Have the Best Semester Ever If You Set These 7 Goals

It’s getting to be that time of year again. The commercials are starting (if you count the ones in July as absurd and therefore nonexistent, like I do) and Target has its wonderful “back to school” section set up in all of its red and white glory. Doesn’t it just make you want to buy school supplies, You’ve Got Mail-style? I bet Tom Hanks would buy you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils if he knew your name and address.
While fresh school supply shopping should definitely be on your back-to-school list, there are some other things you should be doing while you prepare for a new and exciting semester (besides renting You’ve Got Mail, if you’re unfamiliar with the quote above). An awesome thing you can do for yourself to get ready for school is to set a list of goals you’d like to accomplish throughout the semester. Kind of like a New Years Resolution list for a new semester, a back-to-school goal list can help you feel accomplished and satisfied with your academics and social life during these your four years of college.
So sit down, grab a pencil, and start making a list of goals you’d like to achieve throughout your new year at school. CollegeCandy has a few of our own to help you out, so take some tips from us and have your best semester ever!
1. Join Something New
We hear this one all of the time: Step out of your comfort zone and try something out of the ordinary. But the truth is, it works! Joining a club or organization on campus that you’ve never tried before can help you meet a whole new group of people that you would have never met in your usual activities on campus. You may have your solid group of friends, but it never hurts to make a few more! College is all about learning, and getting to know new people who are different from yourself is one of the best learning experiences you can have.
2. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Accidentally drop your cup and curse the acoustics of the dining hall for letting everyone hear it? Notice a stain on your shirt after you sit down after an in-class presentation? If this stuff happens to the best of us, then I must be the absolute best because I spill coffee on myself every day. But seriously, it does happen to the best of us. We all say bye to people and then end up walking the same way as them; we all have something in our tooth when we finally get to talk to that good-looking guy after class; we all accidentally double tap that guy’s Instagram photo we were creeping on; and we all have our stomachs growl during an especially quiet moment in class (mine usually asks for chicken fingers).
The list of potentially embarrassing moments for college students is endless, but there is a light at the end of the awkward tunnel. If you don’t let it get to you, you’ll get past that awkward or embarrassing stage much faster. If you learn to move past an annoying or embarrassing moment in your day, you will be much happier in the long run. Appreciate your ability to quickly bounce back and have an even better semester than you imagined.
3. Learn From Your Mistakes Instead of Stressing Over Them
Forgetting a paper’s due date or missing an important lecture can make us feel pretty judge-y towards ourselves, which is never a good thing. If you’re having a day where you can’t seem to do anything right, have faith in yourself and know that you are learning every time you make a mistake. Write yourself a note that will help you do whatever you have to do better the next time, and don’t stress about what you could have done before. Do your best to make it right and then move on.
We’ve all had bad nights out. The trick is to be able to learn from them. Figure out what you should have been doing to make yourself happier and healthier, mentally and physically, and then do it. As the sage Lorelei Gilmore once said, “Everybody screws up…That’s what happens. It’s what you do with the screw-ups, it’s how you handle the experience, that’s what you should judge yourself by.”
4. Keep Your Desk Clean
I’m all for attempting to keep your whole room clean, but we all know how difficult that can be when you have to find something to wear to pretty much anything. Keeping your desk clean, however, is an important part of keeping your life organized while at college. Whether you live at home or on campus, an organized desk is a helpful tool in making sure you can get all of your work done when it is supposed to be done (which is often the hard part). When you’re constantly getting different assignments and syllabi from professors, it’s easy for something to get lost in a pile on your desk.
Instead of hurriedly searching for papers and handouts on your desk before class, keep it organized prior to class time and write things on a Post-it when you know they need to get done. When you can clearly see all of your assignments hanging up on cute little neon squares, you’re much more likely to do them (on time!). I’ve missed a few assignments because I had lost the assignment sheet and forgotten about it (oops!). Once I organized my desk and started writing everything down, life became much easier!
5. Don’t Change For Other People
When joining a new group or organization on campus, it is easy to want to sway your views and opinions to align with those of the group. But it is important to remember that the most awesome part about you is you. Your individuality and personality make you unique and special, so don’t give in to what you think other people on campus want you to be. Join the groups that make you feel comfortable and valued. Skip the ones that make you feel like you have to change to fit the mold of everyone else. At the end of the day the only thing that matters is feeling good about yourself, not what is necessarily “cool” (I have yet to meet many intelligent people who still consider things “cool” and “uncool” in college).
Campus reputation is only important to those who are are uninformed and on the outside of a group. If you feel happy and respected, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Surround yourself with people who remind you of that fact and do what makes you feel like you.
6. Get Fit
I know this is often the least fun on the resolution and goal lists, but it is an important one. Getting fit at school can be one of the easiest things to do, with an on-campus gym and a dining hall full of fruits and veggies. Get yourself into a workout routine that fits into your class schedule and do the one thing that most people (including myself) find to be the most difficult: stick to it!
Working out only gets easier with time, and you will feel (and look- say hello to post-workout glowy skin) ten times better. And for your post-workout meals, take advantage of the healthier options in the dining hall. There are often a wide selection of fruits and vegetables you can eat to get your daily dose of vitamins and important nutrients.
7. But Don’t Forget To Treat Yo-Self
Take a page out of Donna and Tom’s book and treat. yo. self. If you’ve never seen the “Treat Yourself” episode of Parks and Recreation, check out season four for some inspiration in the self-indulgence field. Whether you finished a paper or feel like you just had a generally awesome day, reward yourself with whatever makes you happy. Go get yourself a cookie, a piece of cake, or that one makeup item you’ve had your eye on for weeks. Know what makes you happy and do what makes you happy. For me, it’s coffee. After I’ve done pretty much anything, you can find me by the coffee. Find out what works for you, treat yourself, and have your best semester ever!
[Lead image via Anna Demjanenko/Shutterstock]

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