Keep Writing and Learning: Designing Your Academic Life
Thriving at Carolina will call on you to learn new skills and build upon on what has made you successful thus far. Support from coaches and peer tutors is available from the Writing Center and Learning Center. Read on for tips to help you design a successful academic life and finish strong this semester.
Structuring your time may be one of the most challenging aspects of college. With more unstructured time, it can help to sort out where to work, and how to work, and when. Developing a schedule can help you manage unstructured time and set you up for success. We’ve got some great tools to help you design your academic life:
- Time Management and SMART Goals Video
- Spring 2022 Semester At-A-Glance (Word) (PDF)
- Using Planners and Calendars
- Weekly Planner: 60 Minute Intervals
- Goal tracker
- Wheel of Life
- How to Tame Procrastination
On an ordinary day at Carolina we all have many distractions to manage. But remember, you can take control of elements of your academic life and learn to manage distractions—a vital skill that will serve you well now and in your future courses and career. Consider these tools and approaches:
Active learning and studying
There is a lot of research about how we learn and how to study best. This moment may be your opportunity to implement improved learning and study strategies that will help you learn remotely and enhance your academic life in any setting. Take a look at the Learning Center’s online tips and see what new study strategies and approaches you might try as you navigate new classes and assignments:
- Growth Mindset Video
- Studying 101 Handout & Video
- Higher Order Thinking
- Online and Remote Learning
- Getting the Most from Lectures
- Reading Template
- Effective Note-Taking in Class
Managing writing projects
The Writing Center has a collection of online handouts to help you with specific kinds of assignments, sentence-level conundrums, and moments in the writing process, including tips for writing in specific disciplines. Take a look at these resources to get started and remember the time management tools described above as you structure your writing projects:
- Understanding Assignments (Video)
- Thesis Statements
- Outlines (Video)
- Why We Cite and How We Cite (Videos)
- Reading Aloud
- Revising Drafts
- Reorganizing Drafts and Reverse Outlining (Video)
Connecting with instructors and classmates
Pay attention to the materials posted, course-related announcements, and the online resources your instructors recommend. Here are some tips you may adapt when connecting with professors, teaching assistants, and classmates remotely:
- Emailing Professors
- Talking with Your Professor
- Using Office Hours Effectively
- Studying with Classmates
- Group Writing
- Getting Feedback
The Learning Center joins with your instructors in Biology, Chemistry, Math, and Physics courses to support you as you navigate an online landscape. Visit the STEM support page to sign up for Sakai and Zoom learning opportunities for students taking Bio 101; Chemistry 101, 102, and 261; and Math 110, 130, and 231.
There’s more! Visit our tips and tools pages to check out many more helpful strategies tailored to support your academic success at Carolina. Check out https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/ and https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/
Are you an international student? Click here for additional tips and tools that may support ESL learning.
Are ADHD and/or learning differences part of your academic life? Click here for tips and tools that may be especially useful for learning with ADHD or learning differences.
We welcome suggestions for handouts or resources you wish existed and would like us to develop.
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