It is the start of the spring semester and almost two months into a new year. That means “new me” goals are being made and New Year’s Resolutions are being broken. Working out more or spending less time on our phones may have been among some of those soon-to-be-forgotten resolutions. However, it is the start of a new semester and many of us may take time to set our semesterly goals.
As Honors students, we tend to aim high when setting our goals, but some of these goals may take a tumble once the semester gets busy. We set our goals too high, or make them too broad, so when it comes to actually achieving them, they become unrealistic (I know, for me, the latter is where I tend to struggle when goal-setting). But don’t fret! I have a few tips on how to set and keep your goals for the semester by walking you through how I have done so for myself.
Like most college students with schedules dominated by numerous courses and weekly meetings, I’m not immune to occasional bouts of burnout. In fact, after taking two winter session courses in January, academic fatigue arrived just in time for the beginning of my spring semester classes.
Dealing with academic burnout is difficult for a number of reasons, but there are some tricks from language learning that, in my experience, help train your brain to overcome the challenge and persevere.
Anyone who voluntarily studies foreign languages can tell you that it’s not all smooth sailing through new vocabulary and advancing grammar constructions. There’s an added motivation factor that comes with practicing your target language outside of class, in addition to your homework assignments, and over lengthy school breaks.
A lack of motivation to practice my languages was never a problem for me when the excitement of first learning was fresh or when I was in immersive environments where the language itself was inescapable. However, when the honeymoon phase is over and studying, reviewing, and memorization become daily requirements, that continuous linguistic curiosity starts to diminish.
I often experience this during school breaks when lacking the structure my classes provide each semester starts to take a toll on my ability to schedule a balance between three different languages each day. I’ll start with blocking off specific times for each, and then over the course of a few weeks, it is a rarity if I get to all of them in a day. Continue reading
As Honors students, I think we all have experienced that spark for learning, that love for all things we do not yet understand, but seek to discover at some point in our lives. It was what set us upon this path to seek higher education and become Honors students. It is the drive to uncover mysteries and discover all that is amazing in this world. I know, for me, it was in my middle school life sciences class where I first felt that spark, that fascination with living things and life. I wanted to discover all that I could about the human body and understand how we all started from something so small and became what we are now. Continue reading