Setting Achievable and Realistic Goals

Goal setting is an important skill that can help to ensure a successful experience while in the United States. Global UGRAD students are among the most active and stellar students on their campuses; a great way to maintain that high level of academic and extracurricular success is through setting attainable and motivational goals.  It can be useful to set both academic and personal goals for yourself, and reaching these goals results in a great feeling of accomplishment.

Sanjay (far right) and some 2011-2012 Global UGRAD students volunteer during the Re-Entry workshop.

As your journey in the United States kicks off, you might find it helpful to sit down and draft some goals for your semester or academic year. Examples such as maintaining straight A’s or obtaining a practical internship are great but; I encourage you to think outside of the box. Try some new food, visit a site you’ve always dreamed of, and/or take a challenging class. We are confident in your capability and know that when a UGRADer sets their mind on something, it is always within reach.

Here are a few suggestions when setting goals.

Use campus resources. You have plenty of help in achieving your goals on campus. The staff at your university international office, writing assistance centers, and the university library are great resources. Make sure to utilize everything your campus offers.

Time management is important. Knowing how to balance your academics and extracurricular activities is a key part of having a successful year. Practice managing your time throughout the semester.  (see the “Managing Your Time” article, also in this issue)

Strive for challenging academic and personal goals. Being a UGRAD student means you are exceptional and you are capable of attaining exceptional results.

Be realistic with your goals. Set your mind on goals that are attainable while on the program. Nobody is participating in a moon landing while a UGRAD student, so don’t set your mind on something outrageous!

Your semester or year in the US will be what you make of it. Challenge yourselves to explore new, wacky, and wonderful opportunities and experiences. We are confident in your potential and are always here to assist.

Cheering you onward and upward!

-Sanjay Iyer