Going to college is one of life’s biggest adventures. You get to meet new people, learn more about who you really are, and you get your first taste of independence. You’ll have the time of your life with all of the social events that are going on around you. You’ll find your tribe and create life-long memories with your new friends.
Sounds exciting, right? While this is all part of the journey, it’s important to remember why you’re in college in the first place and, ultimately your goal should be to get the absolute most from your education. But how do you do that and how can you stay focused?
One of the most important things a student can do is set goals. Having a focus will give a roadmap to follow, helping you stay on track when there are distractions around. Without goals, it can be very easy to lose focus and motivation. Sit down with a pen and paper and think about where you want to be at the end of the year and think about where you want to be at the end of your studies. When you have answers, use them to set academic ambitions, career targets, and personal development goals.
One of the best ways to set targets is by using the S.M.A.R.T system. This system stands for Specific (you must go into great detail about what you want), Measurable (can you track your progress towards reaching that goal), Achievable (is it really achievable or are you being unrealistic), Relevant (the goal should align with your values and long-term plan), and Time-bound (set a realistic time limit on when you should accomplish your goal).
Eliminate Financial Stress
We spend so much of our time worrying about money and college is no different. Will you have enough funds to pay for the fees? What about rent and living expenses? These are all valid concerns but it’s important not to let stress take over and interfere with your performance at school. Start looking to funding options long before you graduate from high school. Are you eligible for scholarships? Students that get scholarships for college don’t have to worry about money as tuition, book fees, and education costs are covered. If, at some point, you feel like financial worry is taking hold of you, be sure to reach out to a friend or family member and let them know how you’re feeling.
Don’t Compete Where It Doesn’t Matter
A little competition is healthy, but it becomes problematic when you start to compare yourself to others. You may think that they’re smarter than you, or that they have their life together more than you do. You may think that they’ll do better than you and that you’re not good enough. This level of competitive thinking can be one of the early signs of burnout and as a student you won’t be able to sustain your studies while being that stressed out.
The important thing to remember is everyone is different. We all progress at a different pace and we all have specific needs and wants. Instead of feeling interior, channel your energy into the motivation to work harder and smash your goals.