Academic Coaching: The Key to Academic Success

If you’re anything like I was as a freshman, your first semester might not have gone how you expected. It happens to most first years; the first semester is filled with the excitement and stress of simply adjusting to a college lifestyle–learning where to eat, meeting new people, learning the campus, etc.–and for many, it was the first time that academics have been a challenge.

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So, maybe the first semester didn’t go as you planned, but you’re optimistic that you’re going to turn everything around and ace all of your classes and be the perfect student. You have it all figured out: you’re going to study every day, complete all your homework on time, pass your midterms, work out daily, join a club, get a job, and get 8 hours of sleep. Totally possible, right?

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Without any help, unlikely. But, with a little help from the team of Academic Coaches at the Dennis Learning Center, I think you could get pretty close. Here’s what to expect from Academic Coaching and why I believe it is one of the most underrated, underused, and most valuable resources Ohio State offers its students.

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Academic Coaching

  • Schedule online to have your own, free, personal, 1:1 hour-long appointment with a trained Academic Coach. In this meeting, you will discuss with your coach any struggles you are having with school/life, including but not limited to: time management, note-taking, test-taking strategies, testing anxiety, organization, motivation, procrastination, studying, and memorization. Your coach will help develop a personalized plan and provide you with strategies to combat these issues.
  • Form a connection with your coach and keep coming back weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly to check in on the progress you are making and to continue learning more about what works for you as a student.
  • From my experience with Academic Coaching, I have become a more productive, organized, and relaxed person. I used to stress about how much I had to do and felt like I had no time, but once I was able to sit down with a coach and go through my classes, responsibilities, and schedule, I was able to regain control and now have more time than ever.


  • Workshops are held all over campus throughout the year and might even be happening in your residence hall! These workshops include topics on stress management, note-taking, organization, and more.
  • While the workshops are very helpful, I encourage you to schedule an appointment after attending a workshop to get the most benefit!


  • You can even enroll in a 3-credit course to improve and develop yourself as a student. Choose from a list of classes emphasizing learning strategies, motivation, time management, self-regulated learning, success strategies for international students, and more.

Again, I cannot emphasize enough how truly beneficial the Dennis Learning Center can be for your success not only at Ohio State, but also personally and professionally. Having these foundations of self-regulation, accountability, organization, and time management are crucial for success, and there’s no harm in taking advantage of your resources. Try it out, you won’t regret it!

If you’d rather explore Academic Coaching and the resources in the Dennis Learning Center yourself, schedule an appointment, or learn more, check out their comprehensive website on all of the services they have to offer online on The Dennis Learning Center website.

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Senioritis plagues us all

We’re at the beginning of Week 7, and I still feel like the semester is just starting. Every week I look at my syllabi and have no idea what’s going on in my classes. I’m graduating in May–less than 3 months away!–and I have less motivation than ever before. I feel very apathetic about doing the things I need to get done.

I’ve heard from a few first-year students that have admitted they’re in similar situations. The weather has been snowy and dreary, and if you mix that with a warm, comfy blanket and Netflix, you get a perfect storm that equals you not going to class. Trust me, I’ve been there! And the weather recently has been so nice that I want to spend more time outside, instead of studying in the library.

For some people, it’s more than the weather. Once the newness of classes wears off, our obligations don’t seem as important. We get in a rut and convince ourselves that not going to [fill in the blank] won’t really matter. We need to be reminded that our choices can have serious repercussions later down the road if we’re not careful. Letting yourself skip one class becomes five classes, and suddenly you’ve missed a few pop quizzes. It’s a slippery slope to go down!

If you think you might be sliding down that slippery slope, as yourself these questions:

  • Have I been managing my time well?
  • When I have free time, I usually ______.
  • Do I tend to procrastinate instead of working ahead?

It’s easy to think that the answer is to tell myself that I should do better or I just need to try harder. Except that’s not encouraging, and definitely not what I want to hear. I think it’s okay to recognize that these feelings are valid, but it’s not okay to keep sitting in this season of complacency. I can see where I’m really pulling away from some responsibilities, and why I don’t want to experience those outcomes.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re in the same boat:

  • Reward yourself only AFTER you’ve accomplished a set task. (e.g. I’ll spend 15 minutes on Instagram after I finish reading Chapter 12.)
  • Change your scenery. Do you always workout at JOS? Try rock climbing at the ARC. Always study at Thompson? Try a study room in your residence hall. Sometimes exploring new settings can help re-energize you!
  • Identify what’s holding you back from success. Is it the need for a nap? Or do you get stuck watching hours of Netflix? Do you always say yes to hangout with friends when you need to study?

