Mentor's Tips for Working Online

Academic Mentors  are undergraduate students with valuable experience and specialized training to coach their peers on how to reach their academic goals. They are students just like you, who have learned strategies to  be succesful at UNH.

We asked them to share their best tips for success in the online environment, and they invite you to email them with your specific questions for online learning.



Photo of CFAR mentor Alexia

Alexia '21


Stay organized right away and use a planner or todo folder to remember any assignments!

Photo of CFAR Mentor Luke

Luke '23

Biochemistry, Molecualr and Cellular Biology

"Create a work environment where you do schoolwork and nothing else to get into "work mode" easier."


Photo of CFAR Academic Mentor Fabiana

Fabiana '22 Economics

  • Get an agenda or make a to-do list of everything you want/need to get done. Put the first things due at the top and include meetings/extra curriculars you have so you don't forget/stay organized if you're having a busy day. 

  • Print syllabi if you can, and get familiar with the policies and structure of your different classes as soon as possible

  • Check your emails and communicate with your professors if you're struggling. It's a lot easier to feel disconnected through zoom vs. in person, but still make the time and effort to go to their virtual office hours as a way to network and get the support you need. 

  • Work in a space you're most productive in (for me it's a coffee shop because I prefer the background noise)

  • Always have something to sip on like water or coffee, it can be really refreshing. 

  • Take a break when necessary!!! 

  • Go for a walk or be active in some sort of way to help clear your mind and destress from school/sitting all day

  • Try to get into a routine where you have a balance of work and personal time, prioritizing both!


Photo of UNH CFAR Mentor Audrey

Audrey '23 Biology

"Build a schedule which fits around your classes and commitments; know where you need to be at the times listed and make sure you keep on top of your work. Be sure to set boundaries between the space where you work/study and where you relax (especially if you're in a dorm). When school gets stressful, be sure to make time for yourself! Self-care is so important, especially in times like these. Be sure to check in on yourself often. You cannot accomplish your goals to your best ability if you are not mentally or physically fit to do so."



Nicole '21  Analytic Economics and International Affairs

"Online learning requires a lot of self discipline. When there isn’t someone telling you or reminding you to do your work, it may be hard to find the motivation. It’s up to you to keep yourself away from distractions if they will impede your learning process. Carve out a block of your day, find a good place to work, and just do it. Taking breaks is okay, but make sure you finish what you need to."




Elana '21 Community and Environmental Planning / Sustainability

"Set up your space for online learning:

  • Clear the space of anything non-essential for learning

  • Keep only what you need for that session

  • Leave your phone in another room

  • Use noise-cancelling headphones to help concentrate

  • Set up the space to be comfortable

  • Adjust the heat

  • Make sure there’s enough lighting

  • Have a beverage or snack handy"


Pinar '21  Business Administration

"Communication at home is really important, letting people around you know your class schedule and when you need quiet time and to not be bothered is really important."


Sarah '20  Human Development and Family Studies

"Set alarms on your phone five minutes before your Zoom sessions begin.  I've already had a few instances where I completely forget about my class even though we meet at the same time.  The lack of a solid schedule can be a tough adjustment!"

Kylee '22  Health Science and Sustainability

"Make a schedule for yourself for each day; check emails; make a master list of what your professors are doing for each class now - is it zoom, uploaded lectures, etc., how has the syllabus changed? Email professors if you are unable to do their set-up; if you have a MacBook connected to your phone, turn on do-not-disturb so messages won’t go to your laptop, and put your phone in a different room than you are working in."


Colleen '20  Psychology

"During this strange period of remote learning, I have found that creating a schedule for myself to stick to has been what has kept me sane. I also made a “to-do” folder with sticky notes for each assignment so I know what tasks I need to get done each day. Here's a handout on how to make a to do folder:"



Lorena '22  Social Work and Spanish    

Drawing out flow charts as a visual are helpful to see cause and effect information in a more organized way. Also, don't ever think a question is too small to reach out to a professor or TA, they have great strategies that will help you succeed with that specific course!

Photo of CFAR Peer Mentor

Megan '23 Biomedical Science: Medical Laboratory Science

“Online school requires more self-control than in-person school. I find that putting your phone out of sight while you’re on a Zoom lecture will help you focus without being distracted by texts and social media. Now that we are spending more time in our rooms, it is also important to identify study lounges or other spaces you can go to get work done if you find yourself not being productive in your room. I also think that office hours are more accessible in these times because you can quickly ask a question of a professor by hopping on Zoom- you don’t have to spend valuable time walking to their office and back.”

Phot of CFAR Mentor Kevin

Kevin '22

Business Administration, Accounting 

"Remember to take care of yourself. With online school the lines can get blurred between when you are working and when you are 'off the clock' so to speak. You are always at your best when you are well fed, well rested and giving yourself some time to do the things you enjoy."


Photo of CFAR Mentor Elena

Elena  '24  Mechanical Engineering

"Sometimes doing work is like a marathon. I haven't personally run a marathon, but I think I would go at my own pace. If you feel like you're falling behind in your work, take a step back and slow down. Take a nice break and remember that you don't have to go hard all the time. "


Ujan ' 22  Electrical Engineering

"Check your email for announcements from professor or TA. This will ensure that you don't fall behind with the coursework.

Go through syllabus thoroughly. It will not only help you keep track of the material being taught, but also the best way to contact a professor or TA for questions. Some professors may want emails through canvas and not their UNH emails."



Lauren '21  Biomedical Science

"Maintain a regular schedule, hopefully similar to the one on-campus.

If your professor offers live lectures (via Zoom or other video platform), try to attend if you can because it could become difficult to catch up if you’re solely relying on the posted recording afterwards. During Zoom lectures, don’t be afraid to ask questions to the professor or rest of class in the “chat” feature for clarification."

Isabel "22  Statistics

"Now that our routine has changed it could be hard to remember everything that is required on our courses . I looked deeply through each revised syllabus and canvas page, then wrote down every change and new assignment in my agenda book.  I am doing more previewing and writing down notes before lecture since some of my classes are now operating as a flipped classroom.  I also created a workspace in my room with a desk and chair to help me get in a 'working mood' which forces me to get out of bed and stay organized."


 Laura  '20  Nursing

"Regarding eText:

Preview the book; look at your eText’s table of contents to see how the information is organized.

Scan the preface for author’s notes on how the book is organized and what study tools/resources are incorporated into the reading. Identify where the resources are located: glossary of terms, topic index, homework solutions, extra homework problem. "

Sarah '22  Political Science and Communications

"My number one tip for being a successful student is  to utilize the textbook and the many things it has to offer, such as learning objectives, practice problems, diagrams, vocab, and more. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your professor or TA, because most of the time they love to help and may give you some great tips!"

Photo of CFAR Academic Mentor, Lauren

Lauren  '20  Psychology / Family Studies  

"Make an information map of your classes and what you need to know about how they will run. Here's an example."