Goals & plans

by Pauline on September 3rd 2015

Where my reflections, ideas & thoughts are kept.

With the new academic year just around the corner for university students (and school starting for younger students), I decided to write this post about my personal goals and plans for my next university year. I feel like writing about it, would really help motivate me to keep my mind straight on what I really want to do to ensure I make the most out of my university year. Hopefully, this gives you inspiration and an insight on how to make the most out of not just your academic year but in life too.

Flashback to my first year at university: I didn’t do much but attend lectures, lab sessions and some social commitments. Now that I look back, I wish I could’ve done a lot more activities that helped with my personal development. One of the many great things about university is the wide range of activities going on almost constantly! I wish I took advantage of all the many great things in store during my first year but I was very strict with myself due to time management of my studies and part time job which occupied most of my time when I wasn’t studying.

I slowly started to realise during the end my exams that I didn’t really do anything different to what I usually did during my school days (apart from the part time job) and soon I realised that I was unhappy. I studied, yes. I passed my first year, yes. But lacked the energy that I saw in other people who were more involved in extra activities to keep them sane. I felt a bit more “dull” compared to others and felt very negative and the same – experiencing the same things and not allowing change because of the fear of failure. I could see them developing more and really making the most of the short life we have.

This post really explains what I’m attempting to get at, it opens my mind to extra possibilities that I want to do and start now. I recommend you guys take a quick read – especially students who are like me 😉

So, I plan on changing my routine for the new academic year, in order to include more time in developing myself to become better than I was yesterday by learning new things and stepping away from my comfort zone. Below are some things I want to participate in/do in order to make the most of my time at uni – I’m only a student once so why not make it a blast! (Bearing in mind that your university or local area may have similar opportunities that you could search yourself!)

  • Internationalism – Participate in the weekly cultural talks to find out more about different cultures and being a local student who grew up in the UK, maybe help international students with their transition to adjust with the culture here.
  • Participate in a personal finance module; it helps students become more aware of how they spend their money and other related topics that would help the move from student life to working adult life. A skill I personally need to develop!
  • Join an online course and stick to the 3 weeks of learning things about the “real” world.
  • Join skills for change – a group that focuses on developing skills through fun activities!
  • Learn a new language: thinking of German.
  • Join a society and be an active member of it instead of just being in the background. Maybe run as one of the positions in a society during the societal elections.
  • Attend skill-based workshops at least 3 times each semester.
  • Volunteer and campaign – I haven’t volunteered in 2 years!
  • Play or learn a new sport (I’m thinking of netball)
  • Stay happy and enthusiastic with everything you do.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. This is a must. Mimi Ikonn has such a great video about this, it really really helps with everyday life.
  • S L E E P, for goodness sake! I never slept well during the year resulting in lack of motivation to do many other activities

Hope this inspired some of you to thrive at your studies as well as other activities. Balance and happiness are key! It’s cheesy but you can become the best you can be (if you got the Pokemon theme tune stuck in your head now, I’m sorry. LOL.) by pushing yourself to get out of the comfort zone in order to experience new and exciting things. Do you have an activity (or activities!) that you do regularly? Or have any plans to join any societies/groups during your university/college year? And do they help with your personal development? I’d like to know!

Good luck!


Posted under: Goals, Life, University


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32 comments

  1. Sammy says:

    This was such a great read, I will definitely keep this in mind when I go to university. It seems like you’ve done well so far, with the willingness to improve. What tips do you have on final year A Level students?

    Look forward to reading more of your posts!

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you for the feedback! 🙂 Final year of A Levels is the real push to get to university, what I did was just set my mind to my target (grades to get into uni) and just really focused on that. I think the skills I learnt during my final year at school were commitment, patience and not to cry as much whenever I failed the first time. I hope that helps, it really is all about staying focus on your goal but taking regular breaks too. 🙂

  2. Holly says:

    I never joined in with any extra activities when I was at university because they were all sports clubs, and I’m not a very sporty person.

