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There is always a rush of excitement when the start of a new school year begins. Campus is buzzing with activities, students are refreshed after their long summer break, and everyone is walking around wearing a big smile on their face.

It can be challenging to get back into the swing of things, especially when distractions are all around you. Creating a routine and sticking with it will be very beneficial to your overall happiness and success this semester. The most important thing is to find a routine that work best for you. 

Here are 5 small day-to-day routine habits we suggest to help improve your productivity and performance this semester! 

1. Exercise

It can be easy to become lazy at school and put your fitness on the back burner. However, when you abandon your physical health, your mental health will also pay the price. The two of these things go hand-in-hand and you may notice when you put the time in to exercise, you feel happier, more energized, and think more clearly. 

Besides hitting the gym weekly, another small habit you can choose to adopt is taking the stairs. Although this seems small, it can make a great difference, especially if you do it consistently. Lastly, go on as many walks as you can — September is the last month where the weather is still warm. Take advantage of the warm weather while you still can and choose to walk to your classes rather than driving! 

2. Make Grocery Lists 

Figuring out what to cook and eat on a regular basis can be a challenge, especially if you’re used to your mom and dad cooking everything for you. If it’s your first time living alone, going to the grocery store may feel intimidating. Whatever you do, don’t go into the grocery store with no plan of what you are getting. You will most likely panic and leave with nothing because you don’t know where to begin. Making a list and looking up simple recipes is a good place to start. This way, you can be in and out of the grocery store. 

3. Budget your Money

It’s easy to spend your money in an instant when you’re away at school. However, you should be conscious of your spending and make sure you are not over-spending too much in the first few months. Oftentimes, college students end up broke and run out before the semester ends. Keep in mind that small expenses add up, so make sure you are making smart financial decisions and tracking what you spend!

4. Don’t Skip Class

If you have the opportunity to attend in-person classes, don’t skip them unless you actually need to. So many of us took going to class for granted, until the pandemic hit and the option was no longer available. Remote classes have their perks, but being able to walk campus, pass your friends, and actually have face to face interactions with people is much more beneficial. Not to mention, you will definitely get more out of the course material when you physically have to be there.

5. Prioritize Sleep

The average college student does not get enough sleep each night. With late nights with friends, binge watching shows, and endlessly scrolling on tik tok – most students get less than 7 hours of sleep each night. This can really make an impact on your productivity, health, and happiness. During the weekdays, try to set a time to go to bed and wake up in the morning. Getting into a proper sleep routine will increase your focus during the day and help you feel more energized.

These five recommendations may seem small, but they can make a drastic impact on your life away at school! College is stressful, so make sure to take care of yourself and get the rest you need to be your best-self this school year.