The struggle to find motivation plagues all of us at one point or another. Think about some of my suggestions and how you see those playing out in your own life. I also encourage you to start a conversation with a roommate, friend, coworker or mentor about different motivation strategies. Maybe someone has a cool approach that you want to try!

As always, know that the FYE Peer Leaders are here to help! Reach out to one of us if you have any questions or concerns. You can also email me directly:

10 Things I Did Instead of Studying!

Well, Buckeyes, spring break has come to a close and all I can say is…Why so soon?!

Today I want to see just how many of my proud fellow Buckeyes are suffering from the highly contagious and dreaded disease known as (dun dun dun) PROCRASTINATION!

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Most of us have been there: It’s the night before an exam, homework or a paper is due, and you’ve been staring at your computer for the last 3 hours with absolutely nothing to show for your inner turmoil. Afterward, you promise yourself you won’t wait until last minute ever again, but the real question is how do we get here in the first place? Here’s my list of things I consider to be my biggest time-wasting temptations:

Watching anything and everything interesting on Netflix or Hulu.


Whether you like to watch a series at a time or explore the wide-ranging selection of B-Movies, Netflix is an awesome way to help the hours pass by.

Facebooking, Tweeting, Skyping, Instagramming, etc.


In one second you can be reading an article in an academic journal and the next you’re liking the last 10 statuses your buddies posted about the crappy weather outside.

Finding memes to post that illustrate just how distracted you feel.


You know you’ve done it! Whether it’s Condescending Wonka, Futurama Fry or ermahgerd girl, you’ve found a meme that speaks to you and posted it for all of your friends to see.

Watching videos on YouTube.


You can sink quite a few hours into watching just about anything on YouTube; in the land of funny cats and viral videos, you are sure to be entertained.

Cleaning (a new level of desperation, but effective).


Hmmm, study for your Calc midterm or do the dishes? Normally I’d go with the third option (neither); however, if you need to feel like you’ve accomplished something while doing basically nothing, cleaning your room, apartment or house is always a great option.

Playing with your (or others’) pets.


Pretty self-explanatory; however, the amount of creativity you are capable of possessing when needing a distraction can be quite scary. 

Complaining to others about whatever assignment you have due.


All of your buddies are going to the movies but you have economics homework due. What’s wrong with texting them sad face emoticons all night? After all, misery loves company.

 Browsing Pinterest.


Clothes, funny memes, food, celebrities in weird situations…It’s the best example one can give of how a picture is worth a thousand words. The best part? You can flood Facebook newsfeeds with pictures of stuff your friends probably won’t find even the slightest bit interesting.

Playing video games.


The culprit responsible for the downfall of even the most devoted college students—video games! From PC to PS3, plenty of people have found themselves completely obsessed with some sort of digital distraction in one form or another, and no judgment on the fact that you may have spent your entire weekend playing Grand Theft Auto V or Call of Duty.



What do we want? SLEEP! When do we want it?! Whenever we can get it! I won’t lie, next to Netflix this may be one of my favorite activities to engage in. It’s completely free, good for you and requires absolutely no effort. I just wouldn’t suggest napping during lecture (usually doesn’t end well).

All right, so we’ve covered the basics of Procrastination 101, but what now? If nothing else, hopefully you’ve found this to be a pretty helpful reflection on just how normal it is for you to find yourself easily distracted. Plenty of us have to fight the temptation to put off assignments or studying until later and it’s not unheard of to lose the battle and give in. However, it’s important to know that if you are falling behind in your classes or find yourself earning bad grades despite your best efforts there is plenty of help to get you back on track.

The Younkin Success Center, conveniently located on Neil Avenue next to Bruegger’s Bagels and across from Hamilton Hall, is a great resource for those of us who need a little academic boost. They offer free tutoring five days a week, a Learning Center dedicated to helping students develop helpful and effective strategies related to studying, note taking and exams, Career Counseling, and Wellness Services.

No one ever said college would be easy, but you should never feel as though it’s impossible to succeed. With the right tools, and a positive attitude you can make these years some of the best of your life all you need is to let your motivation defeat your procrastination.