New Year’s is a time to think about the improvements you can make in your life. January can be a great time to wipe the slate clean and implement measures to achieve your goals.
Setting a plan for success so you can get needed academic skills is crucial for improving your skills as a student. Goal setting in an online or traditional classroom situation is all about taking steps to be successful in your specific courses and path.
Goal setting is all about connecting your educational goals with the rest of your resolutions for the school year. It's never too late to start or change when it comes to goal setting, whether you want to set short or long-term goals.
If you're looking to get the most out of your school year, check out these 5 goals that you can set to make sure you kill it with your classes.
1. Focus on More than Just Grades
As a student, it can be really easy to focus all your energy on getting those A’s. But what should be just as important, or even more important, is what you actually learn. A bunch of A’s on a report card won’t matter at all if you don’t know how to demonstrate that you can do the work in the real world.
If you want to take your learning to the next level, podcasts are a great source of useful information as well as a productive use of your time. Learning outside of course materials is important to help further your knowledge base and impress future employers.
You can also start following experts on social media in your areas of specialization.
You can also find documentaries on Netflix which are a great way to unwind from the school day. Whether you are interested in history, art, sociology, fashion, or politics, there’s documentaries you can find for any of these. You can also try picking up an autobiography written by one of your favorite public figures
Use your time in school to explore various interests you might have. Maybe you’ve been trapped in the path of just doing sports, but you’d like to try something in the music department. Or maybe you’ve always loved science but decided to try a literature class and love it. View this as a great time to test out different activities and subjects you’ve always wondered about.
So this year, make a plan to really learn, instead of just worrying about your grades.
2. Take Classes that Will Help Lead to Your Dream Job
Once you've given yourself a chance to explore new areas of interest, you might have decided that you really want to pursue a specific career. If you think you might have discovered what your dream job is, it's time to actually get it. Doing some research and finding out which classes to take to get to that dream job is how you can do just that.
It’s important that you really think about and determine what your dream job is, so you can take courses that will help you get there. Putting in effort to find the path that you’re most interested in will help you not waste your time or money at college. Narrowing down your field of interest will help you feel confident about your career direction and make educational decisions that go hand-in-hand with your dreams.
Do research on skills that people in that field need and think outside the box when choosing your classes, even if they’re not necessarily in your major think about classes that could help you in your career.
No matter where you are in your academic experience, plan goals you can realistically achieve in the next week, month, and overall goals you can reach before you graduate.
You can also make a list of companies you are interested in and make sure you contact them all before the end of the semester. College can be much less intimidating with a little strategic planning.
What if you haven't found your dream job yet? College and any educational opportunity is a great time to learn more about yourself. Take aptitude and personality tests and explore as much as you can. Ask a professional in a field you’re interested in questions about their job, and even go job shadow them if you’re able. You never know where your dream job might be.
3. Ask for Help More Often
It can be frustrating to go through your classes and feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be another one of those students that just tries to get by. The whole point of learning is to develop knowledge about things you don’t know. On top of that, everybody processes information differently. So if you feel like you’re not catching something, or missing some details, it really is quite normal.
Your teachers, or even tutors, are there to help you.In fact, teachers like students who are willing to raise their hand and ask for further explanation of something. Teachers do really want you to learn and if something doesn’t make sense, they want to help you understand. If you aren’t comfortable asking in front of the entire class, stop by after class to talk to the teacher or find out when their office hours are and visit them then.
Also, building a professional relationship with one’s professor nearly guarantees access to letters of recommendation needed in the future. Knowing your professor means you feel more comfortable asking questions and your professor is more likely to remember you.
4. Create a Good Balance Between Education and Life
Sometimes going to college feels all-consuming. There’s always another test to study for, another paper to write. Make it a resolution this year to truly find balance and a schedule to help you fit everything in.
Campus activities can help create a community away from home. Greek life, local grassroots organizations, and professional societies can change your entire college experience! You can also find local organizations who need volunteers or interns to develop your skills and have some fun while doing it.
If your coursework is online this year then you’re able to attend school on your own schedule and your assignments and tests when it works for you. You can fit your social life, family responsibilities, and work schedule all side-by-side with your online learning. This year, decide to work on your education as well as your relationship and work life.
5. Eat Healthier Food and Get More Sleep
A great goal to have is to achieve a healthier lifestyle. While this might sound more like a New Year’s resolution than an academic goal, it is important to eat healthy—especially during the school year. Students are apt to eat poorly as they rush to classes. The problem with this is that the candy bar at noon, the soda at 2 pm, and the burger after class adds up quickly. Classes, work, family obligations, and a social life leave little room for a full night’s sleep and preparing healthy meals.
Online students especially struggle with this busy schedule, as they often have full-time jobs and more family obligations than traditional students. But students who are so busy also are in the most need of good sleep and eating habits. They need the fuel and rest to ensure they are mentally ready for challenging assignments and tests. Being in school takes a lot of mental capacity, and you should make it a goal to focus on a healthy lifestyle as much as you can.
People gain energy to boost brainpower and function. Eating fatty, high-caloric foods robs the body of much-needed nutrition. Whereas, a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can lead to a healthier body, which can result in fewer missed classes. Try to add brain food to your diet and meal prep on the weekends so it’s easier for you to grab healthy snacks and meals. Use a bedtime app that will help remind you when it’s time to go to sleep.
Setting realistic goals for yourself at the beginning of the year and throughout the school year are important to inspire you to think creatively, to take risks, and prepare for life after school.
As a college student, the new year can present a time of hope and growth, propelling you towards a better academic year. New Year’s Resolutions like these will help you be ready to take on the year as a student successfully. Try them out yourself! Looking for more educational advice and professional tips? Check out the Meratas blog!