    I hope you manage achieve all your goals for this year. I barely got any sleep in first year but the only way I could solve that was by moving into private accommodation, which fortunately worked.

    • Pauline says:

      Oh, thats a shame. They should have more variety at university clubs other than sports.

      I actually commute and live at home, but still lost sleep from stress. 🙁

  3. Tara says:

    I never did any activities during uni because my uni was different and didn’t offer such! Instead, I spent that extra time working and volunteering. I’m so glad I did because volunteering for my favourite high school teachers is an experience I cherish.

    Good luck with your uni goals and plans! I hope it all works out for you! ^^

  4. Georgie says:

    I find it lovely reading about university students like you who want to make the most of their time while studying. Studying at university (compared to primary and secondary school) yields a lot of opportunity because you may not have that many classes and you generally have a lot of free time compared to in primary and secondary school. This means time for you to not only study for your courses, but learn extra things for, as you said, personal development.

    I’ll be super honest here and say that I didn’t care that much for personal development when I was studying. Five years, even going through a masters degree, and though I learned a lot I could have done better and not just passed and just got good grades. I learned a bit about myself but it was through stress and not doing other ‘fun’ stuff rather than anything that encouraged growth.

    Learning a language should be a fun one, I recommend Duolingo – they have German on there, and you can download the app on your phone or tablet as well as working online. It encourages you to practice your skills each day with points/XP, and you can set how much you want to do each day. I started doing Dutch on there but I haven’t put a lot of time into it!

    Sounds like you are also planning to get involved and get social as well. I just joined a lot of clubs in university and stayed in the background, like you said. :/ I think I just am not a social person, but recently I have been warming up to the idea of meetups and slowly meeting people in the same industry as me and gaining some inspiration from them.

    Good luck and hope you keep us updated! 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you so much for recommending Duolingo. It looks like so much fun and is free too 😉 (gotta love it when things are free!) I can’t wait to learn and start – this should be lots of fun!

      I will definitely keep you all updated! I hope it all turns out well and I learn more about myself and grow more as a person!

  5. Nadia says:

    Amazing post, Pauline 🙂 I love setting goals and doing my super very best to stick to them! 😉 Love yours! It is definitely going to benefit you so much to take up something new and participate more! + sleep – that’s an important one we all neglect lol.
    I also wrote a little post a few days ago on planning & goals. Have you seen it? Let me know what you think 😉
    xox Nadia
    http://mielandmint.blogspot.co.uk

  6. Nadia says:

    Btw, LOVE your new design <3
    😉
    xox Nadia // http://mielandmint.blogspot.co.uk

  7. Chynna says:

    Oh my gosh. I feel SO old reading this post, even though I graduate only two years ago. Still, it seems like a lifetime ago!

    I definitely didn’t do any activities for my personal development. I was interested in the creative writing club, but I was still painfully shy back then, so I ended up not going to any meetings T_T If I could give advice to my first year self, it would be: GET OUT THERE! TIME WAITS FOR NOBODY! MAKE FRIENDS!

    It’s good you’re stepping out of your comfort zone. It will definitely help in the long run.

    UHM, Internationalism sounds amazing!! I would have loved something like that at my uni – I love finding out about new cultures, etc.

    Good luck with all your goals. I’m sure this next year is going to be awesome for you <3

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Chynna! I know how you feel, I was a little shy during my first year so did try to blend into the background with the societies I joined instead of being an active member.

      Yeah, it’s great! I really cant wait to start it seeing as I love learning about new cultures too 🙂

  8. I never did much as far as activities in school. I never really regretted it honestly. But its great to want to be the best you can. Good luck!

  9. Kaela says:

    I think it’s good that you’re making the most of your stay at university! 🙂 I do wish you all the best and hope you can tick off everything on your list.

