Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Year 2: Goals for Spring 2015

This is it, folks. The fourth and final semester of my #SAgrad experience. It seems that just last week I was stressing out over which programs would accept me and where I would end up in the following months. Now, I find myself in a strangely similar situation, only instead of worrying about a graduate program, I'm unsure of what institution will want me to join their team as a full-time staff member/real life person. Guys, at some point in the next few months, I'm going to be pretty dang close being to an actual adult. WHAT.

With the students being back in action at all of the campuses I work at, graduate classes starting next Monday, and my Master's degree so close I can taste it, I think now is the perfect time for me to set some serious goals for myself to take me through this last semester before REALLY being forced into the real world. I'm nervous, I'm unsure, but I'm ready.

1. Make relationships a bigger priority | I would say that I definitely neglected my relationships with friends, family, and even with Brett a little bit throughout my experience as a graduate student. I'm very lucky to have extremely supportive people in my life that understand that I can't call them or spend time with them due to my busy schedule, but at the end of the day, they're the ones that are there for me through thick and thin and I really need to start making them a larger priority in my life. I hope to make a much bigger effort to spend time with them as I near the end of my grad experience.

2. Maintain GPA & graduate with honors | Similar to last semester, I would love to keep my GPA up. I was able to graduate with honors from my undergraduate institution, and although I know GPA and grades aren't really what gives you a job after graduation, it's something that I'll feel accomplished about if I am able to pull off again as a graduate student.

3. Embrace creativity | For Christmas I was fortunate enough to receive a wide variety of arts and crafts materials, as well as a new GoPro camera. I really want to make the most of these gifts and really tap into my creativity. I find that I can let out the most stress when I'm running and when I'm creating, I think I've focused more on running than creating while I've been in grad school because running allows you to shut your brain off while creating forces you to use your brain, which is often the last thing I want to do when I get home after a 13+ hour day of problem solving at work and learning new things in class. However, I know that creating is something I always say I wish I had more time for, so I intend to try and squeeze in a bit more creativity in my life this semester in order to satisfy that wish.

4. Chin up, chin up, chin up! | I'm going to be honest here: I am definitely not looking forward to the job search process. Dealing with uncertainty and rejection are not my strongest qualities, but those are both things that I'm going to have to deal with frequently over the next few months. I have to remember that it's all part of the process and that I will wind up where I need to be. This will also be a great opportunity to lean on my first goal a bit, and remind myself why the people I have in my life are so special. They make my heart feel full when the rest of me is feeling a bit empty!

5. Make time for at least one race | As I'm picturing this semester, I'm having a hard time factoring in any sort of race. I'm hoping to make time for at least one race to keep my mind focused on something other than how stressed out I am! I have a few half marathons in mind, so we'll see when/where I'll be running this semester.

6. Spend more time away from screens | I spend most of each day staring at a screen for work. During breaks, I'll typically stare at my phone screen checking Twitter, Instagram, or reading blog posts. When I'm in class, I'm typically staring at a projection screen for 3 hour lectures. When I get home at night, I continue to stare at a TV screen or the screen of my iPad watching Netflix, or at the screen of my computer typing this or that for class. I spend A LOT of time staring at screens, and I'd like to reduce that time if at all possible. As I mentioned in goal #3, I could spend some time painting or drawing, I could spend some more time curling up with a book that I actually want to read, or I can devote more time talking to the people I care about. I want to get away from staring at screens for every waking second, if at all possible!

7. Keep moving forward | Similar to #4, I need to remember that even if things aren't moving as quickly as I'd like them to in the job search process, it doesn't mean other aspects of my life have to completely stop. There's a serious possibility that I may not have a job lined up on graduation day, but that doesn't mean the world is going to stop spinning. I can move forward with my relationships. I can move forward with my running, blogging, and art. I can move forward on a lot of aspects of my life while I'm waiting for my career to begin. I just need to remember that it's okay to not have everything in life figured out!


Like I did in the fall, I'm going to print the image used in this post and stick it at my work desk, in my home office, and in my Filofax, so I can see my goals throughout the whole semester. These goals are a bit daunting but I think they'll be attainable if I just keep them in mind. I'll give you an update of how I did after graduation (again - WHAT.)!

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