7 Tips for Achieving Your Goals in College or University

It’s not too late to achieve your goals in college, even if you’re in your last semester. These tips for achieving your goals in college or university will help you succeed – whether you want to improve your grades or find a new club to join!

Before the tips, a quip:

“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.” – J.C. Penney.

Not that there’s anything wrong with stock clerks! But, if you’re a college student, chances are you want more out of life than to be a stock clerk.

Here are ten tips for achieving your goals in college or university…

7 Tips for Achieving Your Goals in College or University

1. Figure out what your goals are. Do you want to get higher grades? Make more friends? Stop procrastinating? Find better roommates? To achieve your goals, you first need to be specific about what they are. If your study goals include ending procrastination, read 5 Ways to End Procrastination for College Students.

2. Compete with yourself – not your peers. It doesn’t matter if Suzie High IQ earns perfect grades or Nick the Perfect Athlete is the star of all the sports teams. The only person you need to compare yourself to and compete with is yourself. Don’t just strive to do the best you can with your unique talents and abilities – celebrate who you are and what you have! Honestly, you have to love who you are to succeed in this world.

3. Learn to say no. Limit your paid work hours, activities, parties, events, clubs, study groups, volunteer roles, etc. to what you can reasonably manage. You can’t achieve your goals in college or university if you’re running from one thing to another – so choose how you spend your time wisely.

Are you unmotivated to achieve your goals in college or university? Read 5 Ways to Stay Motivated to Go to College – From Bored to Inspired!

4. Don’t be overwhelmed by the big picture. I’ll be teaching a class through Simon Fraser University soon, and even though I have an Education degree, I’m a little freaked out! But instead of focusing on the big picture, I’ve broken down what I need to do into small, easy to achieve steps. This tip for achieving your goals in college or university works for anything you want in life.

5. Declutter your physical and emotional space. Physical clutter can decreases your productivity, increase financial debt, and cause weight gain. Emotional clutter is de-energizing and prevents you from focusing on achieving your goals. If you need help with clutter, read Tips for Getting Rid of Clutter.

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6. Pick your top three goals. You may not be able to achieve all your goals in college or university (which quite possibly range from falling in love to getting your medical degree). Since you can’t reasonably expect to achieve everything you want in life – few people have the resources to do that – you’ll need to pick the three or four goals that are most important to you and focus on those.

7. Learn to let go of unachievable college goals. Maybe your goal at the beginning of the year was to make the volleyball or track team…but you didn’t succeed. Shake it off, my friend, and pick a different goal. This is another tip for achieving your goals in college or university that applies to all aspects of life: some things just aren’t yours to have. It’s okay, though, because other things ARE yours to have! If you have trouble bouncing back, read letting go of unachievable goals.

After undergraduate studies, do you want to go to graduate school? Read How to Get Into Grad School – Master’s or PhD Programs.

What did I miss? If you have any thoughts or questions about these tips for achieving your goals in college or university, I welcome your comments below…

Share your thoughts below - you won't be judged or criticized! I read every comment, but can't always respond personally.

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3 thoughts on “7 Tips for Achieving Your Goals in College or University

  • Laurie Post author

    I’m going to grad school this fall – my MSW at UBC! So if you have any questions about university and goals, please ask me. I’d love to help you achieve your goals and succeed.

  • Laurie PK

    Mark, I think it’s a great idea to focus on achieving just a couple of goals in college this year.

    Your comment reminded me of the quip: “He who chases too many rabbits lets them all escape.” If you focus on your top two or three goals, you’ll have a better chance of achieving them without burning yourself out again this year.

    Good luck, and enjoy your last year of college 🙂


  • Mark M.

    My problem is that I have too many goals that I want to achieve in college this year! I want finish on a high note: earn top grades, make the football team, write for the college newspaper, maybe join the track team in the spring. My girlfriend keeps telling me I’m an overachiever, but it makes me feel good to accomplish big things. It’s like a high.

    Last year I burned out though. I did take on too much and that’s why my mom and girlfriend are on me to slow down. So, maybe I’ll focus on a couple of goals this fall but not everything I want.

    Thanks for this article on achieveing your goals, it helped me put it in perspective.