College Life Schedule with Freshman Tips

Create a college life schedule for your freshman that not only includes classes but other chores and to-do’s that include laundry, work out, pay bills, and grocery shop.

A quick way to add adulting tasks to your freshman’s college life schedule which their parents usually complete.  These include chores like laundry and grocery shopping, paying bills, and even times to work out and study.

Preparing for college also includes preparing for adult life.  These freshman tips will help organize their life and make chores and adult tasks feel more natural and part of their day-to-day schedule.

RELATED:  Moms! Here’s how to prepare your college freshman

college life schedule with freshman tipsEHprint Download File Here:
College Life Schedule Example (483 downloads)

Click the link above to download an example of my College Life Schedule as a PDF file.  You can’t edit this file but I wanted to give you a printable version of my example in case you wanted to re-create one of your own.

This calendar was made to be used as a guide, not for helicopter parenting.  {giggle}  My boys tend to lack some executive functions required for living on your own.  Therefore, I created this schedule as a conversational guide with ideas on how they could organize their own schedule.

I tried to include things they have forgotten about in the past like washing sheets and paying bills.  So they could be thinking about other things they might need to add to their own list.

Laundry Wii Controller Wipe On Off Board with Dylan
Dylan with his wipe on/off board in a Wii controller. So his 6 roommates can claim their laundry.

What is a College Life Schedule?

A college life schedule is a calendar that includes what a freshman student will need to do daily, weekly, and monthly to prepare for their college classes as well as living on their own.

Preparing your child for college can be very overwhelming.  As I was preparing our son to head off on his own and live a thousand miles away, I found that there were some executive functions that I hadn’t anticipated or prepared him for.  Yikes!

Therefore, before Dylan left for college we sat down and tried to figure out what his day-to-day college life will look like.  This way we could add his own “adulting” things that he’s not used to doing.

College Life schedule example

How to Make a College Life Schedule

Creating your own college life schedule can be created in Google Drive, a word document, or Microsoft publisher {which is what I used}.

You can create yours any way you’d like to.  The following steps are how I created Dylan’s.

Step 1:  Class Schedule

I think the easiest way to start is with a screenshot of your college class schedule.  This way you have a basic idea of what the week will look like.

Schedule advice for college freshman:

  • Does not start before 8am, unless you’re a morning person
  • Is compact so you aren’t running back and forth to school and home all day
  • A lighter class load two days a week {Tuesdays, Fridays}
  • Core classes are in the morning
  • Easier classes are in the afternoon
  • You are taking enough credits {for scholarship, insurance, loans, etc}

Dylan's college life schedule example

Step 2:  Daily Tasks

Next up, add the daily tasks that you need to do.  I added these in Dylan’s schedule in an orange color.

  • Take medications {RX}, once or twice a day
  • Eat
  • Sleep

Medications. Dylan typically skips breakfast and started a new medication that he has to take twice a day.  Typically, adding this may not be necessary however it is a needed reminder in our case.

Since his medication wears off after 5 hours, I added his afternoon dose so he can see how it might affect his lunch time as it also changes his appetite.  We had a good conversation about medications, side effects, perks, and issues when not taken properly.  It was a good refresher.

Tip:  Add alarm(s) on your phone to remind to take medication.

Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I added breakfast, lunch, and dinner because Dylan is used to having those times naturally scheduled in by his employer or family.  I felt it was a good way for him to see how this might effect his day.  I also took the time to talk about nutrition and what might happen to his body, energy, and grades if he is malnourished because he doesn’t eat. Again, skip this if you don’t have this issue.   {knuckle bumps}

Sleep.  I resisted the urge to add sleep onto the schedule as I felt that would absolutely be over-stepping.  However, we did talk about how much sleep he needs and how it could affect his grades, energy, etc.

TIP:  If you’re looking for a good sleep app, I’ve used Sleep Cycle.  It wakes you after your 5th REM cycle so you wake up happier and more naturally. My husband loves it.

Step 3:  Study & Tutoring

Next up, add time to study and tutoring in the green color. I really liked this section because now he knows exactly when he’s available to sign up for tutoring.  As Dylan becomes more comfortable with college life he’ll be able to increase or decrease these times.

It’s good to be strategic when you’re planning study time.  Some of the questions we talked about were:

  • When will ADD medication take affect?
  • When will ADD medication wear off?
  • Can he study during the day during school hours?
  • Do we need to avoid evening studying?
  • Will he study on a Friday evening?

