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Setting Monthly Academic Goals

It doesn’t take a poorly-acted high school movie to point out the academic pressure that high school and university students are under. Mid-term exams, SAT’s, college entrance exams, finals, challenge exams… they’re all seemingly nothing more than ways for the average student to spend a few weeks stressing out every year.

That may be true, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t excel at them. Statistics show that highly-educated people with college or university degrees make, on average, $20,000 per year more than people without similar education. I know you’ve heard this all before, but let’s talk about the reality of that statement: Twenty freakin thousand dollars! We’re not talking the difference between $10 an hour and $10.25 an hour, we’re talking the difference between $10 an hour and $20 an hour- that’s big money.

Many intelligent and capable people never succeed academically, and it’s not because they weren’t smart enough or didn’t have the opportunity. A lot of the time it’s simply because the student wasn’t able to focus their academic efforts, or that the motivation wasn’t strong enough. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and no one wants to have to repeat classes that they took in high school in order to be acceptable for university entrance.

The Important of Academic Goals

Setting academic goals is similar to writing a to-do list. Every time you accomplish one of the items of the to-do list (a goal), you cross it off and begin working on the next one. It doesn’t matter what the goal is- what’s important is the fact that you took the time to clearly label and identify it as something that you want to accomplish. The next step, actually going out and accomplishing the goal, is much easier when you have a tangible way of identifying what you’re working toward.

These goals become important because they give you something to strive to accomplish, and once they’ve been accomplished, it gives you something to remember when you are striving to accomplish the next goal. There’s no feeling as good as the satisfaction of knowing that you actually accomplished something that you set out to do.

As a student your goals are probably going to be related to your current class load. They may be something like “get an 85 on the next Bio test” or “study the basic principles of organic chemistry”. Either way, the first step to accomplishing your goals is by rationalizing and prioritizing them. All it takes is a second to clearly define why you have set out to accomplish them and what their importance is to you.

Accomplishing Your Academic Goals

The most important thing is to never lose sight of your objective. The means to that objective, be they more time spent studying or to take your teachers seriously when they are conducting class review, are not nearly as important to the end. In other words, if you have to spend the next 50 hours in the library studying it’s of little consequence assuming you actually did get that 85 on your bio test.

So, as the deadline approaches, be prepared to work hard to meet it. There is no personal sacrifice too great (within reason,obviously) when it comes to meeting your goal requirements. Actually accomplishing what you set out to do takes a lot of personal willpower, so don’t forget to reward yourself once you’ve done it.

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