    It’s so cool you want to learn German. My brother is in his last year of University and when I found out he took a German class, I got sooo envious. I love learning languages! (though I’m just bilingual at the moment) Shame we didn’t have any sort of classes like that back in my college

    I went to a small college (I just graduated a few months ago gaaaahhh) so we didn’t really have a lot of activities in campus (heck, we didn’t even have a sports team- that’s how smaaaalll it was). I did join the theatre club which started out as fun at first (I made friends and learned a lot), but our club’s adviser left so it pretty much disbanded during my last two years of college. 🙁 After that, I just pretty much focused on getting good grades in my classes.

    • Pauline says:

      You should definitely try and learn German – Georgie recommended Duolingo and it’s great so far – helps you at from the comfort of your own home 😉

      I hope you enjoyed theatre, I used to do it during high school and enjoyed it so much 😀 May look into doing it again for my second year at Uni!

  10. Burgundy says:

    That cultural session looks amazing! How did you find out about it? I’d love to come to it so I can talk about my culture as well, this is a very very important issue in my opinion since a lot of people have a culture barrier where they are scared of engaging with different cultures to the point of them seeming to be racist. Breaking that barrier for people would help a TON.

    What you said was exactly what I’ve been thinking all of last year, I’ve had a list as well since the start of summer of what I want to do next time.

    – Apply to all the different certificates in uni from the Graduate award to academical skills and work certificate. Hopefully something to stand out with when everyonr graduates with a 2-1.

    – Join uni societies of things that I love to do in my spare time; Cycling, Go-karting and Gaming. (yes I bet the last one makes me sound so geeky)

    – Do more excersize! I’m doing this because over summer I’ve found myself to be healthier when I excersize, and most importantly have a much better sleep routine which will be very helpful when uni comes around since I live so far away so I can make those early morning lectures. Also doing more excersize gives me an excuse to eat more donuts and ice cream so I’m not saying no to that.

    Keep up the good work! I always look forward to these posts they truly brighten up my day <3

    • Pauline says:

      I found it through personal interest – I actually wanted to join One World events which brings everyone from different cultures together. With the conflict around the world right now – I thought I wanted to educate myself in different cultures to see the love rather than hate that is often shown on news feeds etc.

      I hope you stick to your own goals and just remember you always have wonderful people supporting you to keep you going! ?

  11. Emily says:

    This is such a helpful post to those who might be a bit nervous – some great tips!

    Musings & More

  12. ariane says:

    I’ve never really been active with school activities. haha But since this is my last year in the university, I’ve been putting a lot of effort into making the most of it. ahaha

    I hope you enjoy your time at the university! 🙂

    dearchubby.wix.com/marp

  13. Jhanz says:

    Good luck with the goals! I know it’s always challenging to change your routine, so I hope everything would turn out to be fine for you. 🙂

    Have an awesome year ahead!

  14. Michelle says:

    I think the most important thing and the most thing that people forget is sleep. Without sleep you can’t function and you can’t do your work and remember what you study. At least try to get 5-6 hours of sleep each night or get well rested depending on how many hours you feel refreshed on.

    Everything else is just as important, but people underestimate sleep, so much. They think they can do without, but regardless, sleep is good for you.

  15. Chantelle says:

    My undergraduate classes were amazing, but they only made up a quarter or a third of my university experience. My extra currs. and friends made it wonderful. I had so much fun. I did so much stuff and I have so many stories. I met diplomats, traveled abroad for free, hosted concerts, volunteered, worked as a photographer, did cultural events, etc. I didn’t care about balance and I hardly cared about sleep, but it was completely worth it.

    My only regret is that I didn’t put as much effort into studying as I would have liked. I didn’t do poorly, but I could have done better. Still, though, I’m glad that I went to uni. with an open mind. I was willing to try new things and meet new people. I had some awesome conversations in the dinning halls with strangers. We just said hello and then ended up talking for three or four hours.