How To Make Sure College Doesn’t Distract You From Your Goals

Everyday tips you can use in college to stay focused.

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Welcome to our special section, Thrive on Campus, devoted to covering the urgent issue of mental health among college and university students from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus). We welcome faculty, clinicians, and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.

As a college student, you are constantly meeting new people, signing up for clubs, and if you are living away from home, you might be exploring the new area around you. It’s easy to let these changes distract you, and it’s even easier to let them misguide you from reaching your goals. How do you plan to stay focused on a certain class or to keep up your GPA if these changes are increasingly taking up your time and thoughts?

Here are some tips for you to use in your everyday life to ensure that you stay on track to achieve your goals:

First, envision your goals. Know what they are and, if it helps, write them all down. When you don’t know exactly what your goals are, it becomes increasingly difficult to carry them out. You want to have a narrow scope of your goals so that you can develop a plan to reach them.

As you meet new people in college, become friends with those who will have a positive influence on you. The people you surround yourself with should motivate you and help you succeed. Most importantly, they should hold you accountable for your actions if you start to fall off track. It’s also beneficial to make friends with the people in your classes or major who you will be able to study with.

It’s also important to schedule your time wisely. You want to make sure that you have enough time set aside each day to work on your goal. If you are struggling in a certain class, and your goal is to improve your grade, then set time aside to go to the library and study. If you play a sport and want to improve, then set time aside for extra practice. In order to get closer to your goal, you must make time to work on it.

One of my goals is to post twice a week on my blog, but when I’m in college I have to balance this with my class assignments, clubs and working on the school paper. Scheduling my week ahead of time has helped me find the time to focus on my blog and maintain my goal.

With the diverse range of clubs available at college, you want to make sure that you don’t overload your schedule with them at the expense of your other responsibilities. If you decide to limit the amount of clubs you participate in, then consider joining clubs that will boost your resume. That way, the time you spend on clubs will aid a long-term goal that you, and every other college student, have: To get a job.

Despite the many distractions you may encounter in college, there will always be a way to power through it and reach your goals.

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More on Mental Health on Campus:

What Campus Mental Health Centers Are Doing to Keep Up With Student Need

If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help

The Hidden Stress of RAs in the Student Mental Health Crisis

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