3 Tips for Planning a Successful Semester
Everyone is picking their courses, meeting new best friends, and scouting out their favorite study (and party) areas.
Obviously, as exciting as this is, it also can quickly tip the scales to overwhelming. Get started on the right foot and keep a great pace this semester with the following tips for planning success:
01. Develop a list of SMART Goals
SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. An example of a great SMART goal that meets all these criteria: My goal is to get all Bs or above this semester. To achieve that, I will study at least 10 hours in the library each week. I will also meet with professors at least once a week. I will keep a notebook for each assignment with highlighted notes that I can use for exam preparation. By semester’s end, I will have obtained all As and Bs in my classes.
02. Break down due dates and big goals into daily tasks
It’s easy to say what your semester resolutions or goals are; the hard part is putting in the work to achieve them. One thing that every highly productive student has in common is the ability to break down big tasks into bite-size chunks they can achieve. College A+ students don’t cram for exams the night before. Nor do they attempt to throw together a research paper in one weekend. The best tactic to stay on track, stay successful, and actually learn (not just remember for a day) the information taught is to break down every big paper, project, and exam into small bits. Plan out hours to study, organize notes, and gather research materials.
03. Plan it all in writing
Grab a student-specific agenda or planner and write down your SMART goals and daily tasks. Pair them with benchmarks you can double-check every week. You might also consider getting organized with Google Calendar. Check out this tutorial to learn how you can use this tool to upload important semester dates (use each course syllabus as a general outline) and sign up for notifications via SMS and/or emails to help keep you on track.
You already know Rome wasn’t built in a day. Well, neither was a successful college career. It is important to think big, but plan small. Develop SMART goals that you can break down and use the tools you have to remind you of your tasks and keep you on track.