Learning consultations, offered by the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, are held with trained peer consultants to help you organize and plan your academic agenda. You can schedule and plan a semester, a day, a week, an assignment or even if you are just managing your workload for a class.. These consultations are completely tailored to your situation and what you need to accomplish. I’ve made it a habit to schedule consultations for “Reading Period,” the week before all final papers are due on “Dean’s Date.” Sometimes, I get a little anxious with a ton of reading to do and a little flustered with a lot of unscheduled time, so these consultations help me set up a general outline of what I'd like to achieve.
One semester, I was tasked with writing three dean’s date papers and a final exam. It was an unfortunate scheduling situation, but I needed a plan to achieve working through all the reading materials necessary for the papers, as well as studying and preparing for my final. So, I scheduled a learning consultation. First, my consultant asked some basic questions to gauge my comfort with each assignment and how much time I needed to dedicate to them. We scheduled rest breaks and even food breaks. We scheduled a timeline for when to read and write for my essays and also an in-depth breakdown of when and how to study for my final simultaneously. Because I was the least comfortable with my final, we scheduled the most time for it!
I felt completely ready to attack my little chunks of daily tasks for my finals rather than the overwhelming idea of studying and preparing for everything all at once. The best part for me was after we scheduled everything, we went back and scheduled backup times! While this in-depth plan was so helpful during reading period, I’ve also had consultations where all I needed was a general direction for the month. I am very involved on campus, so this guidance is useful. One thing my consultant told me that really helped to uplift my spirits was, “This is only a guide. Go at your own pace; it is okay if you don’t achieve everything on your list for the day. You’re doing amazing and doing your best.”