11 Goals to Attain to Have a Successful Academic School Year Marketing and Communications | October 3, 2023 The goals you set for yourself should be SMART. That’s to say they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This is especially true for those academic goals you’ve set to help yourself succeed in college. What’s that you say? You haven’t really set any academic goals? Never fear. Today is a good day to begin. What Are Academic Goals? Students set academic goals to help them achieve specific objectives. For college students, this can mean many things. An example of an academic goal might be to study for one hour every night or to use study apps, such as Quizlet or Duolingo, to prepare for tests. What are the best goals to set as a student? Not surprisingly, it depends on various factors. If you’re trying to make the Dean’s List every semester, then good academic goals might be to attend every class, organize your notes nightly, and start a study group of like-minded individuals. Then again, if your main objective is to graduate in three years, instead of four, your goals might be to minimize all outside distractions, such as working or socializing with friends, until you’ve reached the requirements for graduation. Basically, academic goals are ones that help you reach your academic milestones, such as having a good GPA or at least passing that impossible calculus class. To be successful academically, students need specific objectives they can work on throughout the semester. In this way, everything may result in a positive outcome at the end. Academic Goals for Students: Have you set academic goals for yourself this school year? Small steps lead to big strides, and setting small, achievable goals along the way can lead to big accomplishments. To this end, we’ve put together a sampling of good academic goals that college students can use to find success. 1. Be Resilient Merriam-Webster defines resilience as the ability “to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” This means if you fail a quiz or perform badly on a test, you shouldn’t let it derail your dreams. It means not giving up simply because somebody else got the scholarship on which you were counting or because the university you most wanted to attend rejected your application. Resilience is an important skill to cultivate because it’s one you’ll need all your life. If you make it a goal to pick yourself up and dust off as often as necessary, you’ll eventually arrive at where you want to be. And this is what we refer to as “success.” 2. Strong Time Management Skills Do you manage time well? Mobile apps can help, so can setting aside small blocks of time to devote to study, rewriting your notes, or getting enough sleep at night. According to Slack, these simple routines can improve the way you get it all done: Prioritize tasks from most important to least. Stick to a daily routine. Knock out the hard stuff first. Set time limits. Get organized and stay that way. Say “no” when you need to. You should also consider using time-management tools, such as OneDrive or Google Calendar, to help you plot out chunks of time and keep everything organized. 3. Make Time to Read College requires a lot of reading, so the sooner you dig in, the easier it will be to keep up. Reading a little each day is much easier than trying to consume four tedious chapters of world history in one sitting. Make time to read, whether it’s as you’re drifting off to sleep at night or during that 20-minute break between classes. 4. Attend All Your Classes Attendance is vital in college, not because the school is going to send notes home if you’re absent, but because skipping class makes it easier to fall behind. Even if your assignments are posted online each day whether you’re in class or not, showing up ensures you don’t miss out on important lectures or in-class lab work. 5. Build Connections/Network Networking is important, too. After all, most people who attend college do so because they’re preparing to find work in a specific field. This is why it’s never too early to make yourself known to your professors and school alumni. Getting involved with on-campus activities is also recommended. Get to know as many people as you can, polish up your online presence on sites such as LinkedIn, and consider creating an online portfolio of your best work to show prospective employers when the time is right. 6. Do Your Homework Study, study, study. Dive in and get the homework done right away, before procrastination can set in. Make sure to get assignments turned in on time and show quality work. This is not the area you want to sacrifice when it comes to saving time. 7. Stay Positive A positive attitude will take you far, and it will also make it easier to face each new day, even if that particular day includes back-to-back finals. A good trick for staying positive in school is to surround yourself with other positive people. Having Negative Nancy or Sad Steve by your side all day can take a toll on more than just your mood. It can affect your overall performance and make you feel tired and depleted too early in the day. 8. Make the Dean’s List Making the Dean’s List is always a good academic goal. This involves earning a high GPA for the semester, which is usually 3.75 or higher. Most colleges also require that you be enrolled full time to qualify for the Dean’s list. 9. Exercise Exercise is important because it not only benefits your body, but it can affect your cognitive state, as well. Exercise can improve focus, help you de-stress, and make it easier to sleep at night. So, when you can find the time, get out there and get moving. 10. Be Confident Confidence can be tricky, especially if you’re someone who is naturally shy or reluctant to engage with others. Still, feeling confident in your own abilities is a great way to boost your academic performance. Lots of preparation and good organizational skills can make you feel more confident as you’re walking in to finals. 11. Find Time to Relax and Make Time for Yourself Relaxation counts, too. So, if you’re feeling harried and harassed, it’s time to set a few goals for your own comfort. Get plenty of sleep, sunshine, and exercise. And make time for wellness activities, such as meditation, mindfulness, or yoga. Eat healthy meals and spend some downtime with friends and family. Taking care of your own needs is a wonderful way to recharge. Start Pursuing a Degree, Today Do you feel ready to begin your college career? If so, we invite you to explore the many degree options available at Carson-Newman University, in Jefferson City, TN. Carson-Newman University is a faith-based institution of higher learning that offers more than 60 majors and graduate degrees. Earn your associate’s, your doctorate, and every level in between. And choose from an exciting and dynamic assortment of programs, including fashion, nutrition, science, teaching, nursing, and religion. You’ll love the Christian atmosphere and friendly and helpful faculty at Carson-Newman University. Contact us today for more information on enrolling for our next semester.