Over the past year I can say a lot has changed since I made the transition from high school to college. Many things seem obvious: I’m in a new city, I’m no longer playing a sport every season, and hello I’m in COLLEGE. However, the second I step through the door at home for spring break, it feels as if not a single thing is different. Almost like a strange time warp, my house has this incredible ability to erase my time away. As I lay in bed for the first night of break, it doesn’t even feel like my beloved bed and I have been apart for months. On spring break, my life has been consumed by mundane errands and chores: running to the grocery store for snacks for school, picking up the dry cleaning and unloading the dishwasher. All of these errands are similar to ones I did in high school.
After being home alone all day on the first weekday of break, I was excited to see my sisters when they returned from school and sports practice. However, as soon as they walked into the front door, they walked right through to their bedroom doors. Without turning around or pausing for a moment, they went on to complete their evening’s homework. As high school students, every second of their day is virtually planned out for them. They leave at 7 in the morning, then go to class until 3, have sports practice until 5 or 6, and then journey back home to complete their work. Their lives are structured and efficient, but without room for much independence.
It was then that I noticed that maybe my life had changed in more ways than I realized. In college, you are only in class for a few hours a day and you have the rest of the day to do whatever you please. You work out, eat, study, and relax, all at your own pace. I have so much freedom and consequently feel less stressed than my sisters. My everyday life could not be more polar opposite than their life, my previous life.
Because of the flexibility, there is no typical day in college. Days before exams I spend \ studying in the library. On easier days I may relax and have the type of day where I don’t know where the time went and what I did with the day. However, to reference how different my high school life is compared to now, here are some of the different ways I balance out my time in college.
8:00- Wake up. This time can be pretty flexible. For example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays I don’t start class until 2:10. If I don’t have a lot of work or if I am extra tired, I may decide to sleep in until 9 or so.
9:00- At this time I may decide to do a work out. I can run my favorite loop around campus if it’s nice out or stop by the Kane Fitness Center to get on the treadmill. It’s nice to have time to run in the morning because it keeps me motivated for the day.
10:00- After my run, I get ready for the day. I’ll usually shower and then head off to get an early lunch with some friends.
11:30/12:00- After lunch, I head to Starbucks, where I get ahead on some work and prepare for the next day.
2:10-6:30: Tuesdays and Thursdays are filled with three straight classes. This back to back setup feels more similar to high school. While the afternoons are long, it’s very nice to get my classes out of the way without weird time to kill in between.
7:00- After class, I’ll have some dinner and then retire back to my room for the evening. I’ll usually spend some time working on homework or doing a reading while hanging out in bed. Before I go to sleep, I usually allot some time to unwind. I’ll call my family or friends, surf the web, watch Netflix or bond with friends.
12:00- A stark contrast from last year, I tend to go to bed much later in college. With lots of young people staying up late around you, it’s not hard to adapt.
As noted, each and every day is so different, with little structure. There may be an activity on campus, I may have a tour or meeting scheduled, or I may decide to head out into the city to do something exciting. College days are structured not on a schedule but around you.
– Anna Hallahan