For College Students

Intermediate-Term Goals for College Students

Intermediate goals are 1-5 years. Let’s set some!


Intermediate-term goals are usually 1-5 years and are a great bridge between your short and long-term objectives. But how do you set those goals in college? And how do they differ from short and long-term goals?

Let’s journey together and explore how setting and tracking these goals can revolutionize your academic experience.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Importance of Setting Intermediate Term Goals as a College Student

You’ll find that setting intermediate-term goals as a college student is crucial for shaping your academic journey and career path. These are the stepping stones towards achieving your long-term objectives, and they’re essential in keeping you focused, motivated, and accountable.

Think about it this way: Without these mid-range targets, you’d be trying to jump from freshman year straight to graduation. That’s not just intimidating; it’s unrealistic! Intermediate-term goals give you manageable chunks of progress that can make the whole process seem less daunting.

But remember, setting these goals isn’t enough on its own. You need to consistently monitor your progress and adjust your steps if necessary. This ensures that you’re always moving forward and not getting stuck or veering off course.

So, don’t underestimate the power of setting these intermediate-term targets. They’re more than just tasks on a checklist; they’re signposts on the road to success. Breaking down big dreams into achievable parts strengthens your resolve, boosts your confidence, and sets you up for a solid future in academia or beyond.

How to Set Intermediate Term Goals as a College Student

You’ve probably heard about setting goals, but have you ever tried setting S.M.A.R.T. goals?

It’s a powerful tool that can make your intermediate-term goals as a college student more achievable and meaningful.

Let’s dive into how you can set up your S.M.A.R.T. goals effectively to maximize your potential and streamline your path to success.

How to Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

It’s important to use the S.M.A.R.T. method when setting your intermediate-term college goals for a more focused and structured approach.

This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. When you’re specific about your goal, it gives you a clear direction on what exactly needs to be accomplished.

Making it measurable allows tracking progress and provides motivation to continue working towards the goal. It’s crucial that your goal is achievable, something challenging yet within reach.

Ensure it’s relevant to your long-term objectives so you’re not wasting time on unnecessary tasks. Lastly, set a realistic deadline for achieving this goal – having an end date keeps you motivated and prevents procrastination.

Examples of Good Intermediate Term Goals for College Students

Some examples of good intermediate-term goals for college students might include maintaining a certain GPA, joining a club related to their major, or securing an internship in their field of study. These goals aren’t just about ticking boxes; they’re about setting you up for future success.

  1. G.P.A. Maintenance: It’s essential that you set a realistic goal for your G.P.A. and strive to achieve it. This doesn’t only demonstrate academic prowess but also reflects your commitment and time management skills.
  2. Save Money: Set a specific savings target you want to hit by the end of your college years and build a plan to get there. You’ll be thanking yourself when you graduate!
  3. Securing Internships: There’s no better way to get firsthand experience in your chosen field than interning at a company or organization within that sector. It’ll expose you to industry practices, help you network with professionals, and boost your resume significantly.

Examples of Bad Intermediate Term Goals for College Students

On the flip side, there are examples of less effective aspirations one might set during their university journey. It’s not uncommon to aim for goals that are too broad or abstract, such as ‘becoming successful’ or ‘being happy.’ While these are undoubtedly desirable outcomes, they don’t provide a clear path to follow.

Let’s say you’ve decided your intermediate goal is to ‘be popular.’ This isn’t an effective goal because it’s subjective and out of your control. Popularity depends on others’ perceptions and can fluctuate based on numerous factors. Plus, chasing popularity could lead you astray from your true passions and values.

Another ineffective goal might be to ‘get straight A’s in every class.’ While striving for academic excellence is commendable, focusing solely on grades can create unnecessary stress and doesn’t guarantee understanding or mastery of the material. You’re better off setting goals that emphasize learning and growth over perfection.

Lastly, avoid setting goals based solely on others’ expectations or societal pressures. For instance, pursuing a certain major just because it seems prestigious isn’t wise if it doesn’t align with your interests or strengths. Remember: This is your college experience; make sure your goals reflect what truly matters to you.

How to Track Your Intermediate Term Goals in College

Keeping track of your progress towards achieving your aspirations while in university can be a game changer. It keeps you focused and motivates you to work harder when you see incremental success. But how do you effectively track your intermediate-term goals?

Let’s break it down:

  1. Set SMART Goals: The first step is setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. This way, it’s easier to keep tabs on progress.
  2. Journaling: Write down your daily activities related to your goals. It may seem tedious at first, but it’ll give you clarity about what’s working and what isn’t.
  3. Regular Reviews: Don’t let these records gather dust! Regularly review them to stay on track or adjust course if necessary.

Remember that tracking isn’t always about perfection. You might fall behind sometimes – that’s okay! What matters is recognizing where things went awry and finding ways to get back on track.

Ultimately, it’s all about taking control of your education journey – shaping it into one that aligns with your personal and career aspirations.

You Got This!

Remember, 92% of people don’t achieve their goals because they don’t track them.

Don’t be a part of that statistic. Keep setting and tracking those intermediate-term goals. They’ll steer you toward your ultimate college dreams and beyond.

It’s all about the journey, not just the destination!

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About the Author

David McCurrach

David McCurrach is the founder of Kids' Money. Following a career working in finance for several banks and credit unions, David started Kids' Money in 1995 and has since published three books on kids' financial literacy and allowance programs.

Last updated on: July 8, 2024