The First Month of School - Making a Routine Part 1

YORK-UNIVERSITY-(4)_0Greetings! It’s Nicole and I would like to extend a huge welcome to new and returning students coming back to York University.

School is no longer a distant memory. The Fall term is here and the university is filled with eager minds. Navigating York University’s Keele and Glendon campuses takes some practice and if you weren’t able to get the hang of it on your first day or even your first few days, don’t let it bother you. You’ll soon be a professional at navigating York’s hallways and there are always people willing to point you in the right direction like the ACMAPS office or the Red Zone kiosk in the centre of Vari Hall.

How you operate when you’re not enrolled in university is very different to how you’ll operate during the school year. This is important to know so that you don’t get blindsided by the increase of tasks you have to complete. In order to successfully maneuverer between work, home life and school, you need to create balance. Now, that’s a word that is a lot easier to vocalize than it is to put into action. One of the ways to create balance between the various components of your life is to map out a routine for yourself.

Within this post we will look at ways you can visually plot out your daily schedule, how to successfully plan your route to your classes, things to consider when thinking about your finances and what you should consider when thinking about coursework.


Plan Out Your Routine


Work out a physical schedule that you can look at.

The best way to approach readjusting your daily routine is to create a visual diagram. You can either do this by grabbing a calendar and using pen to fill in information, creating a chart or using the calendar on your Smartphone or computer. If you’re like me, you might want to have all of your appointments listed on the calendar on your phone and then carry around an agenda with you to elaborate on different tasks that you have to complete.

Start planning out your routine by looking at the current week for school and writing out the hours you will be in: a) class b) work and c) home.

Factor in all of your other commitments, which may include daycare or elementary school (if you have a family), house duties, extracurricular activities, and appointments. You may not be able to write everything down all at once. Some things may pop up over the next few days. You should try to write down the most important things first i.e. the things that will take up most of your time or what you would label as a priority in your life.


You are in control of your success. Remember to study.

Remember to include some time to do homework and review your courses; this includes readings, assignments and organizing/looking over your class notes. It is recommended that you spend about 1.5 to 2 hours on homework, studying and review for every 1 hour of class that you have. So, if you have a 2 hour lecture that means you should spend about 3 hours going over your notes and doing your homework. If you don’t plot out that time, you’ll find yourself missing out on certain tasks.

Do you have to plot that huge block of time in one sitting? No, you don’t. Let’s use myself as an example.


Study Scheduling Example

On Monday I have a 2 hour lecture for COMN 2500 and a 1 hour tutorial the following day; altogether, COMN 2500 is a 3 hour course. On top of that, I have 3 other courses I must pay attention to, a job and extracurricular activities, so spending 3 hours in one day to complete my studies for COMN 2500 is not ideal for me. My solution is to split up the work over 4 days. You can do this as well or vary the time, whichever works for you.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Reviewing notes and important terms from COMN 2500 lecture on the commute home = 45 Min. COMN 2500 Readings = 1 Hour COMN 2500
Readings = 2 Hours
COMN 2500 Review of terms for tutorial = 45 Min.

Total = 4.5 Hours of studying for COMN 2500

Once you’ve plotted out the first week of your schedule, do another week. Repeat this until you’ve drafted out the whole month. Writing down all of this information will help you to see where your time is going. When everything is laid out in front of you, you’ll be able to construct a routine.


Plotting all of that information will help you address things like:

  • What time you should wake up in the morning or go to bed at night
  • Your commuting times: whether that be on the TTC/GoBus or driving
  • If you should bring a lunch with you/pack a lunch the night before
  • When you are available to study or do assignments
  • When you have to take/pick up your children from school or recreational activities
  • When you may have free time to catch up with friends and family

Pay attention to assignment deadlines, exam dates and the deadlines for adding and dropping courses.


Make sure to include assignment deadlines and exams on your calendar AND don’t forget to look at the deadlines for adding and dropping courses, especially if you hope to receive a full refund when you drop a course. You can find out course drop deadlines by viewing this site:

The second part of this blog post covers the topics of: planning your school route, finding out more about your courses, financial Planning and creating a work space. Click on The First Month of School: Making a Routine Part 2 to view it.

Make sure to bookmark the Mature Student Blog and check in with us.