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Tips for a successful winter quarter

Ideas and insights from CIRCLE’s Student Success Coordinator Mary Kay Grossblatt

Welcome to the new quarter and new possibilities!

Although we find ourselves in challenging times right now, there are still opportunities to grow and learn. With the new quarter starting it is a good time to reflect on past experiences and apply that learning to prepare for future quarters. What strategies are working well and what do you want to change? Developing this reflective and adaptive process is an important skill that will benefit you in the future as you move through the UW to graduation and beyond. Listen to other students share about their past quarter experiences on our CIRCLE “In the Loop” podcast here.

As you prepare for Winter quarter, here are some tips to help you start strong:

1) Have a plan for your academics

How is your workspace? Now that we have been using our workspaces for some time, are there changes that you want to make? Consider posting inspiring quotes or special photos up in the area. Listen to other students share about how they set up their workspace here.

Time management is important! Use your planner and/or calendar to create needed structure to your days and weeks. Did you know that CIRCLE offers free peer coaching to help you improve your academic strategies like time management?

Keep improving your study strategies. Shorter, regular 1-2 hour study blocks are more helpful to retain information than less frequent, longer study times. Academic Support Programs has helpful tips for studying here. See what works for you and make changes as needed.

Connect with your TA’s and professors early in the quarter if you have any questions or challenges. Listen to recommendations on reaching out from two UW professors, Dr. Xiaosong Li and Dr. Megan Callow.

2) Add self-care activities to your daily routine

Creating daily routines is important when we are all working and studying remotely. Add in one or two daily self-care activities like brisk walks (if it is safe to do so), stretching or deep breathing exercises. Keeping a daily journal can be helpful and is also a way to document this unique time to remember once this time is long past.

3) Explore new ways to connect to community

Try out a new registered student organization (RSO), join CIRCLE Community Conversations or check out the new CIRCLE Discord platform coming in late January where you can join a virtual space and connect with students and CIRCLE programs. Hear a student’s perspective on the benefits of RSOs on this CIRCLE podcast.

4) Stay determined!

It is not an easy time right now to be a student, so stay strong and keep adapting. As we move along our academic and life paths, sometimes unexpected events come along and we need to reevaluate our goals and make changes, and that is normal. If you ever feel overwhelmed, know that it is important to ask for help and that is no reflection on your ability to be a good student. We are here to support your success as well as help you through any challenges you experience.

Throughout the quarter, please reach out to UW and CIRCLE resources, join our CIRCLE events or email us directly at with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, Husky winter quarter!

To learn more about CIRCLE Student Success Coaching and Mary Kay’s work, visit the Student Success Coaching page.