One of the questions I am always asked concerning my college experience is about my routine. And to be honest, I have never really had a solid answer. As I’ve experienced college, I’ve found that every student’s routine is very unique and different. Even week to week, our routines change a lot, and that is part of the fun of college. With new social events, restaurants, and assignments each week, I have to be fast to adapt. I love this ever changing part of college, but I also love the constants in my schedule. Thus, to reflect a bit more on this all-important question, I’ve decided to lay out my routine for this past semester. 


  • Rock climb outside at a local crag or train at the gym
  • Attend lecture for my signals and systems class (BME 413)
  • Work in lab for my senior design class (BME 405)
  • Meal prep lunches and dinners for the week


  • Record Viterbi Voices podcast
  • Get COVID tested
  • Attend my senior design (BME 405) class lecture
  • Work in research lab
  • Volunteer with Troy Camp elementary school programming
  • Coach SC Climbing Team practice


  • Volunteer at a local hospital 
  • Attend Intro to Archaeology (ANTH 202) discussion (side note: this is the best GE ever, highly recommend)
  • Attend lecture for my signals and systems class (BME 413)
  • Viterbi Voices podcast meeting and work 
  • Group meeting for my senior design (BME 405) class
  • Run SC Outfitter’s member event


  • Attend my senior design (BME 405) class lecture
  • Work in research lab
  • SC Outfitter’s meeting 
  • Volunteer at adaptive climbing program 
  • Train and climb on my own 


  • Attend emergency medicine lecture (MEDS 460)
  • Attend signals and systems discussion (BME 413)
  • Drive to go climbing/camping/backpacking/skiing etc for the weekend with friends (or SC Climbing / SC Outfitters)


  • Spend time outside for the weekend (normally doing homework at night or in local coffee shops)
  • Relax 🙂


  • Homework and study (preferably outside)
  • Complete extracurricular to do list items 
  • Spend time with friends and attend social events 
  • Make tea and light a candle 
  • Journal

Most importantly, I think it is really vital to give yourself time to unwind and sleep. Sleep is crucial to physical and mental health, and I have found throughout my years that I need about 9-10 hours each night to feel my best. While this may seem like a lot, I’ve found that I just cannot work or train well if I don’t, and I end up wasting even more time if I cut back. Whatever the “magic number” is for you, I really encourage you to listen to your body. 

Another thing you may think is weird from my schedule is that pretty much every weekend, I prioritize going on some sort of outdoor trip. This again may seem a bit abnormal, but I have really found that my free time in the outdoors is invaluable to my work-life balance. To make this happen, I work really hard each week to minimize work and involvements on weekends. This may mean missing a few football games, but I have found an awesome crew of SC students that also have similar desires from their college experience. 

I think it’s important to note that this routine was not perfectly designed and was definitely NOT flawless when I first started to mash it all together. Each year of college, I have discovered that certain things are really important to me (like climbing, time with friends, and volunteering). These things I prioritize in my schedule each semester, but I constantly have to adjust as the semester goes on. However, just as the semester comes to a close, I seem to have perfected my routine ironically. While this process is certainly frustrating, I think I’ve been able to learn a lot about how I work best and what I would like to prioritize in my career path.

Emily Powis

Emily Powis

MAJOR: Biomedical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Denver, Colorado PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @emilyspowis Within Viterbi I conduct research in 3D ultrasound development. Outside of engineering, I am co-captain of the SC Climbing Team, guide outdoor trips with SC Outfitters, work as an Emergency Medical Technician, and help provide mentorship for K-12 students as a counselor in Troy Camp.