After winter break, and the first week back at university, I finally decided to look back on my first semester of college. I went back to the goals I put down, considered my progress, and was upset nearly immediately. I wanted a high GPA, a 3.5, had hoped to manage my time well, and set a goal to ensure my days were taken one day at a time so I would lessen my stress levels. In honesty, I did not reach these goals. I struggled nearly the whole semester with time management, my stress levels reached peaks during days when I could not focus on the present, and at the end of my first semester, I did not have the GPA I wanted.
The blanket of new experiences, and the millions of new worries I did not encounter before kept stacking up. I also did not limit myself, I kept trying to experience everything, even though I knew I lived in Austin and would have more free time later. By the time I did realize it was alright to slow down, that most things would still be around for me later, it was nearly the end of the semester. I'm not saying my first semester was a failure, I did set lofty goals, and looking back only lets me see how much I did accomplish, I have above a 3.25, the average GPA for a freshman in a technical major, I did learn how to manage my time well, and I have learned exactly how to take my days one at a time. This semester, I have plans, ideas, and the drive to carry them all out.
Last time, when I made my goals, I did not set any physical reminders of them. I realized that personally, I really needed to have something in my face everyday to remind myself of my goals. This is especially true for the goals I cannot measure, like making sure I take time to zoom in from the big picture. This semester, I want to continue finishing my work on time, get back in touch with my creative side, and simply enjoy my classes. I do have a heavy course load again, I'll be taking seven classes, but all these classes are courses I am looking forward to. I'll be making a goal board, a white board with pictures and details of my goals, as well as setting my computer screen to a background with the words "one day at a time." I know this may sound silly, but I believe this really would help me out.
I love STEM, but a downside I face with the large amounts of technical classes and research I now face, is that I'm losing some touch with my creative side. I used to draw, and work as a graphic designer by designing ads for events or by commission. During the winter break, I have decided that I will get back in touch with my drawing. It'll be my stress reliever between essays or lab reports!
So, I may not have perfectly accomplished my goals of last semester, but in retrospect, I did well. All I can do at the moment is to move forward, and I'll be moving forward with a purpose. I wish everyone luck in accomplishing their own goals, I know I'd take the luck for the next months.