The start of a new semester can be extremely difficult and hectic, considering all the planning and preparation necessary to achieve success. During this busy time, it can be easy to just focus on the task at hand and lose sight of the long term. Setting goals early can be a great way to make sure that you don’t lose sight of your vision for the future.

 

Setting the right kind of goals can ensure that you know where you stand and what you’re working towards throughout the coming semester. Making sure your goals are specific and measurable will help you track your progress and know exactly when you have achieved them. Avoiding goals that are too easy or too hard will also help you stay motivated. If you instantly feel like your goals are out of reach, you likely won’t feel motivated by them.

With these things in mind, here are some ideas to get you started:

 

  1. Set an academic goal

 

Academic achievement can mean something very different from one person to the next. If you look back on your past academic record and decide that you’re happy with it, maybe your goal is to achieve the same grades you have been. If you feel like you’ve been underperforming, maybe you want better grades. But grades aren’t the only academic area you could focus on. Maybe you set a goal to read a new book every month or learn a totally new subject over the semester. Whatever it may be for you, just make sure you push yourself and frequently assess whether or not you are advancing towards your goal during the semester.

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  1. Set a financial goal

During such a busy semester, many students lose sight of their financial status. Countless students rant about how much they’ve spent over the first few months of the year. Most students would benefit from some kind of budgeting goal for the semester. You could either set a limit to your monthly or semester spending, or even set a specific goal to save a certain amount. Online applications as well as an old-fashioned journal listing expenses can be helpful tools in tracking your financial goals and performance and only take a few minutes a day. Your bank or credit card company may already have a web app to help you track your money.

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  1. Set a social goal

 

College is about more than getting a job and getting straight A’s. BU offers a wide variety of opportunities to meet and interact with people from all over the world. This semester, take the opportunity to set a goal involving new people or having a new experience around campus. Sign up for a club that interests you but you never joined, or attend an event you normally wouldn’t. This goal might be the hardest to track and measure, but it may also be the most rewarding. Be on the lookout for interesting opportunities throughout the semester.

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Whatever goals you decide to set for yourself this semester, make sure to write them down, look them over and even update them as the semester goes on. Good luck!