Medication.  Know your student and what works best for them.  Dylan takes ADD medication that takes about 45 minutes to take affect and it wears off twice a day.  Therefore, we scheduled his study time while it is working and avoided night time studying. Granted that’s always a possibility.

Personality.  Dylan likes to play in the evenings and doesn’t like to be a student at that time. Therefore, we tried to schedule his classes and study time accordingly so he can have his evenings free.

Organize.  I also added “organize” time that we discussed he would use for planning and looking ahead for tests, projects, organizing his backpack and papers.

college dorm room ideas for guys AFTER

Step 4:  Weekly Tasks

These adulting tasks that need to be completed weekly are the reason I started the schedule in the first place.  I just had to add everything else first so we could figure out where these needed to be done.

Why?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  The first time Dylan lived on his own turns out he never washed his sheets.  Ew, gross!!  He also struggled finding a time to do laundry when his his roommates were not using the machines.  So I thought we’d schedule these in and maybe improve this time around.  {fingers crossed}

Keep in mind, there is the entire weekend when they will most likely end up doing these type of tasks.  However, Dylan wanted to try to keep the weekends free for studying, employment, and play.

  • Laundry & Wash Sheets
  • Grocery Shop
  • Grocery Pickup
  • Workout
  • Clean room and apartment
  • Employment

Laundry & Wash Sheets.  Dylan has 5 roommates sharing his dorm.  Therefore, we felt scheduling a day to do laundry would be ideal.  Hopefully none of his roommates will choose to do laundry that evening as well. {snicker}

Tip:  I bought a magnetic wipe on/off board for their washer & dryer so they can label who’s laundry is in there.

Grocery Shop & Pickup.  Personally, I hate to grocery shop. Since Dylan’s college does not have a meal plan, grocery shopping will be important.  This way he won’t have to figure it out every single week.  He’ll plan on Sundays or Mondays and pickup on Tuesdays.

We created a monthly menu with shopping lists to make it a lot easier.  You can download the Easy College Meals for Students with a Kitchen with free printable shopping lists and recipes here.

Tip:   I absolutely love the Walmart grocery app and think it’s a good idea to use something like that especially when you’re on a budget.

Workout.  Dylan insists on not working out more than 3 days a week.  {snort}  Therefore, I wanted to add that in so we could quickly talk about if he wanted to workout right after class while he’s on campus.  Or if he preferred to workout later in the day when his medication is wearing off and how that would effect his schedule.  Dylan chose to workout while he is on campus as he didn’t feel he would want to leave his apartment after a long day of class.

Step 5:  Monthly Tasks

Lastly, add the monthly tasks that you’ll need to complete.  I did not add these as they were not applicable.

  • Pay Bills
  • Doctor and Dentist

Tip:   Share doctors contacts with your college freshman and have them save them in their phone in case of emergencies.  You should also send them a hard copy of names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information and put it in their college life binder.

I’m just now realizing as I write this that this that I should have added “college life schedule for guys”.  This is a male dominated schedule for sure.  I don’t have any girls.  Otherwise I would make it a little more generic for you.  Sadly, I have no idea what college girls do.  {giggle}

Free College Planner for Freshman Year from Tip Junkie

How to organize your schedule?

Now you’re probably wondering where to store your schedule or how to organize them so your college freshman will actually use it.

I have two suggestions for you:

  1. College Life Planner
  2. Google Drive

I actually have Dylan’s college life schedule in both places.

Google Drive is easy because it’s online and accessible anywhere at anytime.  You can also share it with parents and guardians and any adjustments can be seen by everyone.

I would also suggest you printing a hard copy and adding it to my College Life Planner.  It’s a great way to store all your important documents and everything your child will need for college life.

To create your College Life Planner, print off the free file and then simply add your medical records, insurance information, checklists and college major planning into a three ring binder so you can quickly find it when you need it.

It’s also a great way to help teach your college freshman organizational skills.

More College Prep For Guys

Since this was my first child I had to prepare for college I went a little overboard.  The great thing about these resources is that they are here if you need them.  So feel free to take what you need and disregard the rest. {wink}

Here’s the complete list of my college prep for guys how-to’s:

There are FREE printables with almost every post.  I wanted to you have what I wished I could have downloaded for free during our college prep.


Laurie Turk the Tip Junkie

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