I was a terrible student.
I talked when I should've listened. Slept when I should've read. Bonded with my TV when I should've studied. Procrastinated when I should've learned discipline. Luckily, I've always had "great voice" in my writing with scattered regard for grammatical rules and making complete thoughts that intrigued my instructors just enough to never fail me.
Now that I'm no longer forced by the government to attend learning institutions and I've gained society's approval by earning the hallowed B.A. in order to qualify for "minimum wage" white collar employment, you'll probably never see me paying thousands of dollars for an education again when I and fellow American pupils have learned that YouTube and Google are the best educators around.
Maybe it's because so many of my friends are still in school (gross) or so many feel lost in their jobs and want to find themselves by going back to school (double gross) or so many are so confused about school that they're studying for entrance exam tests on the off-chance that they might eventually go back to school (seriously, that's just disgusting) that has me creating and sharing this exercise with you.
We all set resolutions/goals/intentions for our lives every year/month/day. Every second that we're breathing we're either moving towards, away from or stagnating our life's purpose. With this in mind, I wanted to apply what little I learned in school to my daily life. Setting and achieving goals (that can't be completed in 24 hours) are hard for me. How can I stay on track with small goals for myself in order to achieve an overall mission? The answer lies in your creating your own personal syllabus -- duh!
Below is an outline of a syllabus you can personalize for yourself. Each week, create bite-size attainable goals that can help you achieve your over-arching goals for 2016. At the end of the day, I could give you a few zingers and motivational quotes from inspirational people, but after creating this syllabus you'll realize: 1) you care enough about fulfilling your dreams to organize them and write them down 2) since your dreams are laid out strategically in front of you with attainable steps you've kind of run out of excuses for yourself, and 3) the topic is you! You're the subject of the reading discussions, essay assignments and grading scale. If you're apathetic towards your own goals, why would anyone else care about helping you?
I'm two weeks into my syllabus and have already signed myself up for summer school. The instructor can be annoying sometimes, but I'm glad I signed up for the course and excited to see what I learn next!
Institution's Name (ex: The University of Getting $#!+ Done)
Course Title (ex: Intro to Figuring Out Your Purpose)
Semester (ex: Spring 2016 Syllabus)
(Use the below headings to create a figure/deity who you can "reach out to" but won't necessarily get a response back from (ie: Beyonce, Jesus, Donald Trump). This will help with your accountability as ultimately you're your own pupil, instructor and grader.)
Instructor, Office, Office Hours, Office Telephone, Email
(Use this space to write out what you'd like to achieve and why. Are you chasing a dream you think is impossible? Are you attempting to do something you've put off long enough? Are you planning to quit your job with no leads of what to do next?)
The purpose of this course is to ______________. Upon completion of this course, you will have a better understanding of ______________.
(There are bound to be many books and blogs on whatever topic you want to explore. Find them. Create a list of your favorites and the most recommended. Maybe sprinkle in a self-help book or two and a book for pleasure as well for a well-rounded semester.)
Student Learning Outcomes
(A bulleted list of what you're going to achieve and how you plan to overcome personal obstacles that can threaten your success.)
(Write out certain objectives you want to fulfill each week. Read certain book chapters, research particular topics, go on field trips, etc. I'd say try to do make your syllabus for five weeks at a time. It's a little more attainable to make a plan about a month long and sticking to it.)
(What little rewards can you give yourself each week as you get things done? A milkshake from your favorite place? Binge-watching your DVR on Sunday after a week of hard work? Buying one new clothing item online? Make a table for this and outline when you get to indulge. Maybe a steak dinner will be your final exam grade if you completed the whole syllabus. Maybe one cupcake from your favorite bakery after each completed week. The sky is the limit. Get creative!)
There are no final grades. The final grade is really the progress you've made in the past few weeks and what you've learned about yourself. It's up to you to see how well you do!
Commit to Integrity As a student in this course (and at this university) you are expected to maintain a commitment to active learning, participation in this class and all areas of life and exhibit integrity in everything you do. Keeping these principles will help you succeed far beyond this classroom.