As week one comes to an end and you are looking back at how quickly it’s all gone and you start to add up all the lectures, tutorials, labs, essays, reports and various other requirements of your courses you may find yourself a little overwhelmed. If you don’t fantastic! You are exactly where you are meant to be. If you do, don’t panic, you are also exactly where you should be. Its easy when we start something new to feel overwhelmed and to lose track of the reasons why we started the journey in the first place. I have to say every adventure I’ve ever taken, every dream I’ve started living and every goal I’ve ever strived towards has started this way. So how do we keep focused on the here and now but keep the end goal in sight? I have three tips to share which might help.
1. Think about the smaller steps rather than the giant leaps. So you have a goal to be an electrical engineer, a doctor, a teacher, an artist, whatever the dream was that lead you to UoN it’s a big one. Within the degree there are years, semesters, courses, assessments, lectures and individual readings. Try to focus on one of the smaller steps. For me I would make a list so I could check off the smaller goals and feel like I was progressing on the bigger picture. I’d cross off downloading the lecture notes, attending the lecture, each reading of the any article, typing the cover page of a lab report. I felt like progress was being made.
2. Ask for help along the way. You have come to university to learn, no one expects that you will know anything. If you knew it all then you would be living the dream already. Now is the time to ask the questions. Now is the time you are paying to learn new things. No question is stupid. Also remember that help with knowledge is only one area of help. You might understand all the material but you are struggling with a personal issue which is impacting on the time you have available for your study. Asking for help with this and leaning on your support networks will help you strive toward that dream you started with.
3. Believe in yourself. Of course there will be setbacks and challenges on the road to success, after all it’s the way we learn. I’m pretty sure that Einstein didn’t get it right the first time and he definitely had his share of non believers but in the end he got there. Don’t get bogged down in those negatives and setbacks, they are after all how we recognise success when we have it and what makes it taste even sweeter. You have to believe that you can achieve your goal.
So there you have it my three tips for staying focused and true to your goal. Think about the day-to-day, don’t get hung up on what has passed, and while doing that never stop dreaming about the end goal.