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50 Short Term Goals For College

Why do we need to set short term goals for college? Excellent question.

The college years are a time of huge transition and growth. It’s a time when students are figuring out who they are and what they want to do with their lives. They’re also working towards long-term goals like getting a degree and planning for a career.

While it’s important to have long-term goals, it’s just as important to set short-term goals for college. These goals can help students stay on track and make the most of their time in school. If you’re starting college in the near future, this post will guide you through some goal setting and college goals.

What are short-term goals for college?

Setting short-term goals for college means looking at the year or semester level. These types of goals are important because they help you stay focused on what’s most important and make sure you are making the necessary progress to reach your long term goals.

High school students who are new to college might find college a bit overwhelming at first. This list is designed to help you set personal goals that will earn you more than your college degree.

Keep in mind you don’t need to set more than a few short term goals at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with this list. Let’s look at 50 examples of short-term goals to set in college.

50 Short Term Goals For College:

1. Get good grades and maintain a high GPA

Your short term goal for the semester could be to get all A’s and maintain a 4.0 GPA. I will caution you and say that grades a not everything. Your academic success isn’t the only predictor of your future. It is okay to get a B or even a C in college. The world will not stop turning.

2. Become involved in extracurricular activities and clubs.

Join a club or extracurricular that is interesting to you or related to your career path. Many colleges offer a ton of clubs and extracurricular activities to choose from. Pick ones you’re interested in and you’ll meet more people!

3. Meet new friends and get involved in social activities.

Make an effort to meet new people and get involved in social activities. There are also a lot of events on college campuses – check them out! The important thing is that you’re putting yourself out there. You’re allowed to have a social life in college! This is good to work on your communication skills too.

4. Start working on your degree requirements.

Make sure you are making progress toward completing your degree requirements. If you haven’t already, talk with your advisor about your college plan and the classes you plan to take each semester to complete your degree.

Four years might feel like a long time but it will go by in a flash! The ultimate goal is making the most of your college experience!

5. Find a part-time or full-time job to help pay for tuition and other expenses.

Part-time jobs are typically easy to find on and near college campuses. If your schedule allows, pick a part-time shift to earn extra money.

short term goals for college

6. Develop good time management and study habits.

Put study time into your schedule. Typically for every one hour of class you have per week, you need to schedule two hours of study time. Schedule out your days based on this.

7. Get involved in campus life and attend campus events.

Make it a goal to go to one campus event per month! There’s often free food at these events so if you can go weekly, even better.

8. Stay healthy and active by exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet.

It’s easy in college to get carried away with junk food and being sedentary. If you can’t make it to the gym every day, aim for 2-3 times per week. This is a great example of short term goals for college that support your long-term goals!

9. Take advantage of opportunities to travel and explore new places.

Many times there are travel opportunities available, even if it is just to local museums and historical places. Take advantage if you can!

10. Develop leadership skills by taking on roles in student organizations.

Once you’re a junior or a senior, take on a leadership role. This could be running for president, vice president, treasurer, or secretary of an organization. This looks great on resumes!

11. Use your resources!

Take advantage of the career center, tutoring services, and other services your college offers. Go to at least one of these resources once a month.

12. Learn more about your field of interest and what you can do with your degree.

Research careers in your field of interest. If you know what you want to do after college, look into graduate programs and other opportunities that can help you reach your goals.

13. Participate in an internship or job shadowing experience.

If there are opportunities for internships or job shadowing, take advantage of them! These are great ways to gain experience in your field and learn more about what you want to do after graduation.

14. Start thinking about graduate school and taking the necessary steps to apply.

If you plan on going to graduate school, start researching programs and taking the necessary steps to apply. The sooner you start, the better!

15. Consider studying abroad to expand your horizons and learn about new cultures.

If you’re interested in studying abroad, start planning the semester or year before. This way you can find a program that interests you and fits into your schedule.

16. Be active in your classes and participate in discussions.

Make an effort to be actively involved in your classes. This means participating in discussions, asking questions, and being engaged with the material.

