How to Design Your Perfect College Morning Routine

So you’re officially tired- tired of scrambling around your apartment to get out the door, feeling rushed as soon as you enter the classroom, and the ceaseless feeling that you do not have enough “me” time. Like a light switch, you go from REM bliss to a snooze-hitting zombie into a frantic, sluggish mess in the matter of minutes. I’ve been there- and I got fed up quickly. I decided I was getting up earlier- and so can you.

There’s some things you need to keep in mind before you start getting up earlier, especially if you are a night owl. Here’s a step-by-step guide to design an effective morning routine as a college student.

  1. Have a reason. If you usually sleep in till 9, you need to have some kind of backing for why you are suddenly getting up at 6 a.m.. Examples include needing more time to get ready, more relaxation when you wake up, adding more bulk into your routine, starting your work for the day earlier, or simply enjoying more quiet hours.

  2. Estimate Sit down, and plan out your perfect morning routine in chronological order. Then, estimate how much time you would need to complete each step in your routine without rushing. Add up the time, and tack on an extra 10 minutes for any surprise hassles you may have. Take the time you need to leave your house, and subtract your morning routine time to figure out what time you should get up every morning.

  3. Start slow If your body is used to waking up at 8:30, bolting out of bed at 5:30 the first day will only leave you feeling tired and over time, unsuccessful. Set a timeline for yourself. Maybe you will get up 10, 20, 30 minutes earlier every day, week, or month until you hit your wake-up goal

  4. Get enough sleep. Getting up early will have absolutely no benefit to your productivity, health, motivation, or energy if you aren’t going to bed earlier to compensate. College students need between 6-9 hrs of sleep every night and this number will vary person to person. For me, I need 7 and a half hours of sleep to feel awake and focused. Since I get up at 6 a.m., I begin winding down around 9:00pm, in bed by 10:00pm, and asleep by 10:30pm. Try different amounts of sleep, and see how you feel. Gauge when you need to go to bed to get an effective amount of sleep, and still get up early enough.

So what you should do with that extra time?

Maybe you just need more time to fix your eyeliner or check your emails. That’s great, and you should do that. But, I would suggest adding some physical and mental health practices that will transform your morning. Remember, a better morning almost always indicates a more prepared, less anxious, and overall better day.

Workout. Yes, the cliche “get-the-blood-pumping” mantra is back. But, you’d be surprised what a little cardio or weights can do for your brain, body, and self-confidence for the rest of the day.

Have a decent breakfast. Put down the PopTart. Say goodbye to your sugar cereal. That was cute when you were seven, but you’re an adult-ish now. Time to start eating like one. I suggest tofu-scramble breakfast burritos or Kashi cereal with nuts and fruit to start the day off right.

Meditate. Just try sitting in quiet for five minutes or follow a guided meditation on YouTube or Spotify. Trust me, you will be shocked at how much you’re engaged in your Statistics class, if you meditated the morning of your class.

Journal. Yes. Journal. I’ve been narcissitically recording my life for over six years now and I promise, you’re never too late to begin remarking your steps on the path. You can journal in the traditional regard- writing your day-to-day experience- or you could buy a 5-year journal, a line-a-day journal, or journal in pictures/notes on apps.

Read Her Campus Utah! Of course I have to self-promote. I can’t say that reading various articles varying about different musical artists, social problems, or fashion has changed my life,  but I definitely have felt more educated and inspired in the morning reading a little HC.

Do a mental health check. Check in with yourself on how different experiences from yesterday or the week before has affected you and take the steps to fix those effects.

Read. They say leaders are readers, and it’s true. Pick up a motivational book, a how-to book, or an autobiography. Not only does reading help your brain and memory, reading will also improve your word fluency and relaxation.


So, go on, get up at 5:00 a.m.. How can you not? You probably won’t be a morning person overnight, but give it a week. See how you feel. Keep up with it. Great things are only made in small steps.

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