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Ask a Coach!

February 1, 2022

In this new blog series, “Ask a Coach!” our Writing and Learning Center coaches answer our UNC-CH undergrads’ burning questions! Check back every month to see what our coaches have to say about everything from taking breaks to utilizing office hours! Today’s Question: What is the best way to plan my day?

Balancing Campus Jobs and Academic Expectations

January 27, 2022

The ground is burning, the air smoky, and chaos around. You are in the middle of this battlefield, the weight of a heavy backpack of assignments weighing on your mind and the chain of job expectations tied to your leg, preventing you from moving forward. The battle between studying for your classes versus pleasing your supervisor in your part-time job is never ending, and so I wanted to share my own experiences with you, my fellow comrades in pain.

Ask a Coach!

January 25, 2022

Introducing…“Ask a Coach!” In this new blog series, our Writing and Learning Center coaches answer our UNC-CH undergrads’ burning questions! Check back every month to see what our coaches have to say about everything from taking breaks to utilizing office hours! Todays Question: What are some short, restful breaks that don’t involve scrolling through Instagram in the library? 

Mono-Tasking is My New Multi-Tasking

November 23, 2021

There are days when it feels easy to put into words my ideas on the political landscape of Tudor England and its relation to architecture. However, there are also days when I cannot write a sentence that makes any sense at all as hard as I try. Over the years in graduate school, I have tried many different techniques, tricks, and tips for staying focused and motivated while writing. Some have worked, and others have not, but I have realized how easy it is to be distracted while writing.

Textbook Reading Routine

November 18, 2021

I used to think that textbooks were useless: they typically have hundreds of pages, contents irrelevant to class, and unexplained pieces of information. Unlike lecture videos or study guides, textbooks are raw. They discuss too much information using abstract academic language. However, as I entered my sophomore year, I found textbooks to be irreplaceable as part of my preview routine before lectures since no other resources can organize content as clearly as textbooks do.

Learning Outside an Academic Setting

November 12, 2021

As a double major in Biostatistics and Linguistics who is minoring in math, I am constantly thinking about the best ways to learn. Sometimes this means looking at the overlapping concepts between these three subjects or figuring out strategies that work for a certain class but not for another. And unfortunately, these thoughts are often made in the context of school.

How I Transitioned Back to In-Person Learning

November 4, 2021

The COVID pandemic over that past year has introduced a lot of challenges that students, faculty, and staff have had to adapt to. For me, it was difficult to adjust to living at home again and attending Zoom lectures with barking dogs, screaming kids, and TVs blaring in the background. My sister’s room became my makeshift work space and her new bunny, Churro, became my classroom companion. Nonetheless, I adapted and did my best. Now, just as I have adapted to the challenges of learning online, there is a new challenge currently being faced: transitioning back to in-person learning.

Tools I Used Writing My Honors Thesis: My TikZ-induced Procrastination and How I Overcame It

October 28, 2021

When I decided to write an honors thesis, the advice I received from everyone was to write things up as you go. The common wisdom was to write things up as soon as you have a result, rather than waiting five months and writing everything up at the last minute. I wanted to do an honors thesis to explore more math, but unfortunately for me, the thesis also required a lot of writing. Having heard the thesis writing horror stories and knowing the extent to which I hate writing (ironic that I’m writing this post, I know), I was determined to follow their advice to try and minimize the pain of the writing experience.

How I Dealt with Food Insecurity on Campus

October 26, 2021

As we acclimate to being back on campus, we are all dealing with a lot of problems that have been an afterthought for over a year now. Those problems include making it to class on time, dealing with dorm room issues, and more specifically, figuring out what and where I was going to eat everyday. I’d always had food provided for me at home, but moving to campus and being unable to afford a meal plan played a large part in whether I was successful my first-year at UNC. Good nutrition and a full stomach can help with focus, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, poor nutrition and constant hunger can be seriously detrimental to someone’s ability to succeed, like it was for me.

Portable Document Freedom

October 15, 2021

The past few semesters, I’ve found that I’m doing a lot more reading on a computer. Some of my course materials are online, and if I do need a book, many databases have made digital copies available for those without easy access to campus libraries. I also don’t have access to a printer, so readings I might have otherwise printed out have remained resolutely stuck in the digital realm.