Whether we realize it or not, goal-setting is something that we continuously engage in on a daily basis. But it is also something that tends to overwhelm us. Why? Because we often end up setting goals for ourselves that are unrealistic. And those unrealistic goals lead to us not being able to reach them. And not being able to reach them leads us to feeling guilty. And feeling guilty leads to decreasing motivation. And eventually, we just give up, letting this cycle go on and on. As we go about the semester with our Honors course loads and activities, creating practical goals, and actually following through with them, becomes absolutely essential for the efficient management of all of our time-consuming commitments. Personally, I have found that there are three things in particular that help with making sure that goals stay grounded, and thus, more reachable.
Like so many students here at UD, I spent our comparatively long Winter Break taking Winter Session classes – more specifically studying abroad! I traveled alongside about 20 or so other UD students to Leipzig, Germany for a four-week long Winter Session. It was a truly amazing opportunity, and I’m so thankful to the German Department and IGS for organizing the session alongside the institute where we studied, InterDaF, for making this all possible! I was initially set to go on this study abroad program back in January 2022, but due to the situation at the time the program was unfortunately canceled. Thus, getting to go this time was an opportunity I did not want to take for granted. I could go on and on about the entire experience, and I could probably write another whole article or two about it, (isn’t that the typical experience of talking with someone who’s just studied abroad? We, accidentally or not, always find a way to bring it up!) but some of my experiences over in Germany truly encouraged me in different ways, even those outside of the classroom. Of course the program helped me with my language skills, but living over there for a month taught me new things about myself and habits I’d like to keep up during my final semester and beyond.
My first in-person, spring semester is already over, and I am still learning, or more like re-learning, how to navigate a college life that is not behind a computer screen. For so long, college consisted of sitting in my childhood bedroom, attending classes online, and having my dogs as my only study partners. It felt like I was very much on my own. Even with all the opportunities that UD had to offer online over the pandemic, it just did not feel the same as in-person school. I felt like I had to navigate this confusing time on my own, and as a pre-med student, that seemed so daunting. Continue reading