Group of students

Day in the Life of a College Student

College life is all about striking a balance. There's only so much time in the day, but it's yours to structure as you please (there's always an 8am core classes). Make the most of every moment while still squeezing in time to eat, sleep and relax.

Top Tips


Step 1

Attend Class

Make it to all of your classes and participate! It's not cool to skip class anymore, plus it could be a giant waste of your money. The beauty (and fun) of college is the ability to set your own coursework and daily schedule. Consider that many degree programs are very structured and some classes are only offered during a certain time.

Getting to class can also be a hurdle to your success. You will have to plan in time to walk, bike, drive or bus to class. Some forms of transportation are more reliable but may take more time. Don't show up late, cringe!


Step 2

Find Community
Community is a web of support that strengthens your character and makes your experience at college vibrant and diverse. Establishing relationships with faculty, professors, classmates, neighbors and others on campus is critical to your success as a student. There are many communities to engage in at collage and you can even create your own.

Breaking Down the Day

Class schedules, opportunities and interests will vary your week greatly. But with some effort it's possible to a craft a meaningful and rewarding day!


Night owls plan accordingly!

7:00am: TRY to wake up. (most classes start between 8 and 10am).

8:30am: Eat breakfast at the dining hall or on the go.

9.00am: Lecture 1 (the busiest class days are often Mon, Wed, and Fri).

10.30am: Lecture 2 (sometimes you only have 15 minutes between classes).

11:00am: 2 hour break between classes (take full advantage - study, nap, workout, or eat lunch).



Eat lunch!

1.00pm: Lab 1 (labs are typically 2 or more hours)

3:00pm: Options, options, options. Stay focused on priority items.

5.00pm: Classes usually wrap up by now. There may be an occasional night class, a truly college experience.


Your most productive moment is right after your last class. Don't miss out on this creative window.

5.30pm: Exercise, meet with friends, or decompress.

6.30pm: Possible night lecture or club activity, if not, study.

8:00pm: Dinner.

8:30pm: Depending on your workload either mingle with friends, or study.

10.00-11:59pm: Wrap up loose ends. Study and prepare for tomorrow's classes and responsibilities. 

12.00am: Bed before midnight.

Places on Campus

If you live, work, or attend class on campus take advantage of the many resources that exist there. More often that not, you are paying for these services through your fees.


Do yourself a favor and study from a book. Your professors will be impressed with your references! Libraries are in some ways the hub of learning on campus. They often have spaces with large whiteboards to expand out your thinking. They bring study groups together. They store loads of information in physical and digital forms. Plus, there's something comforting about the library experience, made special by the expertise of librarians who are always willing to help with your academic needs.
Recreation center

Recreation Center

When you've been studying long hours or are anxious about an upcoming assignment, exercise is one of the most important outlets you have to deal with stress. A quick visit to the recreation center on campus after class can improve your mind and body. Rec centers are also a great way to get involved in intramural sports and build community around activities.

Dining Facility

If you have dining plan use it! Eating properly is very important to your ability to focus in class. Connect with friends or meet new people over a bowl of chili. If you don't have a dining plan be sure to schedule time into your week to cook. Eating out can become very costly and use up a lot of your monthly resources.


Typically first year students live in residential halls on campus. Residences are a great way to meet people and create lasting relationships that may one day be your future roommates. Other living arrangements include off campus apartments and room rentals. Housing is an expensive part of college life that is not included in your tuition and fees. In the summer months, if you don't stay on campus or you travel home, you may consider subletting your rental to save money.
Student Center

Student Center

You only get out of the college what your are willing to put in. Campus student centers exist to help you get the most of the college experience. Student centers offer dining, entertainment and study options as well as house on campus bookstores, events, speakers, and student groups. They are often the hub of student activity on campus.

Favorite Study Spot(s)

Don't underestimate the power of having a favorite study spot. Visiting a place regularly helps build routine into your day. It is one of the best ways to learn about a place because you begin to see the same people and you begin to build community. It could be a local coffee shop, the library, or your 

The Scoop

What students are saying about college.
“I think that pursuing a higher education is such a great opportunity to be able to get into a career that requires a degree, but also allows you more experience and more opportunity to learn. Going to college really helps you create that skill of starting new. When you go to college, you get this fresh start and so you are able to develop those life skills and separate your life from your family and be your own person that you don't get in a smaller area. I think it just develops a lot of character. It builds you up into being a stronger person.”
Emma Hill
Second year student in the Department of Education at Montana State University