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The center’s academic coaches, peer tutors and writing coaches are ready to help Tar Heels create a plan for a great semester ahead.

A student learns from a peer tutor at the Writing and Learning Center. A laptop sits in front of them during the tutoring session.
Over 6,000 Tar Heels visited the Writing and Learning Center during the 2022-23 academic year. (photo courtesy of the Writing and Learning Center)

Though midterm and final exam seasons are popular times to take advantage of academic and writing support at the
Writing and Learning Center, the beginning of the semester presents the perfect opportunity to create a study plan, fine-tune time management skills and start the new year on a high note.

Kim Abels, director of the Writing and Learning Center, shares how to make that goal a reality through the center’s coaching, tutoring, workshops and other services.

Q: What makes the beginning of the spring semester an ideal time to connect with the Writing and Learning Center?

Kim Abels: Getting organized early can make for a much easier semester ahead. If you found fall semester to be more stressful than you would have liked and you want to find a bit more balance this spring, making an appointment with an academic coach or a peer tutor in January is a great idea.

Students are also welcome to drop by to grab one of our semester-at-a-glance posters, which is a terrific tool for planning.

Q: What is a common hurdle at the start of a new semester, and how can Tar Heels tackle it?

Abels: Time management is a top reason students visit us at the Writing and Learning Center, and the new year can be an especially good time to revisit that skill as you approach a new class schedule.

You also don’t need to have a particular subject that you want help with in order to make an appointment with us. You could just think, ‘I want to make the most of my semester,’ and an academic coach would be happy to meet with you to help make that happen.

Q: Is there a resource at the Writing and Learning Center that you would consider a “hidden gem”?

Abels: Two come to mind: The first is our workshops, which cover everything from writing application essays to reading effectively, bullet journaling and studying smarter, not harder. Students can register for those on Heel Life, and many qualify for Campus Life Experience (CLE) credit.

The other is our blog, How I Write and Learn, which is written by Carolina students for Carolina students and includes tips and strategies about navigating life at UNC.

Q: Tell us about the Semester Kick-Off event on Jan. 16.

Abels: The Semester Kick-Off is a great example of what we offer. Students who join us will come away with a plan of how to approach their courses and tools to stay organized and optimize the semester. It’s a fun way to start the year right with a big group of Tar Heels.

By Jess Abel, College of Arts and Sciences

The Writing and Learning Center is part of the Center for Student Success in the Office of Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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