It’s that time of year again! Back to school and back to college. I’m guessing the vast majority of you have started by now. You’ve probably sat through classes and unpacked your dorms and realized you forgot a few things. Maybe you forgot a trashcan for your dorm or a hand held pencil sharpener for exams? I hope none of you forgot a charger! (Bonus tip: Have a laptop and cell phone charger at home always and at college always. You do not want to be in a situation where you forget your charger and can’t find someone with the same laptop as you!!) But, did you remember the essential you need to get through this semester? Never fear! If you did forget it, it’s really easy to get!
Are you ready for it? Grab your quietly sharpened pencil and a random piece of paper. The thing you need to have with you at the start of every semester? A goal!! Yep, you read that right! I know it’s not January, but a new semester and especially a new school year is the perfect time to stop and keep some short term and long term goals in mind. In a previous post, I went over the basics of setting a goal. If you need a refresher, you can read that here.
Take an hour and make a goal and a plan for this semester.
This could be the most important hour of your entire semester! Don’t blow this off in 5 minutes and tell yourself a lie about how you will stop procrastinating this year for sure. To get you started, take some time to reflect and answer some these questions:
- Why am I studying in the first place? What is motivating me to get this degree?
- What was the most stressful part of last semester and what are some things that were in my control that I could have prevented? (Obviously, if something happened and you got a concussion in sports or something serious happened, you can’t plan for that. Don’t beat yourself up if/when that happens.)
- What am I really trying to achieve and how far am I willing to go?
- What choices do I want to make that I believe will ultimately leave me happy and healthy at the end of this semester?
- When Christmas break comes, how will I gauge if this semester has been a success?
Something that really helped me in school was to keep a picture by my bed that reflected where I wanted to be in the long run. Between labs and exams, it’s hard for me to keep the big picture in focus. I’m a visual person, for me seeing a reminder of my goal every day was really helpful. Make your goal something that can be represented in a way that makes you happy to see it. Don’t let yourself feel down if you find yourself half way through the semester and you realize you are off track.
We all go into a new semester and a new school year with somewhat of a goal. Maybe you need x hours of community service and y GPA to get into such and such grad school and you revolve around that. Maybe you are wanting to explore and have adventure and you want to travel to this or that place on break and meet as many new people as you can. There’s nothing wrong with having an idea of what you want to achieve this year. An idea is a start and that’s really more than some people have.
Taking the time to stop and reflect on what you really want out of this year might help you to stop feeling like you are coasting through. When that half way point comes and everything feels like it’s burning down in flames, having a goal to reset and help you catch your breath will definitely be helpful!
So what are your new semesters goals? Let me know in the comments!