University is full of opportunities to achieve goals, whether personal, professional, or academic. In fact, setting and completing goals is an essential aspect of being a successful university student. Goals keep you determined, curious, and progressive. Completing goals also pushes you beyond personal limitations, thereby facilitating growth and discovery.
Of course, you can’t complete goals if you don’t know where to start. For most students, starting begins with identifying realistic, achievable objectives and writing them down. While you can always create your own set of goals, here are some examples to serve as inspiration.
Write a Professional Résumé
At some point during your academic career, you’ll likely find yourself needing to create a résumé, whether it’s for an internship or part-time job. In many cases, you’ll be able to find a class or workshop where professional résumé skills are taught. If not, strive to complete this goal on your own. Not only is it a source of personal achievement; it’s also your first introduction to the professional world. Résumé writing will also help you understand which skills are required to get a job in your chosen field. Moreover, it’s a great way to map out your own experience, skills, and knowledge.
Participate in an Extracurricular Activity
Participating in an extracurricular activity offers many benefits. For example, it can help you become an active part of your school community, teach you valuable skills, and help you form new relationships and connections. Common activities include:
- Pledging a fraternity or sorority
- Playing intramural sports
- Becoming a student government official
- Joining a social club that fits your personal interests (i.e. chess club, photography club, esports, etc.)
If your goal is to join an extracurricular activity, start by simply signing up. Once you’ve joined, however, you can also set smaller goals, such as speaking to one new person at each meeting or event. This will keep you interested and facilitate growth, as the more you challenge yourself, the more you grow.
Earn Credentials and Create a Professional Network
Some students are surprised to learn that it’s possible to earn professional credentials during university. These credentials can place you ahead of the competition, boost your résumé, and possibly help you get a job. Ask a career counselor or academic advisor about the credentials you could earn as a student, as well as which ones are valuable in your field. You can earn professional credentials by completing an apprenticeship or specialised on-the-job training, for instance. Of course, your college degree and any professional certifications count as credentials as well. But if your goal is to earn certifications and credentials before graduation, opt for an apprenticeship.
During this apprenticeship or internship, strive to create a professional social network. Your network might include professionals in the field, colleagues, professors, and mentors. Networking is another valuable skill you’ll likely need to get a future job or internship. It could also help you get referrals or letters of recommendations.
Learn to Budget Your Money
Being a successful student isn’t just about high achievements and academic performance; it’s also about planning well and living within your means. Financial health is just as important as physical, mental and social health, as it contributes to all these aspects and enhances wellness. Budgeting your money can help prevent undue stress and debt. It also offers many other benefits, including:
- Ensuring bills, rent and other debts are paid on time
- Helping you meet financial goals; i.e. saving money for emergencies, special plans, gifts, etc.
- Ensuring you have enough money for groceries, household items, entertainment and more
Here are some tips that could help you accomplish your budgeting goals:
- Use coupons for groceries and other products and services
- Purchase generic items and affordable clothing
- Dine at home instead of going out, when possible
- Split apartment supplies with at least one other roommate
- Use affordable public transport, walk, or cycle to most places
- Find cheap or free entertainment, such as visiting the park or playing video games with friends
Once you’ve learned to budget your money, you can set other goals, such as saving enough money to secure desirable Ottawa off-campus housing. If you're currently looking for housing, contact us to book a tour of our residence.