Published: Sept. 8, 2020

As you continue to settle into the semester and into your classes, you may still be adjusting to different learning environments. Here are some tips from academic coaches to help you succeed this semester.

How are your organizational skills?

Staying organized is one of the best skills you can have throughout your college journey. Being organized can help you clearly see the tasks you need to accomplish. While taking remote and in-person classes this semester, consider if your organizational system is working for you. 

If you find yourself struggling to stay organized, here are three ways to help you get back on track:

  • Keep your learning supplies organized. Assign a physical place for your textbooks, notes and other class materials to make it easier to find these resources the next time you have class or need to study. 
  • Keep your workspace organized. The less distractions you have around you when you are studying or taking classes on Zoom, the easier time you’ll have staying focused. Be mindful of common distractions such as cell phones and applications on your computer. Check out ways to navigate in-person, remote or hybrid classes.
  • Keep an agenda, calendar or whatever works for you handy. Having one place to refer back to for project deadlines, exams and other class-related material can help you stay on top of your responsibilities. 

How are you studying?

Check in with yourself about your study habits outside of class, and try the “study cycle” method to help you stay motivated.

  1. Before class, preview the material you'll be covering. Skim the chapter, pay attention to headings and bold words, review chapter summaries and prepare any questions you have.
  2. Attend your class—take notes and ask questions.
  3. Actively review your notes as soon as you can after class. Try summarizing your notes and applying concepts from your notes. Try to teach the concepts from your notes out loud. 
  4. Schedule time in your week to study the material again. Review your notes, handouts and any other readings.
  5. Be sure you are studying at the level of critical thinking necessary to show your understanding on exams. See Bloom’s Taxonomy and Critical Thinking

Repeat this process for each of your classes to ensure you are better prepared for exams, and try the seven-day study plan to find what works for you. 

How are you staying connected to others?

It’s important to stay connected and find your community at CU. Here are some ways to stay connected:

  • Set up Zoom study groups. Whether you’re reviewing notes or studying for an exam, having a group of people you can virtually get together with can make a big difference. 
  • Reach out to your instructors. Remember, your professors want you to succeed. If you find that you are struggling with the material or have other concerns, attend office hours to get the clarity you need. 
  • Connect with CU in different ways. Be sure to check your email and read CU Boulder Today. Check out upcoming events, volunteer and leadership opportunities and other ways to get involved

How are you balancing academics and life?

One of the great aspects of your CU journey is building independence and learning to find balance. How you spend your time outside of the classroom is just as important as what you do during class.  

Think about how you are planning time to study and review notes, and how that time is getting you closer to your academic goals.Take care of yourself to stay balanced and keep your energy up. Aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, eat regular and balanced meals and make time for physical activity. Also, take time to connect with others and enjoy your favorite hobbies.

student studying on campus

Academic resources

Managing stress

  • Counseling and Psychiatric Services: CAPS offers telehealth (virtual) counseling appointments for undergrad and graduate students. New students or students who have not been seen in the past year should make an appointment through their MyCUHealth portal. Current students can call 303-492-2277 or connect with their provider to make an appointment.
  • Wellness Wednesdays: This weekly program provides a space to engage in self-care activities, learn about campus resources and build community. Students can participate in the activity and have a one-on-one conversation with an emotional wellness peer educator to create a personalized self-care plan. 
  • E-Let’s Talk: E-Let’s Talk is a free service offered by CAPS where students can check in via telehealth for an informal and confidential consultation with a counselor. Students commonly visit with concerns about stress, sadness, worry and more. Let’s Talk counselors can help provide insight, solutions and information about additional resources. Learn more about e-Let’s Talk hours.
  • SilverCloud online mental health program: Take charge and manage your emotional health and well-being with SilverCloud, an online tool that provides personalized programs to help build skills around stress management, anxiety and depression.