Setting Educational Goals in the Fall

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Benefits of Setting Educational Goals in the Fall

Fall is great for setting educational goals for a variety of reasons. Namely, it’s difficult to find the focus to start your degree in the middle of summer. You may have small children home all day, vacations planned, or you just want to be outside enjoying the weather. If you’re a non-traditional student, you may also have a part or full-time job. Additionally, many people plan summer weddings, which may mean needing to travel or take off work. Basically, there isn’t enough time to sit down and write essays every weekend.

On the other hand, most people tend to settle in and spend more time inside in autumn. Beach days with friends turn to cozy days spent snuggled up on the couch. Kids go back to school, so they’re gone more often during the day, and bedtime is reinstated. And people generally need something to spend their time on once their seasonal hobbies end.

Thus, it’s no surprise that colleges across the country receive more enrollments for the fall semester. Keep reading to learn more about what makes fall the best time to set educational goals.

Why You Should Set Educational Goals in the Fall

If you’ve considered enrolling or going back to college, fall would be a great time to start. Indeed, most of us spend the colder months inside and are more sedentary than in the summer, especially those in a state with snowy and extremely cold winters.

If you’re not ready to enroll just yet, consider what else you can accomplish during the fall months. You can use this time to think about your ideal college major, career goals, and passions. Notably, you can explore college campuses before it gets too cold, research all the possibilities, and define educational goals. You may also enroll in your preferred university now and defer your start date to the spring semester.

Below, we’ll go over five reasons fall is a perfect time for setting those educational goals.

student attending lecture

It’s Getting Colder

As we mentioned, fall usually marks the end of many of our summer activities. Swimming, sports, and casual beach or park days start to dwindle with daylight. You’ll likely spend a lot more inside. This time can be spent working on your educational goals by planning or enrolling in classes.

While going to college is a lot of work, it’s rewarding. Also, the content should interest you, as long as you enroll in the right major. Thus, you won’t be bored by the coursework. It’ll be a way to engage your mind, expand your horizons, and maybe find a new passion or hobby. Instead of rewatching the same show you did last month, you can start or resume your education now.

Additionally, it may be time to think about what happened last semester if you felt disconnected from your studies. Did you do poorly or lose interest in your courses? Are you burnt out? If so, what do you need to get back on track? The fall may be the best time to think about what you’re out to achieve. Everyone has a reason they enroll in university, an idea for their future. Maybe it’s time to reconnect with yours or try something new.

We recommend using the fall to take hold of your future and ensure you’re still on the best path. Explore your options while you’re spending more time indoors.

You Can Knock Out Two Semesters in a Row

If you need to take summers off, starting in the fall will help you get more classes out of the way initially. Indeed, getting in the swing of things isn’t easy when you leave and restart. Setting a routine is vital for success in college. Starting in the fall allows you to enroll in two semesters in a row before summer. This schedule will help you develop patterns, get used to college life, and figure out what works for you.

Additionally, consider how your learning may be affected. Staying immersed in school helps students understand the content and improve their recollection of keywords, ideas, and formulas. Often, prerequisites serve as introductions to core concepts and vocabulary. It’ll be easier to progress in your major if you stay engaged for as long as possible.

Defining your educational goals in the fall can help you succeed going forward. The earlier you get started, the earlier you will reach your objective.

back to school

Your Kids Are Going Back to School

Around 20% of college students have children of their own. If you’re one of those students, the fall and spring will be the easiest seasons to pursue higher education. Indeed, keeping your kids busy during the summer is almost a second job. You have to drive them around, make sure they’re busy, and ensure they’re safe. In the fall and winter, they’ll still have afterschool activities, but they’ll be in school for most of the day and have a stricter bedtime again.

Notably, it isn’t easy for parents to pick and up go to a class of their own, even when their child is in school. You may have to get them if they’re sick and be available for phone calls. In that case, you may think of exploring online schools or programs instead. This option allows you to read your textbooks, take quizzes, and watch lectures while waiting in the pick-up line.

Having a family doesn’t mean you can’t use the fall to plan your educational goals. However, your path may look a little different from traditional ones.

College Admissions Ramp Up in the Fall

Many students choose to enroll after summer ends. For most, it makes sense to enjoy a final free summer after graduating high school. Some schools don’t allow students to start in the summer semester. As a result, colleges prepare for an influx of enrollments.

You may ask, why would more students be a benefit? Wouldn’t that be more competition? While it is true that some may get waitlisted or choose to defer until the spring semester, there are many benefits to starting in the fall. Namely, the class sizes are larger to prepare for the influx of students. As a result, you’ll have a higher chance of getting your prerequisites out of the way first. You may also find that some universities only offer specific classes in the fall.

Additionally, in response to enrollments, colleges may offer more financial aid, like grants and scholarships, in the fall. When you defer to spring, you may lose that aid as it will go to another student.

Thus, you should set your educational goals in the fall and decide what makes the most sense for you.

planning educational goals

People Tend to Set Their Goals at the End of the Year

Finally, many people naturally set goals at the end of the year. Indeed, Americans commonly set New Year’s resolutions, whether to get in shape, start a new job, or return to school. It makes more sense to develop a plan for the next year when the current one is almost over.

If enrollments have already closed for your ideal school, use the fall to define your goals further. Detailed resolutions are easier to achieve than abstract ones. For example, consider SMART goals. The acronym, SMART, stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Basically, you need to set detailed objectives to achieve within a reasonable timeframe.

The further you realize your goals, the easier it will be for you to achieve them. Thus, take advantage of this time of new beginnings and planning. Add your educational goals to the list when you think of your New Year’s resolutions.

That job, higher salary, or promotion is waiting on you to do your part. If you need to earn a certificate or degree to reach it, don’t hesitate. Use the fall to make plans and get started.

Final Thoughts

Lakewood University is an accredited online school that offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. We have rolling enrollments and asynchronous courses. In other words, you don’t have to worry about missing a lecture or running late to class. If you plan on enrolling in college while working, Lakewood University offers the flexibility you need to earn your degree.

Don’t hesitate – reach out to our admissions department today to learn more!