Refining Your Academic Goals Midstream


Over the next few weeks, millions of college students will be returning to campus to begin the ironically named spring semester. With the coldest winter in recent memory upon us, some students won’t see any respite from the freeze until spring break, if then.

college studentThough nothing can be done about the weather, there is plenty you can do about something that may be of concern to you: your grades. Are you satisfied with your grades for the fall semester? Or, are you looking for ways to improve your grades or get the most out of your college experience?

Let’s take a look at some steps you can take right now to prepare to finish this academic year on an up note:

Take charge of your schooling – You are in charge of your education even if your parents foot the bill. Only you can establish the patterns you need to help you succeed although your family and friends can help. With this attitude, you will remind yourself that you are an adult and, unlike high school, you are in college because you choose to be there.

Reach higher – Getting Cs and Bs may be enough to help you graduate, but are you being challenged to rise to the next level? Getting good grades is certainly important, but are you learning everything you possibly can? Once you leave college, you will enter the world of work. What sets you apart from other students which would make someone want to hire you? Do not get caught up in the pack; be the lead dog where the view is always nicer!

Travel abroad – If you want to enrich your educational experience and build a more interesting resume, then studying abroad for at least one semester can be to your benefit. We live in a global economy, a village of sorts where people from around the world are mingling as never before. Having a cultural experience beyond the US is invaluable and is also something that employers will notice.

Attend your classes – Unless you are sick, be prepared to attend every class, lecture, or lab. There is no reason to ever miss a class other than an emergency or illness. Get to class ahead of time, find your seat, open your notebook, and be prepared to take notes. Ask thoughtful questions and participate in other discussions. Find the class to be dull or the professor uninspiring? Think how you can contribute to making a difference for you and your classmates.

Study on schedule – Cramming for tests may work for some students, but the retention level of material taught is considerably lower than the student who develops good study habits. Study daily, find a quiet place, and create a routine that works for you. If you manage your time wisely, you will learn more, be less stressed, and enjoy college more. Plus, you will understand the material and get better grades on papers and tests.

Tap college sources – In addition to offering classes, a place to sleep, and food, your college is there to help you with other needs including helping you handle personal matters. If you are struggling with an emotional problem such as loneliness, sadness, despair, or other matter, then visit a college counseling center for help. Do you need part time work or are you looking for work experience? Get with the career development department for help. Speak with your adviser as needed, set up an appointment with your professors, and seek the help of a tutor if you are struggling with a subject.

Enjoy yourself – All study and no play makes for a very dull student. Though you may be exceptionally bright or prefer to spend much of your free time alone, you can certainly benefit by taking some much needed breaks. Consider joining a student organization, involving yourself with a club, attending a party, enjoying a sporting event, joining an intramural team, and more. Let like minded people encourage you and offer the same for them – you will enjoy college more and your grades will reflect it!

Four years of college can zoom by before you know, years that you can never make up and time that will influence you for the decades ahead. Take charge of the spring semester, refining your habits to improve your college experience as well as your grades.

Adv. – Are you heading off to college in January for the first time? If so, visit for tips and related information to help make your move a good one.  Please visit to help you to save money on all things you will need while away from home.


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