Eliza: 3 goals to get you back on track this uni semester

USQ blogger ElizaEliza is a Master of Arts student but also studied a Bachelor of Applied Media (Journalism) at USQ as an undergraduate student. She loves to listen to and share other people's stories through the skills she has learned as part of her university education and natural gift of the gab.

With a new semester right around the corner, I’ve had a chance to reflect on how last semester went. Between the procrasti-partying, the three cans of Red Bull a day, the late-night dinners consisting of raw two-minute-noodles and half a Snickers bar found in the back of the fridge, the constant concern that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done and, of course, that horrible feeling of rushing to get an assignment done at the last minute, it’s no wonder I ended up looking like an extra on The Walking Dead by the end of semester.

I think it’s pretty clear that something has to change, so I’ve set myself some goals to keep me on track this semester. If you feel you could use some help getting your own study goals back on track, feel free to adapt them as your own:

1. Make study a priority and learn how to say ‘no’.

Whether you have to work because you need to pay for rent and food or you have a family to support or you just have an epic social life, it can be difficult to make study a priority. One thing I struggle with is saying no. So, if my boss asks me to work an extra shift or two a week, I find it really difficult to pass up the extra hours. It’s not like I think the fate of the sales representative world couldn’t possibly go on without me—I’m sure my boss could find someone else to fill my shift—I struggle to say no because I feel that if I do, I’m letting my boss down, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

But here’s the thing: uni is like training for your future job, and everyone knows that unless you’re trained properly, you can’t do the job. So why skip training?

Plus, you’re paying to go to university. I will admit that I don’t enjoy wasting my money—whenever I go shopping I go straight to the sales rack before I look at anything else—and the same goes for my university fees. I’m sure everyone wants to get good value for money, and the best way to do that when studying at uni is to put 100% into your degree and make it a priority.

2. Make the most of the uni experience and ask more questions.

This semester, I want to be a gross, bathroom mat. And by that I mean I want to soak up as much knowledge about the field of my chosen career, and as much fun, as humanly possible.

Uni isn’t all about studying. This semester, I want to make more of an effort to attend social events. I want to go to the end of year ball, play laser tag and maybe even do a fun run. Not only do all of these events include free food, but they’re an awesome way for students to feel like they’re part of the uni community and provide an opportunity to network with other students, which will come in handy if you’re looking for some assurance that you’re not the only one stressing out about exams.

3. Get out there in the world.

I’ll never get over how quickly my degree has gone by. It feels like just yesterday I was looking up formal dresses with my school friends in the back of class instead of listening to the teacher (because who really needs to know how to figure out the volume of a triangular prism)?

Although I have had work experience with ABC Western Queensland in Longreach, covering media events for USQ and Ipswich, I still want to add more to my résumé before I head out into the big, wide world after graduation.

Because no matter what degree you’re studying, gaining practical experience and making contacts is super important for progressing your career after uni. It’s all well and good to know how to theoretically do something, but actually having experience doing tasks you’ve been trained to do, with your boss watching and reminding you that your work needs to be done within the next 3 hours, is very stressful!

So these are my 3 plans for the new semester. I plan on enjoying my studies and reminding myself how fortunate I am to be able to study at such an awesome university, where I can take advantage of social events and networking opportunities that will help me in the long run.

Setting your own goals will help you approach your studies with a more positive outlook. To help you get started on setting your own goals, check out this free, printable goal planner.


Renae: 5 tips to balance work, life and business travel

Roxy: How to harness technology and improve your study

Alex: How to bounce back from holidays and find your mojo