5 Reasons why smart college students set semester goals
6 mins read

5 Reasons why smart college students set semester goals

Are you looking to do better in school?

Are you trying to be a better student? Or do you simply want to know why smart college students set semester goals?

Whatever the case may be, you came to the right place!

If you are reading this, then I’m guessing you are a college student.

I think we can both agree that semesters don’t always go as planned

Some semesters turn out to be more chaotic than others. Some semesters turn out to be more overwhelming than others. It’s for that reason that smart college students set semester goals. They know that things don’t always go according to plan. They understand that when that happens, they will need something to help them get back on track.

Yap, there you have it, why smart college students set semester goals.


No. Not really, I’m just kidding.

1. Focus

Setting goals helps them stay focused. At the start of the semester, every student has four or more courses to tackle. Smart students come up with a plan of attack to help them stay the course.  This is the first reason why they set semester goals

It can become very tempting to pay attention to one course more than others or to pay attention to three courses and completely ignore one, listen, been there done that.

Setting semester goals will help combat this.


Setting goals like getting an A in all courses in a given semester means that you have to allocate study time for each course. Meaning fair allocation of time across all courses throughout the semester. With this, they can easily meet their goals.

2. Track progress

Have you ever heard of the saying, “if it can be measured, it can be improved”?

Goals are like measurements.

Setting semester goals allow smart college students to track progress. A semester goal could be something like attending more classes in a given semester.

You might be wondering how that could be tracked, simple.

Begin by looking at how many classes you attended on average across all your classes last semester, then improve on that average across all your classes this semester.

3. Priorities

Smart college students set semester goals because goals help them prioritize. Being in school is a huge commitment, I think we can all agree on that. We can also agree that things always pop up, right?

Something here, something there that you will either be asked to prioritize or be pressured to prioritize.

Smart college students have goals to protect them against such pressures. I shall give you an example of this from my junior year.

In my family, we usually have a lot going on between September and December. Several events and birthdays are all over the place. I had to choose between being busy every weekend and staying home to study and do assignments.

One of the goals I had set for myself was to hand in all my assignments before the deadline and to get a 4.0 semester GPA. There are no shortcuts to a 4.0 GPA. If you want it, it means you are ready to work for it.

For me, it meant that I had to sit out the majority of the social events, and you know what? I didn’t mind. It wasn’t a hard decision to make because I knew what I was working towards based on the semester goals I had set for myself.

4. Motivation

There is something called the mid-term slump which I have written a whole post about and will link here.

A lot of my professors used to say that the beginning of the semester through to midterms feels like going uphill, and they were right. By the time most students were completing the midterms, a lot of them were burned out.

The week after the midterms, the classes were halfway and sometimes three-quarter way empty. This is proof of what I am saying.

Setting semester goals helps smart college students stay motivated even after the midterms. You may do exceedingly well on your midterms, and you might feel like you could have done better, either way, having semester goals helps them stay on course. Stay motivated.

If they have done great then they are super motivated to keep at it and bring that same heat to the remaining assignments and finals and if they didn’t do as well then they can come up with mitigating strategies to get them back on track.

5. Achieve more

Finally, smart college students set semester goals to help them achieve more. Setting semester goals and meeting them, again and again, gives them room to add more to their plate. To add more things to either help their GPA or their career goals.

Examples of more are on-campus volunteer opportunities, work-study, joining a club or sport, and more without the risk of jeopardizing their hard-earned GPA.

To recap, Smart college students always set semester goals, and here is why.

First, goals help them stay focused throughout semester turbulence. Second, setting goals helps them track their progress based on previous performance across various things. Third, is that setting semester goals helps them stay motivated after the dreaded midterm slump.

Fourth, it helps them to prioritize. Lifing means that things will always come up. Setting semester goals helps them pick the things that matter the most at a given point in time. Finally, smart college students set semester goals because it helps them achieve more.

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