Tuesday, December 31, 2013

3 academic resolutions you can keep in 2014

Almost all of us begin a new year with new goals. Many in our community have career aspirations they’d like to attain, others want to dedicate more time to achieving the work-life balance. In addition, most of our students set academic goals they want to meet, if not surpass, in the New Year.

Someone who knows a bit about helping students meet their academic goals is Mariesa Hinchey, a Walker Center for Academic Excellence Counselor and Advisor. Below she lays out three New Year’s resolutions to help you meet your academic goals in 2014.

It is important to start the New Year with reflection to learn from the successes and challenges of the previous year. As it is also the middle point of the school year, it is the perfect time to reflect and grow from your educational performance of the previous session and make resolutions to improve in the New Year.

Many people make unrealistic New Year’s resolutions and few of those resolutions last. Here’s three academic resolutions that you can keep this year.
  1. Set realistic expectations for yourself. We think it’s fantastic that you want to go for straight A’s this semester. But if that’s your goal, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself by signing up to handle a big project at work, becoming a room mom in your child’s classroom, and volunteering to help at your church three nights a week. Decide what’s most important for you and your family, and then set a realistic expectation for what you can achieve.
  2. Make small tweaks to improve your educational strategy. We wouldn’t recommend vowing to study in the morning if you know you’re a night owl, or taking four classes if two classes last session felt like all you could handle. Instead, take this time of reflection to resolve to make small changes in your education. For example, this is the perfect time to commit to attending one or two workshops and events offered by the Walker Center. Look over next session’s schedule and write the dates and times in your calendar now so you don’t make other plans. Make your changes small, and find the perfect mix that works for you.
  3. Expand your skillset and knowledge base whenever you can. This doesn’t have to happen overnight. Vow to stretch yourself in new ways in 2014. Have you been afraid to ask for help? Take us up on a tutoring session so you can improve your academic skills. They’re offered in individual and group formats, as well as online and over the phone. Are you looking to brush up on your leadership skills in preparation for a promotion at work? Consider attending the Annual Student Leadership Retreat hosted by the WCAE in March. It will be held in Honesdale, Penn., and will focus on unlocking your leadership potential.
As we start the New Year and continue our school year, I hope that you are able to reflect on the year that has passed so that you can embrace this new term. As Morihei Ueshiba said, “Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something,” In this New Year, learn from the past and be more successful than ever.