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7 Questions Every College Student Should Ask Themselves Before the New School Year

September has arrived, and with a school on the quarter system, I’m using my last couple weeks to start getting ready for the new school year! I’ve found that doing an end of quarter review is really helpful in the process of achieving those goals so before I make the new list, these are the 7 questions I asked myself to keep myself on track.

Every quarter, I use an adapted version of Lisa Jacob’s Review to make sure I’m on the right track. Since summer is the end of the year, I decided to undertake Lisa’s 40-question Best Year Ever self diagnostic. A lot of the questions weren’t well suited to students and required some hard-core soul searching, so I made my own list of 10 that I think every student should ask themselves before starting the school year.

These questions should help you prioritize your time, focus your energy, and prepare you to make the 2017-2018 school year your best one yet.

1. What was time/energy well spent (or wasted) this year?

With only 24 hours in a day, and almost all of them filled with class and homework, its important to make sure you’re making the most of the rest of them. Identifying the best and worst uses of your time and energy is crucial to a successful school year.

It’s important to distinguish between time and energy because some activities, like getting lunch with a friend, are high energy and (relatively) low time, while others, like watching every episode of Gossip Girl on Netflix, are low energy and high time (especially when someone challenges you to guess Gossip Girl’s identity when you’re still in season one).

2. What did you accomplish this year?

Before setting your goals for next year, its important to think about the things you were able to accomplish last year. It can serve as a great check of what is reasonable for you to take on in the coming year. It also helps to frame your priorities as you choose how to dedicate your time.

3. What did you learn about yourself in 2016-2017?

College is a time of huge changes in our lives, values, and opinions. Taking the time to write down what you know about yourself now that you didn’t last year is not only an awesome thought exercise, but also a great lens to remind yourself of as you make decisions in the next year.

I’ve found this especially important in examining the relationships I’ve maintained with friends, family, and SOs. Through these experiences, I learned a lot about who I am and who I’d like to be.

4. Are there any goals you want to let go of?

If you have a goal that you keep putting off, or unrealistic standards you never reach, it may be worth examining keeping those objectives as priorities. If the classes in your major are destroying you, or you’re miserable trying and failing to get all As, letting go of those goals may allow you to explore better options.

With so much changing every school year, I know I have a tendency to want to hold on to some of those goals. If my meal planning saga has been any indication, maybe now is not the right time to learn how to cook.

5. How did you hold yourself back this year?

Although it can be a little bit of a downer, its important to take an honest look at your shortcomings. Figure out why you continue to practice these bad habits that keep you from making the most of your college experience.

Stop (insert answer here) is a really place to start when you’re writing up your list of goals. For me, the answer to this question last year was not letting myself get enough sleep to function.

6. What progress did you make towards where you want to be when you graduate?

Thinking about how your classes, summer internship, extracurriculars, etc contribute to your long-term goals is actually great practice for job interviews, but its also a great time to figure out what you want that answer to be. You might not know exactly what you want to do when you graduate, but generally if you’d like to be employed or in grad school this is a good time to refocus on that.

With the new school year starting, what classes are you taking that can contribute to this? Are there clubs that you can join to get you closer to where you want to be? This is the time to put yourself on the right path.

7. What are your priorities for the next year?

Making a list of your priorities (School, Friends, Family, etc), is an easy way to make sure you’re using your time and energy well through the year. I use a Top 5 section in my bullet journal every week to keep them in the right order.


Before making your list of goals for the school year, these questions can help to focus so that they can best contribute to the person you want to be.

What are your goals for the upcoming school year?

Let me know on Instagram!

Xoxo, Rosana



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