7 Educational Goals For The 2016 Semester

Most college students are preparing for, if not already enjoying, the holiday break away from school, essays, tests, and lectures. Before you get back to class, however, the New Year will have arrived, and with it a new opportunity to make the most of your educational career while you still can. Most people simply concern themselves with worrying about new classes, meeting new teachers, taking on new material, and other such start-of-term concerns. But if you want to achieve a little more this semester, or learn more than your coursework will actually cover, you can try setting yourself a list of personal educational goals you wish to achieve before the summer rolls around. Here are a few ideas to help get you started.

1. Make a reading list

If you want to learn more or simply scratch some numbers off of your current reading list, make a new list of books to read each week or month. You can work in a schedule to your student planner to read during lunch or for 30 minutes before bed. The knowledge you can gain from reading a book, even a novel or book of poetry, can be insurmountable and possibly even beneficial to your education. 

2. Take a new elective

Electives are great because they truly allow you the opportunity to learn something you have a legitimate interest in. Sure you can use them to simply maintain your GPA, but if you have a legit interest in learning about one of your interests or hobbies, branch out and carefully consider which elective(s) you would like to take this semester.

3. Get a higher GPA

If you are concerned about graduating in the top 20 or even achieving valedictorian status, or you simply want to improve your grades from last semester, make getting a higher GPA one of your goals for the new term. You can take a couple of electives that you know you will excel in, or you can make yourself buckle down and take your studies more seriously. A good way to start is by making a schedule and sticking to it: attend every class and take quality notes on the lecture or subject, don’t procrastinate on getting assignments done, and be sure to study every day so that you are familiar enough with the material by the time the test day comes.

4. Attend social events

Maybe you want to meet more people attending your university this year. If so, participating in student-organized events around campus is a great way to get out and socialize with fellow students and make new friends that you will have once you’ve left college behind. Many activities are also held at locations off campus, which also provides you with the chance to get to know people in your local community. There are plenty of ways you can be more sociable around campus; it only really takes the effort to leave the dorm room. 

5. Explore your city

A great way to pass the time during college, other than studying of course, is by exploring the city your college or university is located in. You might have stayed home to attend a local university, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get more familiar with your hometown, and if you are in a new city altogether, staying isolated on and around campus is definitely not going to do you any favors.

There is so much to offer by going out and exploring a city that can even help improve the value of your education. Pay a visit to the art, history, and science museums, walk around and look at historical architecture, and explore the different neighborhoods to better understand the people of your city. The educational possibilities are nearly endless; if nothing else, you can at least learn how to get around!

6. Volunteer at your school

Participating in some volunteer activities is another great way to up the value of your educational experience. Offering to tutor other students in a subject you are familiar with can be a great way to help yourself study. You can also volunteer to serve as a TA for one of your professors if you would like the chance to get more familiar with the class material.

7. Get a job in your field

A great way to get a heads-up in your industry is to look into internships or small part-time jobs that can get you some real-world experience. If you are a business major (depending on your specialty (eg. marketing, accounting, ect.)), look for a job with a business you find interesting, volunteer or work as a CNA if you are a nursing major, and look for paralegal internships if you are a law student. There are plenty of businesses that can offer some form of real-world experience to college students, so take the opportunity and make the most of your education with the new semester, and the New Year.