How routines can aid homesickness: UTA community encourages scheduling your day

Biology freshman Mia Arnsworth said her daily routine starts by waking up at 9:30 a.m., having breakfast in her dorm, going to class and meditating between classes. 

A routine keeps students living away from home like Arnsworth busy and distracted from homesickness. Some people use routines to provide direction on the next task and be more productive. 

Arnsworth struggled with homesickness after visiting home during Labor Day, she said. Since then, she’s been getting in tune with her schedule and focusing on school.  

“[A routine] will push me to start being more focused so I can not be reminded of not being home,” she said. 

Her routine is based on her class schedule, she said. Since she’s a night owl, she avoids scheduling her study times in the morning and slots most of them in the afternoon. 

She uses a physical planner, a wall calendar and digital reminders on her iPad and recommends visually oriented people use a wall calendar and tech-junkies use Google Calendar.

Melissa Smith, director of Academic Engagement, said students can use many different organization tools depending on their personality.

“If you don’t know which one actually works for you, then you may be trying to, you know, fit a square peg into a round hole, that may not work for you,” Smith said. “It’s like building a muscle or like exercising a muscle. The more you work at it, the stronger you get.”

Criminal justice sophomore Melanie Anton said she sticks to her schedule because she won’t do her schoolwork well otherwise. 

Anton recommends students take breaks by scrolling on their phone, walking around campus or trying a new place for lunch. It’s a mental break from some responsibilities, she said.

Undeclared sophomore Lia Malone said people should slowly build a habit instead of forming it overnight. 

For students who have trouble staying committed to a routine, Malone suggests to slowly incorporating a task into their schedule day by day. 

“I think that’s just sort of a price you pay with like school in general,” Malone said. “It just kind of forces you to have [a routine].” 



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