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Explore the latest trends, tips, and experiences in college life in this blog written by fellow students.

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    Making SMART Goals for the New Year

    Kristi Yamashita

    It’s 2020! The beginning of a new semester or quarter makes many college students think about what goals they can set in order to get the best start to the new year.  Whether your goal is to keep your room clean, improve your study habits, or find a job or internship for the summer, you should keep the acronym S.M.A.R.T. in mind. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.  In order to better understand this concept, I am going to use an example goal of getting good grades in school.

    Be specific

    To make this goal specific, you should be descriptive about what you want to improve or achieve.  Rather than simply saying that you want good grades in school, you could make your goal be to receive grades high enough to be recognized on the Dean’s List. You can get on the Dean’s List by having a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Being specific makes it harder to defer from it or change it once you have made it.

    Make it measurable

    A measurable goal is one that you can track your progress in.  For this goal in particular, you can track your progress by looking at your school portal which displays your scores on tests, assignments, and participation.  This will allow you to gauge how well you are doing and if you are on the right track to achieving your goal. Making it measurable will also help you recognize when you need to improve.

    Require attainability and relevance

    Goals that are attainable are realistic and can be achieved if you put in your best effort.  Receiving a 3.5 GPA in school is an attainable goal if you know you are capable of getting A’s and B’s in your classes. It is also important to make sure that your goals are relevant to who you are and who you want to become.  Being recognized on the Dean’s List is relevant to me because I am a student, and I am trying to receive the best grades I can during my college career.  

    Define your timeline

    Lastly, your goal should have a clearly defined timeline, including a start date and end date. In order to satisfy this requirement of SMART, you can state that you want to earn a place on the Dean’s List this quarter.  That means that you have set three months for yourself to put in your best effort to achieve your goal. Making a timetable will help you stay motivated to actually get the goal done and not continue to put it off.

    Many people give up on goals, but using the SMART criteria when setting new goals will help you keep on track to actually get them done. By constructing your goals around these five attributes of SMART, you are sure to be on your way to a great year. 


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    College is a Balancing Act

    Kennedy “Dani” Corley

    I’ve always heard that hindsight is 2020, and now more than ever am I thankful that I developed a few tips along the way to make it through college in one piece – and with my degree of course. I assumed college would be fairly similar to high school in terms of the ability to juggle extra-curricular activities, class, and close relationships. Surviving freshman year felt like a breeze until it seemed like there just weren’t enough hours in the day for everything I wanted to accomplish. I always had time for watching an extra episode of my favorite Netflix show or catching a nap in between classes and still carving out time for my studies. 

    I didn’t realize how much time I was actually wasting until I began pledging a business fraternity and working 15 hours a week for my internship all while completing a 16 credit hour semester. I consistently felt overwhelmed and struggled to prioritize not only what was most important, but also time sensitive. After arriving to my apartment late one night, feeling exhausted and not having the chance to complete any of my assignments that entire week, I took some time to develop a few rules to influence myself to give precedence to things and people that were most important. 

    Rule #1: Create a Calendar and Stick to It!

    Google Calendar saved my life and my grades! This online platform allows you to visualize any events, assignments, exams or even lunch dates you have coming up while showing you the breaks you have in your schedule. At the beginning of every semester, I enter my class meeting times, fraternity events or meetings, family events, and everything in between to get a sense of where my time will be devoted every week. This online calendar also provides simple tools such as Tasks where you can enter on specific dates the assignments due, and Reminders which I use to remind me when bills are due or when to order a birthday gift. There is even an Events tool which allows you to specify the date, time, and location of any event going on. The visual aspect allowed me to see when I had time between classes or meetings to grab lunch or get some studying done. 

    Rule #2: You’re in College to get a Degree

    This is the first step of prioritizing your time and effort into something you originally came to college to accomplish. Gaining a well-rounded education definitely includes performing well in your area of study, but also how to spend your time outside of class in various clubs or organizations. However, in order to keep your scholarships and GPA intact, always prioritize getting your work done before the deadline. Completing assignments or beginning to study for an exam a few days in advance works wonders not only for your grades but also the availability of time you gain later on. Enjoy the time spent with friends and family along with achieving those academic goals. 

    Rule #3: Self-Care is the Best Care

    Speaking from personal experience, it is so easy to forget the importance of taking care of oneself physically, emotionally and especially mentally over the duration of the semester. We as college students exchange sleep to study for exams, consume tons of coffee to stay energized, and sometimes forget to eat with all things we have going on throughout the day. The significance of breaking away from your schedule to recharge and enjoy your hobbies or your favorite Netflix series is crucial the busier you become. Always remember, you can’t produce your best work if you don’t feel like your best self. 

    Sometimes you may feel like you are drowning, but there is a way to come to the surface. Learning the art of balance will keep you on the right foot and keep you from burning out. Finding what works for you earlier rather than later will keep you focused and stress free.


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    New Year's Resolutions: Making realistic and achievable goals

    Rachel Hutchinson

    As the holidays approach, excitement and joy fill our lives, but sitting in the back of our minds is the pressure we feel to make phenomenal New Year’s resolutions. Thinking of resolutions can be easy, the most common being eating healthier and working out more often, but the difficult part is sticking to them. I believe that resolutions are valuable, but only if you put in effort to truly make the change. I have had the resolution of eating healthier for countless years, and it usually only lasts a few weeks, then I start again the next January. I am sure many of you can relate to this struggle. This year I have three New Year’s resolutions, including monthly budgeting, complimenting at least two people a day, and meal prepping. Here’s my plan for the new year plus some tips for creating and achieving your own goals for 2020!

    Monthly Budgeting

    When forming my resolutions, rather than vaguely stating “save money,” I am making specific goals that I know I have a better chance of following. By having a specific plan for budgeting and even creating a spreadsheet for how much I want to spend, I will actually save more money and have fun while doing it! Keeping an idea of how much you spend and what you spend it on each month will make you more aware of areas where you can cut back on frivolous purchases and make better budgeting decisions.

    Say Nice Things 

    My next resolution, complimenting people, is a part of a goal I have to be kinder, or as I like to say, kill them with kindness! However, a resolution simply to be kinder to others is vague and might not be extremely effective. That is why I have committed to give a compliment to at least two people a day. This is one everyone should try because kindness can go a long way! You never know what someone is going through, so give someone something to smile about and change their day.

    Make Ahead Meals

    Finally, I have decided to meal prep. Telling myself I will eat healthy is one thing, but actually preparing meals weekly and planning out healthy snacks is another. Meal prepping is a great way to stick to a diet and I am so excited to give it a try! Making things ahead saves you a lot of time — something most college students don’t have a lot of anyway.

    As 2019 ends, I want you to think about areas for improvement in your life and instead of creating simple resolutions, take a minute to brainstorm real goals that are realistic and achievable. Good luck everyone! Let’s make this your year!