As a second-year graduate student, I mostly have my routine down, but I am still learning how to balance school, jobs, and social life. It is a work-in-progress, especially as class schedules change each semester. I hope this helps you think about how you schedule your time, and I would love to hear what has worked for you long term!
My “day” routine actually starts at night. Since I have to be at school at 9 a.m., I like to prepare the night before.
After I have finished my nightly routine and am almost ready for bed, I pack my backpack for the next day. I like to be sure I have the right notebook for class and that my computer and chargers are also inside, as there have been multiple instances where I have forgotten at least one important item. Since then, this has become a regular part of my routine.
After I pack my backpack, I make a smoothie, which I have started doing in the past few weeks. Having a smoothie for breakfast helps me eat more fruit and vegetables and save money. I used to buy a matcha latte and something to eat in the morning, and those were adding up!
6 a.m. – Wake Up
Even though I am not a morning person, I also know I will not be motivated to workout in the evening when I get home. With my 30-45 minute commute, I wake up around 6:30 a.m. during the week to fit in exercise before heading to work. I am relatively new to exercising, so I am still trying to find my groove with the timing.
8 a.m. – Commute
I need to catch my bus between 8 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. to make it to work on time. Because the buses are less predictable than the subway, I aim for the earlier one. Once on the bus, I catch up on emails or listen to a podcast or audiobook. Even though I would love to roll out of bed and be at school, I try to make the most of my commute!
9 a.m. – Work/School
I have evening classes twice a week, so I work and then go to my classes. If I have time before my class, I typically spend it in Everett Lounge or Blue Java, the café on campus. Sometimes, I will go into the library to work if I have to focus since it is quieter, but I like the social aspect of the other places!
5 p.m./7 p.m. – Go Home!
At this point, I have either worked a full day or had work followed by a class. Once I arrive home, I prepare for the evening. This includes looking at my planner to see what assignments and work I have to do and what other obligations I may have so that I can plan accordingly. After, I make dinner, and if I have time, I also watch a quick show. Then I get settled to do my work, bringing me back to the beginning of the weeknight routine!
Even though you are seeing a snapshot of a typical day for me, I make time for dinners or meetups with friends during the week and the weekend. This is another reason I like to exercise in the morning so that if I do end up in an impromptu hangout, I don’t feel like I am missing out on something else. It is hard to fit everything in, but I am trying to make the most of my time in my last year of school!