Notebook with title ¿new year¿s resolutions¿ and list item ¿stop making new year

It's Time to Tackle Your New Semester Goals

Resolutions and goals aren't just for New Year's. Start spring semester off right with new goals you can set to benefit your learning and life.

New Year’s Day has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to set some reasonable goals for this semester. In the hustle and bustle of winter break, it’s likely that you’ve fallen away from some of your biggest goals for yourself this academic year. I know I’m guilty of it. However, with the recharging time of a nice holiday break and the beginning of a new calendar year, you can start all over and make this semester the best yet! Here are some easy-to-implement game changers for the upcoming semester.

Limit your social media use

We’ve definitely all heard this one before, but this time there’s a twist. Instead of going on a 30-day detox, which is unrealistic at best, or obsessively tracking your precious minutes spent on Instagram, restrict yourself to using social media just once a day. This saves you time from the mindless scrolling throughout your day while still keeping you connected with the rest of the world. The bonus? You’re more than likely to find that checking social media apps once a day is more than enough, and with this newfound time, you’ll be more productive and have more time for the things you truly want to (and should) be doing.

Related: Is Social Media Holding You Back?

Stop multitasking

Fun fact: Most multitasking we do is not actually multitasking. In the world of research, they call it task-switching because we aren’t meant to be capable of doing multiple things at once; we just learn to switch between jobs rapidly. Trying to watch a show while reading and taking notes on a textbook and carrying on a detailed conversation with your dad is a recipe for disaster. Not only are you more likely to make a mistake, you’re also more likely to feel harried and flustered when you don’t have to. It may seem like there’s no other way to accomplish everything on your plate right now, but giving 100% of your attention to a single task at hand is way more efficient and effective than trying to do four things simultaneously. 

Get more sleep

Finally, a semester goal to really get behind! The benefits of sleep stretch to all different aspects of life¾from improved concentration and focus to a better mood and a stronger immune system¾yet on average, American teenagers are only getting about seven hours and 15 minutes of sleep a night, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. While it may seem impossible to add time to your beauty rest during the week, this should be a priority due to its vast benefits to your life. Consider setting yourself a cutoff time when you’ll stop doing homework, or anything else you may be doing, and focus on your bedtime routine. If you’re a night owl, another strategy is to streamline your morning routine in order to wake up a few minutes later.

Related: Top Sleep Hygiene Advice for Tired Students

Read for fun

Perhaps you’re reading more than ever before with assignments for various classes, but when was the last time you read a book for pleasure? Reading is a productive yet enjoyable habit that can develop into a lifelong hobby and passion. Make a point to stop at your local library to check out some books to read for fun. From there, carve out even just a few minutes each week to sit down and get lost in your book. You’ll be amazed at the relaxation and mental recharging it brings.

Practice optimism

Seeing the glass as half full can work wonders in many areas of life. Not only does it improve your mood and outlook on given circumstances, but it’s also connected to a healthier immune system and longer life span. Remember, the only person you can truly control in this world is yourself, and you can decide to use that control to develop an attitude of optimism. Optimism doesn’t mean you have to pretend you’re unaware of the negative elements in your life; it means focusing your attention on the good elements and striving to maintain a positive outlook. Keeping a gratitude journal where you can write down three to five things that went well during your day can be a great first step. Eventually, it’ll become a habit to seek out your wins and put your losses behind you.

Related: How to Make Your Semester More Mindful

Hopefully you’ve decided to implement at least one of these goals yourself going forward. If you did, take the next step and write it down! It’ll make your goal seem more permanent and not just like a fleeting thought. Be sure to brainstorm a few specific ways in which you’ll follow your goal, and also some ways to check your progress along the way. Best wishes for a great first semester of 2020!

For even more ways to set goals for the school year, check out this video from one of our student vloggers.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

academic planning college life new semester setting goals

About Laura Wallace

Laura Wallace

Laura is a student at Anderson University, where she's pursuing a major in Social Studies Education with a minor in Spanish. Originally from North Carolina, she now calls Savannah, Georgia, home. She loves dark chocolate, stickers, and the color blue. In her free time, she plays the piano, participates in traditional Greek dance, and loves to visit thrift shops! 


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Nikole Dixon

Nikole Dixon

$500 Refer-A-Friend Scholarship Winner

Towards the beginning of last year, I was searching for scholarships to apply to through my school, town, websites online, and anything else I could find. I asked tons of questions [online] about scholarships and the best places to find them because I was desperate and I needed as many as I could find. I came across a ton of bogus websites but as soon as I found CollegeXpress, I knew I had to tell other people about it. It was definitely the most helpful site I came across, so I told my friends about it. . . . CollegeXpress is definitely a website worth giving as a source.

Joseph Johnsly

Joseph Johnsly

High School Class of 2021

It's an honor for me to be writing to share a little about my experience with CollegeXpress. I've been using CollegeXpress for about a year now, and the reason why I chose it is because it provides astonishing scholarships for every student around the globe. Besides that, this organization dispenses all the information necessary to help students get to college. CollegeXpress has helped me have an easier experience with applying to colleges and choosing the best fit for myself.

Fernando Ponce

Fernando Ponce

High School Junior

College is a way of life that helps us find out who we are as a person, and CollegeXpress is a great way to stay connected with our future, even for students with little time on their hands due to the challenges of high school we face.



High School Class of 2021

For a long time, I've been searching everywhere to find the perfect website I can get scholarships and information from. Needless to say, I could never find the right one. That was, until I found CollegeXpress. Through my journey of finding the right scholarships for me, I was able to find articles about different things. They've all been helpful, especially in times like this! I was even able to connect with some of my favorite colleges! I love CollegeXpress. Thank you!

Elizabeth Stafford

Elizabeth Stafford

High School Class of 2021

As a UK student moving to California due to my dad's job in the military, when I first signed up for CollegeXpress a few months ago, the college process ahead seemed daunting and incredibly stressful. That all changed after I started to explore what this website had to offer. Not only was I helped by the vast array of resources available to me, but through being a CollegeXpress member, there have been so many more benefits. There have been emails with college tips—all of which I found incredibly helpful—as well as invitations to events and notifications of scholarships that'll make college possible for me. Overall, I'm very grateful to CollegeXpress for all of these things and more. Not only have they helped me grow my understanding of the college process, but they've also helped me to grow as a person, giving me new skills that I can take with me through life.

College Matches