I’ve Found Peace in Routine

by Danielle Clark

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My phone wakes me up at 8:45 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. My eyes struggle to stay open, and my body is still weak with exhaustion. I had stayed up late the night before finishing a rough draft for my English class. I am now supposed to get ready for a 9:30 art history class, but I decide to snooze for another 15 minutes. When 9 a.m. rolls around, I drag myself out of bed. A shower this morning, maybe—no, I don’t have the time. I’ll just do that when I get back from my long day of class and work. My roommate is still sleeping, so in the dark I quietly throw on some clean clothes, brush my hair, apply eyeliner—unfortunately, just accentuating the bags under my eyes—check to see if the right books are in my backpack, throw it onto my shoulders, and leave. I stumble to Maxwell Library from Scott, disoriented from the tiredness. I then sit though class, trying not to fall asleep.

That was a typical Tuesday for me during my first semester at BSU. Some may find no issue with that type of morning, but I found it to be extremely stressful. Luckily, when I picked my classes for my second semester, I was able to plan out my week the way I truly wanted to. I allowed myself plenty of time to carry out my morning routine. A typical day for me starts at 9 a.m. I have my entire day planned out: shower, dress, coffee, check backpack, work at the Honors Center, classes, dinner, homework, get out clothes for the next day, get ready for bed—end of day.

Nothing feels more satisfying than being able to check off daily tasks. Adults like teachers, guidance counselors, and parents used to make my schedule for me. But now I’m an adult, and it’s empowering to know that I have a degree of control over my own life.

I have reminders placed on my calendar telling me to study certain subjects in preparation for exams. I have sticky notes on my desk to remind me to restock things like soap or milk. I have a little notebook that I bring with me almost everywhere, so if I have an idea about writing topics or things I need to get, I can write it down. The notebook also has my class schedule, and I can use it in case I need to make changes in my routine.

Before my second semester at BSU, I never used to be this organized. I’d often find myself forgetting a lot more. In high school, I’d leave textbooks at home or forget even what day it was because I was so tired and jumbled up. I was worn out so much in high school from staying up late trying to do my Advanced Placement homework. Plus, I had to get up at 5 a.m. everyday. To compensate for lost sleep, I would just nap on weekends after doing homework and working for the Arc of Greater Plymouth. During my first semester of college, I dealt with adjusting to college life along with managing a similar type of school workload. It was just so stressful.

I got my inspiration to stay organized from the Events and Deadlines board that I update in the Honors Center. I like knowing what’s coming up. In high school, I used to stress out so much because it seemed like my teachers would tell us at the last minute when we were going to have a test. It felt as if essays and quizzes would just pop out of nowhere. Assignments weren’t planned out on a syllabus. Other students and I didn’t know what to expect. Special events would fly by without me knowing about them. With event boards and syllabi, I can now properly prepare myself. I’m much happier now that I’ve found peace in routine.

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