Setting Academic Goals for the 2016 New Year

Notepad with a guideline to setting goalsBy now, most people have already broken their New Year’s resolution, but that doesn’t mean that all is lost for the remainder of 2016! A New Year’s resolution is simply a promise that you keep to yourself—a promise that many of us break, which is one of the reasons why it’s so symbolic to make one every January. It’s as if somehow, a new year will make the promise stick! As many of us know, that is not always the case.

Just because New Year’s resolutions are broken doesn’t mean that you can’t renew them or even make more promises. In fact, it is encouraged to make as many promises to yourself as possible if it is going to improve you as student and a professional.

It’s not necessary to wait until a new year rolls around to set goals for yourself. A college student’s career is all about setting and achieving goals. The ultimate goal is to graduate with a college degree, but it’s going to take hundreds of smaller goals in order to keep that promise.

The Importance of Setting Academic Goals

Students who are already well into their college career understand the importance of setting academic goals. There are essentially two main goals that students tend to gravitate toward: Getting better grades, and trying something new. In order to keep the promise of reaching these goals, it is imperative to first address those smaller tasks that need to be conquered first.

Let’s take a closer look at these two goals and examine what other steps are necessary in order to achieve them.

Improve Your Grade Point Average (GPA)

In order to improve your GPA, it is crucial to improve your test scores and the quality of your assignments. This means that more time must be dedicated to studying. This may sound simple enough, but it can quickly overwhelm a you if you have multiple classes to manage, not to mention any non-academic responsibilities.

Improve Your GPA One Class at a Time

That is why it is necessary to break your larger goals into smaller goals. One of the reasons why college life can become overwhelming and often times stressful is because we tend to look at the bigger picture. One look at the syllabus on the first day of class, and most students might want to withdraw because the scope of work looks impossible to complete within one semester. Don’t do that! Feeling this way is normal.

Take confidence in knowing that:

  • If you are attending an accredited institution, the amount of assignments for each course has been thoroughly reviewed and reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Each course has been strategically coordinated with the goal of promoting high ethical and educational standards for your career and technical education.
  • Other students have completed these courses. It is possible to successfully pass the course with a high GPA.

Handle your classes one at a time. Whether you are sitting in a classroom, or managing classes online, it is advised to give your complete attention to that particular class. Don’t let your mind wander off about obligations toward other courses. There is plenty of time for that in between classes.

Getting Organized

The load of college work is indeed a heavy one, but it is one that can be carried. College is all about training students to learn and understand a certain field of study so that they can seamlessly transition from college life to a professional career. Keep in mind that college is suppose to be difficult! That’s why it is crucial to set goals for yourself, and getting organized is one of the other steps to improving your GPA.

Whatever it takes to get organized, do it! Use a calendar. Smartphones these days have a variety of apps designed just for students to help organize their academic schedule. Having a set schedule is the best way to take control of your academic schedule. For a list of helpful apps, read “Top 10 Apps That Help Keep Miami Student’s College Career on Track.

Find a Study Group

Dedicating a sufficient amount of study time is imperative. It is impossible to improve your GPA without having the knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. A way to alleviate the academic anxiety of feeling overwhelmed is to join a study group. There you can find classmates that are not only struggling with the same subject, but also get tutoring from those who have a better understanding of the course.

Look for Internships

There is no better teacher than experience. Colleges and universities can teach and offer an abundant amount of information that will help prepare students for the professional career of their choice, but without hands-on experience, they might be overlooked in the job pool.

Students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor about internship opportunities that will complement their career goal. This will improve a student’s professional skills and academic knowledge. It’s also extremely helpful in improving test scores.

Trying Something New

As a college student, it may be impossible to consider trying anything new. The argument here is: ‘Who has the time?’

Getting good grades to improve your GPA is loosely related to doing something different—as long as it is productive, and legal! The importance of balancing your academic life has often proven to be most helpful for students to achieve a healthy and happy college career.

Challenge yourself. Select an elective that you wouldn’t ordinarily choose. Attend more campus events. Join a student organization, or try out for a sport. Enhancing your social skills will not only relieve some of the stress that can come with academic studies, but also better prepares you for your future career.

Florida National University (FNU): Helping You Set New Goals

Make that promise of doing better by setting the smaller goals for yourself. Don’t wait until 2017 to improve your GPA and do new things. Start today by downloading an organizing app, or purchase a calendar and start jotting down your schedule for the following week. If you happen to break that promise, make another one, and then another until you have reached the ultimate goal of graduating with a college degree!

FNU wants to help you realize your goals. If you haven’t started your academic career and are interested in seeing what FNU has to offer, visit our website and view a list of our academic programs. To schedule a meeting with one of our enrollment counselors, contact us online today.