17. Make connections with your professors and build relationships with them.

Get to know your professors. Attend office hours, introduce yourself after class, and ask them questions. These connections can be helpful down the road, especially when you need a letter of recommendation.

18. Find a mentor who can help guide you through your college journey.

A mentor can be a great resource. They can help you navigate college, offer advice, and be a sounding board for your ideas.

16. Take care of your mental and emotional health by managing stress and seeking help when needed.

It’s important to take care of your mental and emotional health in college. Be aware of your stress levels and seek help if you need it. You’re allowed to have a personal life outside of getting an education.

Don’t forget to take care of your well-being on a daily basis. This could look like having a set morning routine or evening routine where you practice self-care and rest.

short term goals for college

17. Make new friends.

In college, you’ll meet so many new people. Some you will connect with immediately and some you might not. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and make new friends.

18. Join a club or student organization.

This is a great way to get involved on campus, meet new people, and explore your interests.

19. Get involved in research.

If you’re interested in research, talk to your professors about opportunities to get involved. This is a great way to gain experience and learn more about your field.

If you’re hoping to go to grad school, this is an important part of your college education. Educational goals are more than just getting good grades.

17. Learn about different cultures and lifestyles by interacting with diverse groups of people.

In college, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with people from all different backgrounds. Take advantage of this by learning about their cultures and lifestyles. There are oftentimes various clubs and events for different cultures and celebrations.

18. Be open to new experiences and trying new things.

College is a time for exploring new things! Be open to new experiences and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Set a goal to try one new thing a month each semester!

19. Stay organized and keep on top of your responsibilities by using planning and time management tools.

Try out different tools like a physical planner, Notion or ClickUp until you find what works for you.

20. Seek out new opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Constantly look for ways to grow as a person and professional. Attend workshops, seminars, and conferences. Read books and articles. Follow people you admire on social media. There are endless opportunities for growth if you’re willing to seek them out!

Joining an intramural team or club is a great way to stay active, have fun, and meet new people.

22. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

There’s no shame in admitting when you need help. Whether it’s academic, financial, or personal, there are people and resources available to help you.

23. Be environmentally responsible by conserving energy and resources, and recycling when possible.

We all have a responsibility to take care of the environment. You can do your part by conserving energy and resources, and recycling when possible.

24. Give back to your community through volunteering or other service opportunities.

Find ways to give back to your community. This can be done through volunteering, donating money or supplies, or even just lending a helping hand to someone in need.

25. Live off-campus at least once during your college career.

Living off-campus is a great way to get more involved in the community, learn more independence, and save money.

26. Be an active and engaged citizen in your community.

Get involved in your community! Attend local events, vote in elections, and join community organizations.

27. Establish your LinkedIn profile.

Your LinkedIn profile is a great way to connect with professionals in your field, learn about job opportunities, and network for your career. Be sure to include your education, work experience, skills, and volunteer experiences.

28. Update your resume and cover letter template.

Your resume and cover letter are important tools for your job search. Be sure to update your resume and cover letter periodically throughout your college career

This will make it easier to tailor them to each position you apply for when it comes time for that.

29. Develop your professional network.

Start building your professional network by connecting with professionals in your field, attending networking events, and joining relevant organizations.

30. Attend a career fair.

Career fairs are a great way to learn about different employers, explore job and internship opportunities, and network with professionals.

Put your best foot forward at these events. Come prepared with your resume and dress the part as well. In a see of casual college students, you’ll stand out positively.

31. Practice your interviewing skills at the career center.

The career center is a great resource for practicing your interviewing skills. They can help you with everything from what to wear to how to answer common interview questions.

32. Use the resources at the career center.

The career center can help you with your job search in many ways. They offer resume and cover letter help, mock interviews, job fairs, and more.

33. Read for fun.

Make time for reading in your busy schedule. Reading can help you relax, escape from reality, and learn new things.

34. Get enough sleep!

Getting enough sleep is vital for your health and well-being. Make sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. This is especially important in college when you need your brain to be functioning at maximum capacity.

