My *online* college morning routine


February 13, 2021

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the importance of building a morning routine, and I shared a resource for building your own routine. One of the reasons I decided to write that post is because in my first semester of online college I did not have a good morning routine at all! I was doing online college from home in Dubai with a 9 hour time difference, and I would wake up at different times everyday, and feel so overwhelmed that I would quickly rush through getting ready and just get straight into my school work. This was definitely not a healthy way to start my day, and since I’m still at home this semester I decided to re-vamp my morning routine to something that makes me feel a lot better!

You can take a look at the post here and look at the resource I shared about planning a routine. Using this resource, I decided that my priority for a morning routine was to get a calm and relaxing start to the day. I wanted to have a routine that didn’t make me feel stressed about the day ahead and one that actually made me excited to start the day. I’ve been using this routine for around the past month now, and I have to say that I really love it. I get a really great start to my day, and in this post I want to share that routine with you!

Wake up, open curtains, don’t check phone

The first thing I do when I wake up is to turn off my alarm before it drives me crazy and head over to my window. I always open my curtains first thing in the morning and let the natural light come through (since it’s sunny every day in Dubai, it always brightens up my day). I find that this wakes me up a lot better than just turning on my lights.

I then grab my phone and quickly glance at my notifications to see if there’s anything urgent or important that I need to look at. I purposely try not to sit back on my bed and open all my messages because I find that I end up getting stuck on my phone for a long time if I do that.

Getting ready for the day

I then head into my bathroom, take a shower, brush my teeth, and wash my face. I can’t say that I put as much effort into my appearance as I would if I were going out to school, but I still get ready every morning and put on a nice comfy outfit. I definitely don’t just stay in PJs all day!

Grab some breakfast

The next thing I do is head downstairs to make myself some breakfast. Last semester getting breakfast would just be something I rushed through and I would end up just eating sugary cereal or a piece of toast. Breakfast has actually always been my favorite meal of the day, so I’m making an effort this semester to take time to make something for myself and not rush through eating it. One of my go-to breakfast meals is a sesame seed bagel or a bowl of yogurt, fruit, and granola. While I make my breakfast I usually put on a podcast or audiobook. My favorite podcast is The Daily by the New York Times, and if I’m listening to an audiobook it’s usually one of the Harry Potter books because I’m a huge fan! After making my breakfast I sit down at the table and listen to my audiobook/podcast while I eat. I make an effort not to check my phone or scroll through Instagram while I’m eating – just being in the moment.

This is honestly one of my favorite parts of the day. I would say that it’s a nice slow start to the day, but not slow as in unproductive, slow as in it makes me feel calm and happy and I can focus on other things before thinking about my to-do list for the day.

Plan out the day

After finishing up my breakfast I head back upstairs to my desk and I write out a to-do list for the day. I’ll usually have a bunch of homework assignments to get through, and I try and space them out evenly. For example, I won’t put all my difficult assignments in the morning, I’ll try and space these out between more easier assignments.

A matcha latte and some reading

Once I’ve planned out my day I head back downstairs and make myself a drink to sip on once I start my reading for the day. I have a lot of required readings for my classes this semester, so I usually end up starting my day with an hour of reading and annotating. I like to do this first thing in the morning so that I’m not too tired and because I think it makes for a nice start to the day! I try and get my reading out of the way earlier in the day so that I don’t end up procrastinating it during the day.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll know by now that an iced matcha latte is my drink of choice. It gives me that morning boost of caffeine and the motivation to get started on my work for the day. I’m what you’d call a matcha-connoisseur and I’ve tried pretty much every matcha brand available in Dubai! I’ve found it really difficult to find a good quality and affordable matcha brand out here in Dubai, and I’m happy to say that I finally have! I’ve been drinking Rituals Matcha for around a month now and I love it!

Rituals Matcha is ethically sourced from a female owned farm in Uji Japan and is definitely the best quality matcha I’ve tried. I have a discount code for you to get 20% off your orders, it’s ‘Littlemissexpat20’ (affiliate code). If you’re a matcha fan I can guarantee you’ll like this brand, or if you’re new to matcha this is definitely a good place to start. It’s so nice to finally find a great and affordable matcha brand here in the UAE! Let me know if you try out their products!

And that’s it! By the time I’ve finished my morning reading, I usually do a couple more assignments before taking a lunch break and then carrying on. I’ve honestly been loving my morning routine so far this semester, which is why I wanted to share it with you in this post! Remember, you can use my 20% discount code “Littlemissexpat20” at Rituals Matcha to make your own amazing matcha latte!

See you next week,

  1. […] working on American hours, so it was a struggle, but definitely not as bad as my freshmen year of virtual college with a 9-hour time difference! I guess I just expected to work and then spend my free time with my family. I’m the kind of […]

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