goals fast enough.. Each task would take up way more time than I anticipated, and I beat myself up for being so slow. Then, because I pressured myself into getting everything done as fast as possible, I ended up not having time to prepare good meals. Instead of healthy and delicious food, such as those shown in those videos, I ended up with a last-minute mess. This furthered my frustration.

  Later on, as the week progressed, there were days where I was not able to wake up as early as 5 or 6 a.m. Not because I didn’t want to, but because my body was exhausted and refused to get up. I had pushed myself to a breaking point, and I felt as if I had been hit with a bag of bricks. At this point, I questioned my competence, for I know there are people that wake up at this time every day and are successful, yet here I was, waking up when the sun was already out instead of the brink of dawn. My mood and self-esteem plummeted. The workload this semester, due to the horrific combination of online and in-person classes, began to overwhelm me. I soon realized that my effort to become more responsible turned into an unhealthy mindset of perfectionism. 

My routine never looked like those “THAT girl” videos. I had to remind myself that these were planned videos… and that maybe these routines work for some people, but it doesn’t mean that it’ll work for me. As people, we are all different and work at distinct paces. None is better than the other; it’s just a fact. Of course, I’m not saying it’s impossible to acquire new routines. It’s just that sometimes we have to adapt them to ourselves. 

The week following my strict routine failure, I changed a few things up. Instead of getting up at 5 or 6 a.m., I settled on 7 a.m., and it has mostly worked for me. If I wake up later, then I make up for it by staying up later. If I don’t get work done fast enough, I don’t blame myself because I gave it my best effort. Sometimes the workload is too great. If there comes a time where I genuinely wasn’t able to keep up, then I have to keep learning to forgive myself because some things are out of my control or aren’t worth sacrificing my mental health for.

What I’m trying to say is that we have to stop comparing ourselves to the high expectations put out by the world. I know it’s a cliché, and I realize that my writing tends to be filled with them; nonetheless, I am compelled to keep writing them because we always seem to forget these basic ideals. So, I remind you, dear student, that the way you handle responsibilities does not have to be picture perfect every day—or any day, for that matter. Just try your best, listen to your body’s needs, and remind yourself that failure, big or small, is normal, and it happens to everyone at some point. If we don’t experience failure, then we can’t truly appreciate our accomplishments and victories. It is the way life teaches us to be grateful, resilient, and patient for the next chapter in our lives. 

Daniella Angueira is currently completing a bachelor's in English and a minor in Writing and Communications. She loves baking, savory foods and is always looking to try something new. One would usually find her studying, eating, or planning her next life goals.