College can be intimidating. It is a unique stage of life that contains challenges and opportunities not found in any other setting. As a result, the daily schedule of a college student can be a bit different than the average high schooler or working adult. Every day can be a whirlwind of classes, work, homework and social time. Navigating it all can seem overwhelming.
Here is a general outline of a daily schedule, at Cornerstone University, to help ease your fears and give you an idea of what college can be like.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A CU STUDENT
The great thing about college is you can schedule your classes at certain times of the day. For example, I like to leave time in my days to work in the evenings. I try to schedule my classes earlier in the morning, to free up my afternoons and evenings. If you are someone who struggles with early morning hours, you might want to consider scheduling your classes a bit later so you have extra time to sleep.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially in college. You will want to start your morning off with a meal to give you energy. At Cornerstone, breakfast features hot food, cereal, Panera bagels and my own personal favorite: the omelet bar. A wide variety of vegetables, ham, bacon and other fillings are available. You can create your own personal omelet and watch as the cafeteria employees make it fresh.
Now that your stomach is full, and you are, hopefully, a bit more awake, it is time to get to class. Try your very best not to be late. Most professors remind you of what is due at the start of class. If you miss it, you might miss a deadline or other vital information.
At Cornerstone, our Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes are an hour long and Tuesday and Thursday classes are an hour and a half. There are also several night classes offered. They only meet once a week for three hours. For freshman year, I would recommend trying a variety of class times and days, to figure out what works best for you.
Chapel is the only time of day in which no classes are offered. It occurs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with a special worship service called Evensong on Sunday nights. One of my personal, favorite things about attending a Christian university is that you are surrounded by individuals who are pursuing God with you. Chapel provides a time to come together as believers, even with the craziness of college life.
Arguably the most bustling time on campus, lunch hour can be quite the adventure. I like to check out the menu online, before leaving for lunch, so I know what to expect. If you are in a bit of a hurry, Cornerstone has a wonderful option called Grab N’ Go. You can hop in line and be on your way to class or work, in a matter of minutes. The options for Grab N’ Go include sandwiches, chips, soup, cookies, salad and fruit. Everything is packed in a to-go bag for convenience.
After attending a few more classes during the day, you will likely end up at work of some sort. There are a wide variety of jobs in the Grand Rapids area. In fact, Grand Rapids was recently ranked as the city with the highest growth rate in employment. However, if you would prefer to find a job closer to home, Cornerstone offers numerous on-campus positions for students. The library, admissions department, food service, student development and ground service all hire student workers.
Dinner is a fantastic time to gather with friends and end your day. It tends to be the most laid-back meal in the cafeteria. People will often stay and chat long after dinner has closed. This trend is probably because everyone wants to procrastinate their evening homework, but it serves the purpose of bringing students together, too.
If you can manage to set aside a couple hours for homework every evening, your workload will be much more manageable than if you save all of our assignments for the last minute. Here are some tips for simplifying your homework:
- Check the syllabus. Most professors outline each individual assignment and give you an exact idea of their expectations.
- Take detailed notes. Paying attention in class and taking notes on lectures can make a world of difference. Additionally, taking pen and paper notes has been proven to improve retention, more than taking notes on a laptop.
- Stay organized. One of the best ways to keep track of homework is to keep all of your due dates in a planner. Some students prefer paper planners, but I like to use an app called myHomework. You can assess all of your assignments from your computer or mobile device. The trick is to find the system that works best for you.
9 P.M.—FRIENDS AND ON-CAMPUS FUN
Now that your long day is coming to a close, it is time to relax and have fun. When you live on campus, there is always something happening. Many dorms have events, movie nights and Bible studies. Cornerstone also has nearly 20 student organizations that hold meetings and events. Whether you choose to relax in your dorm with your roommates or go explore Grand Rapids, there is always something to do.
It is undeniable that college is one of the busiest seasons of life, but it is also one of the most rewarding. No matter what your schedule, try to embrace the craziness. Make the most of every second and your college experience will be one to remember.