Happy New Year! I can’t believe 2019 is already here. The past year has been quite the adventure for our little family, full of aspirations and achievements. Last January Kendrick started walking at just 10 months old and in June I turned 30. We moved into our very first home and began our small-town life in July and in August I started a my new job from home. In September I started my second bachelor’s degree and in November I taught my very first lesson in the classroom. And I can honestly say that 2018 has been my best academic year ever.
I started a blog, made some amazing new friends (online and in real life), turned a house into a home, spent some quality time with my family, went back to school and even started to potty train my not-even-two-year-old son. Like always, I’ve made sure to jam pack this past year with all of my best adventures yet (so watch out 2019!) But there is one thing that I am especially proud of achieving this past December. It’s something that I have aspired to do since I was a little girl. I have worked hard for it for 25 years and I can finally check it off of my bucket list. In 2018 I had my best school year yet!
I finally got STRAIGHT A’s!!
It definitely wasn’t easy but there was one thing in particular that I did that made this lifetime goal of mine finally come to fruition. I started studying something that I was truly passionate about!
In a world where you can be anything and do anything, you should be doing what truly makes you happy. Whether that is making art, playing sports, trying to figure out the secrets of the universe, or teaching future leaders and change-makers, figure out what it is that will bring out the best in you and pursue that dream. Set yourself goals and never lose sight of your destination.
When you choose to follow your true path, you will always be the most successful. Your path may be hidden, but when you find it I hope you take it and never look back.
Too often these days life pulls us into different directions and it is up to us to find our way back to where we need to be, doing what we are meant to do. If you stay focused, remind yourself of where you want to be and why, and keep working your ass off even when it feels like you can’t keep going, you will find a way to make your dreams come true. And you are going to do amazing things!
Some other things that I did to make sure this would be my best academic year ever were:
Establishing relationships with my professors.
Introduce yourself to your profs in-person and by e-mail and keep the lines of communication open. If you are unsure about something, don’t hesitate to ask a question. If you are running late, going to miss a class, or need some extra time to finish up an assignment, shoot them an e-mail letting them know what’s going on. They are there to help you learn and succeed, and the chances are they will be understanding, especially since you were proactive with the situation. This shows them that you are trying your best to succeed in their course and that’s really what your teachers are looking for in their students.
Using a paper planner to keep track of all of my readings, assignments, quizzes, and deadlines.
It might be easier to just stick all this information in your phone and have it automatically remind you. However, if you are like me then it’s pretty likely that you might ‘accidentally’ clear your notifications without actually taking the time to make sure you’re on track and prepared for those looming deadlines. I love using my Happy Planner to keep track of my daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists with their awesome check-list stamp and stickers. It makes being accountable a lot more enjoyable and lets me infuse my planning with a little creative flair. Keep your academic goals organized and do your best by putting them on paper.
Focusing on one task at a time.
This one was especially hard for me because I’m the kind of person that is always trying to do more than one thing at a time. I get sidetracked and distracted easily (one of the very few, in my opinion, downsides to being such a curious person). When I made a point to just work on one thing at a time and put everything else away it made a huge difference to how efficient I could actually be with my time. If you’re like me and struggle with staying on task I highly recommend the Pomodoro technique. And if you really have terrible self-control there are apps and plugins that will disable certain apps and programs. I knew that if I wanted to have my best school year ever I needed to stop checking instagram and get to work.
Scheduling no-homework time (even when I had a tonne of it).
If you have ever experienced end-of-semester burnout (and what student hasn’t) then this is especially important!! I wanted to make sure I made time to put aside my studies and spend time with my family. They are and will always be my number one priority because, well, that’s what having a family is about! At the end of the day they are my ultimate source of happiness. They remind of why I am working so hard to reach my academic goals.
Happiness is the key to your success. In school, in work, in life; are you doing things that truly get you excited in the morning? Is your job making you happy? Does it align with your life goals and values? Do you have time to do the things that you enjoy doing most? Are you creating a life for yourself and your family that you have always dreamed of? By asking myself these questions and figuring out how I can answer them all with ‘yes!’ I was finally able to get straight A’s and have my best academic year ever.
What are your biggest academic goals and achievements? Let me know in the comments; I would love to cheer you along!
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”