How to Achieve Your Goals This Semester


One of the most popular ways to get organized is to create to-do lists. Casey Chun/The Fordham Ram.

One of the most popular ways to get organized is to create to-do lists. Casey Chun/The Fordham Ram.
One of the most popular ways to get organized is to create to-do lists. Casey Chun/The Fordham Ram.

By Regan Winter

The beginning of a new semester can signal a boatload of change. Most of you have spent the past three months away from Fordham. You are fresh off a summer-high of traveling, finding new passions and making new friends. Others may be here at Fordham for the first time. It might be your first time living away from home. It might be a new school experience in general.

Regardless, this semester is a fresh start, full of brand new classes, rooms, internships and friends where you can start from scratch. New year, new you, right? I am sure plenty of you have come into this past week motivated to finally ace all of your classes or planning to join a whole host of new clubs. You are going to go to the gym three — no, four — times a week. You are going to get to know your neighbors and RA and maybe even hit the career fair for once.

For plenty of people, this game of planning is old hat. You decide that this semester is the one that you will finally get it all right, but then you hit that slump just before midterms. Suddenly it is more enticing to watch one more episode of Chopped instead of getting a head start on that novel for your literature class and you start to count climbing up four flights of stairs in FMH as your weekly exercise. The big goals you had for your semester get pushed to the back burner and become goals for next semester — yet another fresh start. A new year, a new you.

Well, fellow Rams, I am here to try and help with some advice to keep you afloat this semester and to make sure you at least give your goals the old college try.

Number one: organize and plan ahead. I know if you have heard it once you have heard it a thousand times. And you are going to continue to hear it a thousand more times after this. But that is only because it is true. Find a system that works for you, whether you use to-do lists, physical planners or an online calendar. I personally live and breathe by my iCalendar and iStudiez. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are consistent with how you record your dates, assignments and responsibilities. Get into the habit of putting them all to paper instead of relying on your memory. It will help you stay on top of everything you need to accomplish throughout the semester.

Number two: tell people about your big goals and plans for the semester. Are you finally planning on auditioning for that a cappella group of which you have been dreaming? Maybe you have decided to run in a marathon. Or maybe you are really going to focus on your grades this semester and make time to meet each of your professors. Tell your friends and family that you want to accomplish these things. Get them invested in these goals so that they ask you about them constantly. It will be harder to abandon your goals if you are not quitting on just yourself. Your friends and family will hold you accountable.

Number three: create realistic and attainable goals. Sure, it might be nice to think that you can handle two jobs, clubs, classes, an active social life and downtime for yourself. Maybe this is possible, but part of being realistic is understanding that you are only human and there are times you might fall short. Recognize when you need a break. Recognize when you have tried your hardest, even if you did not get the result you wanted.

The same goes with keeping your goals attainable. You probably will not find the cure to the common cold this semester, but you can at least shoot for getting that A in biology. Know your abilities and challenge them, but do not set yourself up to fail.

Finally: breathe. Things will probably get tough this semester. You will probably feel stressed and overwhelmed and doubtful of yourself. That is perfectly normal. Guess what? It will pass. Just take time to breathe and separate yourself from whatever is bogging you down. Things will not always be easy, but I can assure you that they will eventually get better. Do not forget that.

This semester is going to move faster than you think. Make some plans, accomplish some goals and make this your best semester yet.

Regan Winter, FCRH ’16, is an English and psychology major from West Lawn, Pennslyvania.