Starting the first day of your academic journey, you are making an impact on your future. What are your educational goals? Maybe you are working to finish your degree for a career promotion, or maybe you’re simply an avid lifelong learner. One of your educational goals may be to have a new perspective on the world, to think more critically, or become well-versed with writing, reading and working with numbers. We all have hopes of achieving our academic goals, but it’s not always clear how to make those goals become a reality.
In order to make the most of your college education, establish goals from the beginning of your educational experience. Determine which institutions or degrees will help open up doors for your professional development. Set yourself up for success by ensuring that your previous college credits or professional training can transfer in as academic credit. This will help put you one step closer to achieving your educational goal.
Tips for Setting Goals
- Enjoy What You Do: Orient your goals around topics that you take great interest in. The more you enjoy diving into a certain topic, the more successful you are bound to be.
- Plan a Realistic Schedule: Assess what other responsibilities and commitments you have in your life and compare this to how much time you will need to dedicate to your studies.
- Create Specific Goals: Know exactly what you are striving for.
- Make Attainable Goals: It is difficult to maintain motivation when working toward a goal you may believe to be unattainable.
- Set a Date: Put a time limit on your goal to help keep you focused.
How to Achieve Your Goals
- Seek Support: Get your family and friends on board with your educational goals, to ensure their continuous support throughout your academic venture. If you share and plan for your goals, you will likely increase your chances of reaching them. Also, educate yourself on what helpful resources are available to you, such as academic services and faculty members.
- Stay Focused: Keep an organized space and dedicated quite time to study. Work to manage your time by creating a to-do list to help yourself stay on task. Don’t forget to include breaks though – this time will help invigorate your mind and body.
- Be Engaged: Whether you are in the traditional classroom, or in a virtual classroom, your engagement is vital to your success. Actively communicate with your instructors and peers. It’s also important to be engaged in discussions around your field of interest.
- Maintain Flexibility: Set goals that allow you to achieve some success even if you don’t achieve your entire goal.
Soon you will find that your personal and professional aspirations are becoming a reality as a result of your hard work. The educational goals that you have personally selected can be milestones that you will achieve. Completing goals will help you feel fulfilled and the rewards may be greater than you ever imagined.
Remember to take time to celebrate your accomplishments – from your small, short-term goals all the way up to your long-term educational goals! Rewarding yourself will help build your confidence for future goals and provide closure on completed goals. Celebrate however you want, whether it’s sharing the news with close family and friends, heading out for a weekend hike, or going out to dinner. Good luck!