35. Make one connection in every class.

In every class you take, try to make at least one connection with a fellow student or the professor. You never know when you might need a classmate’s help on an assignment or project. This will help you in the long run when you need someone to study with or ask for a letter of recommendation.

Joining an organization or club related to your field of interest is a great way to get involved on campus, meet like-minded people, and learn more about your chosen field.

37. Go to office hours.

Office hours are a great resource for getting help with assignments, understanding concepts, and building relationships with professors.

38. Get to know your academic advisor.

Your academic advisor can help you plan your course schedule, choose a major, and understand degree requirements. Get to know them and allow them to help you with their knowledge, experience, and connections.

39. Don’t procrastinate!

Procrastination will only make your life more difficult in college. Try to get ahead on assignments whenever possible and stay on top of your workload. This will help to reduce stress and improve your grades.

40. Manage your time wisely.

Time management is key in college. There will be many demands on your time, so you need to learn how to manage it wisely. Make a schedule and stick to it as much as possible. This will help you stay on track and make the most of your time.

41. Set goals for yourself.

Setting goals for yourself will help you stay focused and motivated throughout college. Whether they are academic, personal, or professional goals, having something to strive for will help you make the most of your college experience. That goal can be something as simple as getting an indoor plant and growing lights to take care of it.

42. Join a study group.

Study groups are a great way to meet people in your classes and get help with assignments and studying for exams.

43. Get involved on campus.

Getting involved on campus is a great way to meet new people, learn new things, and make the most of your college experience. There are many different organizations and clubs to get involved in, so there is sure to be something for everyone.

44. Start a savings account.

A savings account is a great way to start planning for your future. You can use it to save for your education, a down payment on a house, or anything else you might need in the future.

45. Upgrade your technology.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to upgrade your technology. Invest in a laptop that will last you through college and beyond. This will be a valuable tool for taking notes, doing research, and writing papers.

46. Learn how to budget.

Budgeting is an important skill to learn in college. You will need to budget your time and your money in order to be successful. There are many resources available to help you learn how to budget, so take advantage of them.

This is just one of the financial goals you can set in college. Getting good with money early in life will help you on your journey to financial securty.

47. Live within your means.

In college, it is easy to get caught up in the lifestyle of spending money on nights out, new clothes, and other things that you don’t really need. Try to live within your means and only spend money on things that are truly necessary.

48. Don’t forget about your health.

It is important to take care of your health in college. This includes eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep. There are many resources on campus to help you with your health, so take advantage of them.

49. Decide on a major before the end of your freshman year.

It is important to decide on a major before the end of your freshman year. This will help you plan your course schedule and make the most of your time in college. There are many resources available to help you choose a major, so take advantage of them.

50. Take one class a year just for fun.

In college, it is important to take classes that you are interested in and that will help you in your future. However, it is also important to take a class just for fun. This can help you relax and enjoy your time in college. This can also help you learn a new skill!

Setting SMART Goals

SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Some examples of SMART goals for college students include:

  • Get a 4.0 GPA this semester.
  • Complete 15 credit hours this semester.
  • Join a club or organization on campus.
  • Study for exams at least two weeks in advance.
  • Get a part-time job to help pay for my tuition.
  • Live off-campus next semester.
  • Will apply for scholarships and financial aid.
  • I will graduate from college in four years.

When you set your short term goals, make them SMART and you’ll see better results! Setting a specific goal within a time frame gives you more focus than setting a loose one.

And all the better if you can make it a measurable goal. Setting SMART goals is the best way to track your progress over time!

In Summary: Short Term Goals For College

College is a lot of hard work, but it can be a lot of fun too! It’s always a good idea to set realistic goals that will help you in your future career and career goals.

These are 50 examples of short term goals for college students. Use these ideas to create your own goals in the coming year and make the most of your time in college. You can also use these goals as inspiration for your long term goals!

College is a time for learning, making connections, and growing as a person. Your college years will go by quickly and four years isn’t as much time as you think. Setting short term goals will help you achieve all you set out to! Good luck!

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.

Website: genthirty.com


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