Achieving Your Goals

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Alexandria Sese > English > Freshman > University of Illinois
The first step toward your life goals is knowing yourself. Camille Helkowski, M.Ed., Associate Director of Loyola University, Chicago Career Development Center, says that one of the most common mistakes college students make when planning for long term goals is that they don’t know themselves well enough to make a decision they will be happy with in the long run.

This is why college  career centers like Loyola University’s encourage students to speak with a counselor or take the workshops they offer to help students understand themselves better. In doing so, they are able to devise a plan that will truly work for them. In addition, Helkowski says, “Keep talking, keep exposing yourself to new things. Let yourself be an explorer.” You never know how your experiences might be shaping the best plan for you.
Once you know yourself and you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, there are tools you can employ to help you realize your goals. One of these is a website called MyPlan is a useful source that students can take advantage of when researching their options. It is an up to date database of essential career and college information designed to help a college student, “Explore options and bring clarity and insight into figuring out what’s right for you.” What makes MyPlan so unique is that the information available to students is provided by a community of professionals from different industries. This allows students to have access to a diversity of insights, opinions and advice that will help them figure out what is best for them without having to make the same mistakes others have already learned from.             

For short-term goals, there are always budget-friendly wall calendars and weekly planners. These are perfect for managing your week so you are never overloaded with activities or idle for days. Mapping out your week is a tangible way of preparing for tasks such as writing a term paper or studying for midterms.
In addition to this, technology has been catching up with the students’ need to master time management. Mobile devices such as the iPhone or Blackberry can also act as organizers. They’re efficient for planning out your day so you are sure to be on top of everything, hour by hour, with the use of various applications. “They can break, though,” Justin Boulden from University of Illinois at Chicago says. “And they’re expensive, too.” Planning out
your college career is not as daunting as it seems. The tools available nowadays not only allow students to devise a more efficient and well-informed plan for post-graduate goals, but they also make it a lot easier to stay with those plans.

Keep in mind though that it is more than planning to achieve your goal. “Career choices need more than information,” says Helkowski. It also takes experience and wisdom to really get what you want in life. But achieving your ultimate goal is not everything. Always keep in mind that the journey matters just as much as your destination.

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College Magazine Staff

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