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Setting Goals for the Semester

When you started college, you were likely excited, anxious, and determined to succeed. These feelings are to be expected for any new student who arrives on campus. A common experience among students, regardless of the amount of time they’ve been in college, is feeling overwhelmed by the number of assignments, extracurriculars, and other tasks that need to be accomplished.

Many students get bogged down during busy times of the semester, such as midterms or finals, and feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that must be completed. Naturally, this can lead to stress and requires a choice to be made between completing one task versus another. This is where goal setting comes into play.

Many of us make goals each day without even realizing it. Some simple goals that many of you ideally achieve could include planning to get to class on time, finding ways to eat throughout the day, and spending time with God. Research suggests that creating realistic, challenging goals is one of the best ways to put yourself on the road to success.


Further research has noted that students who make SMART goals are much more likely to be successful. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.  

Below is an example of how to make a SMART goal:

General Goal: I want to be a good student.

SMART Goal: By the end of the semester, I would like to be on the Dean’s List. To achieve this goal, I will study at least two hours each day, seek help from my professors, tutors, or friends when I don’t understand the material, and complete all assignments on time. I will continually monitor my success after each exam to ensure I am making the right steps towards achieving my goal.

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