Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Year 2: Goals for Fall 2014

It's here everyone. September is *officially* happening and I can *officially* say I'm a second year #SAgrad and a third year new #SApro. When did that happen?

Work's been in (relatively) full-swing since the beginning of August and all of the students at both Dean and BSU moved in yesterday (Clark, where I'm doing my graduate internship, already kicked things off last Monday!), so all that's missing is adding my classes, aka the most stressful part about this grad experience, back into the mix, which happens tomorrow! (Seriously, where did summer go?) So, in the spirit of my final College Survival Series post of the month of August that I shared on Sunday, I thought it would be fitting for me to share my own goals for this upcoming semester!

1. Set a daily deadline for self-care | I am taking on a LOT this semester. I still have all of my responsibilities that I had last year and I'm still taking on a full graduate course load (3 classes), but this year I'm adding in my graduate internship at Clark University as well as making time to visit Brett at his new institution (which is about an hour away from where I live, but conveniently close to my internship) while he's in season. It was hard for me to find time to prioritize myself last year, and I'm sure it's going to be even harder this semester.

One of my classmates (who is ahead of me in the program as far as progress goes and has had time to figure things like this out) had mentioned that she always shut everything down in terms of work and academics at a certain time of night so she could focus on taking care of herself (sleep/binge watching Netflix/spending quality time with her S/O). I was baffled at the thought (you mean you don't do marathon paper-writing sessions until your eyeballs feel like they're going to drop out of your skull like the rest of us?!) but the more that I've thought about her self-care technique, the more I fell in love with the idea. This may not work for every night of the semester (I do work some nights at my Dean job, and there will be times when I'll have to burn the midnight oil on an assignment) but if I can focus on wrapping everything up by a certain time each day (let's say 10:30/11) I can fit the things that I enjoy into my hectic schedule.

2. Exercise at least 3x per week | My fitness suffered last year and I was really unhappy about that. It's difficult to find the time and energy to exercise when it's still dark when you leave for work in the morning, it's dark long before you leave class at night, and the only gym you have access to is not open during the hours you're available (early morning/late night). I don't want that to stop me this year. I have exercise bands that Brett bought me, I have some weights I can use, and I know a lot of body weight exercises that don't require anything but myself. I'm sure there's time at least 3 times a week that I can dedicate to my fitness!

3. Stick to my blogging schedule | I'm really enjoying my blogging schedule. It prompts me to write and focus on a hobby that I really enjoy. I'm hoping that having topics in mind long before I click "New Post" will help me take care of my little space on the internet and motivate me to stay consistent with it, because I know my blog was definitely put on the back burner during the last school year.

4. Read for pleasure at least once a day | Even if it's just for 5 minutes before I pass out at night, or a chapter while I'm drinking my morning coffee. It's always been difficult to make time for reading I want to do when there's so much reading I have to do (with the exception of the years leading up to college, as I had about an hour-long bus ride twice a day for K-12!). I love books and I love reading and I want to make sure I'm doing a reading bit of what I want to read each day.

5. Keep my GPA up | My GPA has been the highest it's ever been over this past year (currently a cumulative 3.914) and it's something that I've worked my ass off to reach and maintain. It's something that I'm really proud of and I would hate to see it slip in any sort of significant way. I want to continue to work hard to keep it as high as it is. I'm a bit nervous this semester because I'm taking a class that everyone keeps saying is a real grade-killer, but I'm hoping to focus a lot of attention onto that course to make sure I do the best I can in it. I have a personal goal of graduating with a 3.7 or higher, but maintaining a 3.9 would be pretty sweet too!

6. Don't wish time away | I keep catching myself saying things like "I can't wait 'til I graduate!" or "Just one more year!" Even if this is true, I want to stop verbalizing it. This is an extremely stressful time in my life, but it's also a very exciting time of my life. I have the opportunity to work with 3 very different (and very awesome!) student populations all at once and am learning so much with every day that goes by. I'm starting to really come into my own and identify what's important to me in my Student Affairs education and career. I still have a lot to learn and will be learning my whole life, but this is a prime time in my life to do so. No need to rush it all away!

7. Smile through the stress! :) | This is something that I've been trying to practice this summer. Sometimes things can get so ridiculous that all I can do is laugh to get through it. I have a feeling I'll be laughing a lot this semester (it's gonna get crazy!) and I think that's much better than getting upset. Attitude is everything!


As I suggested in my CSS post, I'm going to print out that little image of my goals and put it right at my desk at work, my home office, and in my Life Planner, right where I can see them. Writing out this post actually made me excited to tackle this semester! (Let's see if I'm saying the same thing at the end of October... >_>) I'll give y'all an update at the end of the semester to review how I did! :)

What are your goals for the fall?

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