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How I Write and Learn

In this blog series, “Ask a Coach!” our Writing and Learning Center coaches answer our UNC-CH undergrads’ burning questions! Check out what our coaches have to say about everything from taking breaks to utilizing office hours! 

I was just accepted to UNC and will be starting this fall! I would love to hear your advice for a newly accepted student!

Gaby: Welcome to the Carolina Family! It is very exciting and also very overwhelming to make the transition to college. My best advice to make this transition slightly smoother is to listen and learn. Absorb all that is happening around you, pay attention to how classmates are studying or planning or what the professor is suggesting for success. Learning is not linear, but trial and error will be your best friend in that beginning stage here at UNC. You cannot find what works for you best unless you try a bunch of different things. By simply being open to hearing and trying lots of methods and resources here, you will more quickly get your footing and feel more confident going into those hard lectures! 

Megan: Congratulations on your acceptance to UNC! The biggest piece of advice that I can give you as you embark on your new journey as a Tarheel is to start your plan now (especially if you’re a planner like me). The summer going into my freshman year of college, I created a four year plan with the general education requirements and classes for my major I would need to take (with backup courses in case I cannot get into a class I want) and what semester I would take each course in (being mindful to balance my coursework for each semester). Course registration can be a little overwhelming, especially for first-year students, and I have found that having a solid four year plan has taken a big weight off my shoulders, specifically because I always have a well-balanced course schedule.

Alyssa: For me, one of the most important changes I made transitioning from high school to UNC was how I organized my workload. Compared to high school classes, UNC classes usually have a much higher workload with more time required for studying and long-term projects. My best piece of advice is to spend some time before the semester starts figuring out a way of planning out assignments, study sessions, and leisure time that works well for you. If you feel like you need more help figuring out how to balance your schedule, the Learning Center offers tons of great resources ranging from time management tips to weekly schedule templates to academic coaching.


This blog showcases the perspectives of UNC Chapel Hill community members learning and writing online. If you want to talk to a Writing and Learning Center coach about implementing strategies described in the blog, make an appointment with a writing coach, a peer tutor, or an academic coach today. Have an idea for a blog post about how you are learning and writing remotely? Contact us here.

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