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We are now half way through the semester. Now is a good time to check in and see how things are going.  At the beginning of the semester we discussed short term and long term goals.  Now is a good time to assess your progress and how determine if any adjustments are needed. How are your short term goals shaping up?  Have you been successful in achieving those goals? Did you miss the mark? How about the long term goals, are you close to making the mark?  Did you under/overestimate your projected progress?

If you have achieved your short term goals and are on track to achieve your long term goals, you should reward yourself.  The reward doesn’t have to be big or anything major, it would be a simple treat to acknowledge your efforts and keep you on track to meet the next set of goals.  Think ice cream, favorite dinner, or a movie; a small token to reward your efforts.

If you have not achieved your short term goals and not on track to meet your long term goals, you should begin to evaluate what has happened (or not happened) to meet the marks you set.  Was there an event that prevented you from achieving the goal?  Did you underestimate the time, work, or commitment to achieve the goal? Assess the progress of the goals and determine if you have enough time to revamp the goals, reduce the goals, or increase attention to complete the job.

The same assessment of your goals, should be the same assessment of your studies.  Are you on track to pass your classes? Did you do well and feel confident during midterms?  Are you giving EACH subject the required attention?  Are you spending enough time in the library?  Are you going to your professor to ask for clarification?  Are you utilizing peers, campus resources, and time wisely?

With half of the semester under your belt you should consider how successful you will be in the course.  Asking yourself if you will pass the course, if you should drop the course, or if you have enough time to turn things around.  If you are passing, you want to continue utilizing the system you have in place and seek any ways you can improve in any area.  If you are considering dropping the class, you will need to examine the ramifications of withdrawing from the class. Will this affect your transcript, your grade point average, and length of your coursework completion? If you have enough time to turn things around, look at how you arrived to this point.  What are your study habits? Where can you pick things up?  What can you do differently? Are you utilizing your resources?

Midterms are a time to complete a self-check.  If things are going well, continue on the path and end the semester strong.  If things are not going well, change the course and dedicate more time effort and energy into ending the semester strongly.

You have now been an official college student for a few weeks now.  There are several things suggested you try that have been mentioned throughout the book and our blog.  Here is a checklist let’s see how far you have gotten and what still needs to be done.

____1. Get all of your books.  You don’t want to wait until it is too late to secure books make sure you have a plan now, even for the supplies you will not need until the second half of the semester.

____2. Talk to your roommate about the expectations you both have for your living experience. Do not wait until a problem occurs to talk, things will go smoother if you talk beforehand.

____3. Review all of your syllabi to see what you will need to do over the course of the semester. Write down all of your assignments and readings on one calendar to keep track of the things that you need to do.

____4. Join a club.  Students that are involved graduate faster with higher grade point averages.  Even if you do not take on a leadership position being an active member will allow you to take a break from the books and have fun.  Think sports clubs, Greek Life, departmental clubs, or special interest.

____5.  Go to a school sporting event.  Even if you do not know, much about the sport go and show your school spirit.  You can enjoy football, basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball, tennis, golf, soccer, gymnastics, rowing, archery, track and field, bowling and a host of other sports and club and intramural sports.

____6. Go meet with your professor during office hours.  It is good to connect with your professor on a personal level.  Go and ask a clarifying question, seek clarity on a topic, or find out what you missed in class last week when you were sick.

____7. Talk to your RA.  Resident Advisors are people too.  Stop by and say hi ask something about them and get to know them as a person, not just as the person that is there to help you.

____8. Eat at a different place on campus.  Campus dining has a lot to offer.  Try a different venue and a new item on the menu.  What is the worst that will happen….you will not like the food or service and you do not have to go back.

____9. Attend a campus event.  Student Activities and Union services offer something for everyone: comedy, musicians, symposiums, movies, novelty attractions, and guest speakers.  These events are often free or low costs.

____10. Call home and check on family and friends. Going away to college not only affects you, but it also takes its toll on your siblings, your parents, and your childhood friends.

If you have taken time to complete this checklist, your semester is off to a good start and your first semester will be a jumpstart to a more fulfilling college career.  College is not just about expanding your knowledge academically, but it also consist of you expanding you overall wellness.  If you have not completed everything on the list, make it a priority to complete some items in the next few weeks.  Leave a response to this post with your experiences.