Four Letters, One Word…Why are we so embarrassed to say it?
The Beatles might have said it best… help, I think I need somebody. HELP, not just anybody. Help, you know I need someone…HELP!! Somewhere between graduate school applications and the idea that internships quickly evolve into jobs, the idea of help seems like a mirage as you are quickly slipping into the quicksand of Senior year. But help in college, as much as we try to ignore or deny it, is all around us. From our first steps on the campus, help takes the form of so many facets, whether it’s a professor, a colleague or even, dare I say it…your parents! Yes, asking for help is not a crime or a sin in college, actually raising your hand or throwing in the towel when times seem a little too much is human, and expected.
If you feel that you still are unsure or are embarrassed at times — like me to admit — hey, I think I can’t handle my insane life right now, here are some helpful resources and tips for handling life’s more, well, hectic parts and where to find the help to alleviate the tension:
I am going to actually word for word re-phrase the same line every single professor tells you, since the day you stepped on this campus freshman year, since I am not actually sure it has stuck with you. GO TO OFFICE HOURS! yes…office hours actually work when you forget you have to A.) attend class , B.) pay attention in class , C. ) want to establish a better relationship with your professor, and D.) just flat out don’t understand the material! Office hours not only let your professor know you care but will most likely lead to a better grade!
Remember that place on the 5th floor of Butler? Yeah just hop on the elevator at Megabytes and let the doors open and a world of opportunity is about to unravel. AU’s award-winning carreer center is not only school-specific but incredibly online integrated to help you outside of school at all hours of convenience! From peer advisors that can help you fix minor resume problems, to staff career advisors assigned accordingly to your specific school and major, you can virtually come in at any pace and level of your career search. The best part…come in for interview practice before a big gig and get some one on one critiques!
Advising! Ahh yes, there comes a point in time when your advisor becomes your next best friend…or deathly afraid of you since you make one too many appointments in a given week. But signing up for advising appointments for help on schedules, life at AU, or to map out your plan after graduation is not only a great suggestion, it’s pretty much mandatory for a lot of schools at AU. Get to know your assigned advisor like they are a part of your family. Be comfortable asking questions, letting them know if you are uncomfortable or not happy in a given course (they want to know… they are intergral parts of the scheduling process), and be honest about your intentions at AU (if you are happy, want to change majors, etc.). As much as you get frustrated during a week, they want to help you! So sign up online and make sure you see them!
Finally…mom and dad. Yes, the parents that helped you through thick and thin, who are proud no matter what, are just as integral to the healing process when you are confused about your life at school as any staff member on campus! Think about it, when you have a bad day or a rough class, who is one the first people you call to complain to? Oh..just me? Well, your parents want to be involved in the college process if they are not already! Try to keep them in the forefront and let them know your schedule of classes after you register, let them know your interests and what you have enrolled in each semester. It not only lets them feel wanted and a part of the college process again (empty nester syndrome party of one?) but it also allows you to ask questions and not have them blanking when you scream about that awful chemistry lab (uhhh honey…aren’t you a graphic design major?) Go over the course catelogue with them, and try to make copies of your worksheet after you leave advising meetings to show your parents just how far along you have to go to graduate (always helpful in senior year when parents begin to stress and budget how much they have to pay off). Allowing your parents to feel involved not only lets them understand the AU lifestyle, but allows them to still be a parent. I still call my dad for help when it comes to planning out my schedule and mapping out beneficial internships for my career…and I am not ashamed! (Granted he is an adjunct profesor and had two college grads under his belt — he’s a college advisor in his own right!)
We all feel a little overwhelmed from time to time. But when we experience it for ourselves, it may feel like the world is truly ending. The feeling of self-assurance and wanting to solve every problem for ourselves was so high school…embrace your resources and scream it on a mountain top! I have the power, and I want the help!
Posted in Senior Sendoff