Having the courage to ask for help can be difficult no matter what the conversation might be about; however, being a student can be challenging at times for a number of reasons, that perhaps with a few questions asked, life could be made easier.
Once you’ve made the leap to ask for help, university life can be far more enjoyable and pleasant. Also, let’s be honest, it is as simple as: don’t ask, don’t get.
Talking is Key
More often than not, people want to help once you’ve plucked up the courage to actually ask for some. Lecturers and Professors are always more than willing to offer further guidance or answer questions.
It took me just over two years to realise that the people who taught me day-in, day-out weren’t scary to approach but incredibly interesting. I always feared that if I asked for help, then I’d be deemed stupid or unable but that is simply not true.
In my final year, I decided, with a little extra encouragement, to visit my Tutor/Academic Advisor on a one-to-one basis each week (ish); it turns out that whilst it felt daunting at first, in the end, all the meetings and wisdom truly paid off as I obtained more Firsts than ever before in my degree.
Also, let’s face it, academic staff have a passion for teaching; as otherwise, they wouldn’t be there in the first place. They like to answer questions, explain things in detail to those who care and discuss their own personal research. Talking is key to gaining new knowledge. You should try to debate, discuss and pitch ideas; your opinion will always be valued, especially when asking for help.
Be Confident in Yourself
By the time you reach university, you’ve had a fair share of life experience and that can be your friend. Have confidence in your opinion, thoughts and be aware of your limits.
Trust your own judgments. No one knows you better than you.
If you feel as though you are struggling then seek help and if you don’t understand something then just ask. Use the help of others to build your own confidence and understanding. Learn to acknowledge yourself as an academic whose contribution is always worthy.
No Question is a ‘Stupid’ One
This one took me a very long time to learn. I felt that most questions I asked whilst studying where either incredibly simple or came across as ‘stupid’ in front of all my peers. But in all honesty, if you are thinking it then no doubt someone else in the room is also wanting to ask the exact same thing.
Asking for help comes in various forms, included within that is putting your hand up in class to ask for a clarification or explanation. By stating/questioning the obvious, you might be helping others. If you openly ask for help, then your peers may benefit also. I often found that my classmates were more vocal or quick-off-the-mark when it came to asking about things that I had also wondered.
Don’t be Embarrassed to Ask for Help!
Throughout the second year of my degree, I found the demand of my course to be too much at times. However, once I opened up here, on this ickle-corner of the internet, it was easier to obtain and seek help elsewhere. I understand that when it comes to asking for help, it can be embarrassing.
Once one attends university, then it is easy to feel as though life is slipping into place and adulthood taking a full-frontal role. Then again, at 18+, we certainly don’t know everything. Don’t be afraid to admit that you need advice or a helping hand. Acts of kindness from others in the form of help shouldn’t be interpreted as moments of pity used when in distress. It shouldn’t be a negative.
As I said at the start of this post, once one begins to talk and discuss any problems then life gets that little bit easier. The process is slow but with every request for help, life is made a heck of a lot smoother.
You need to have the courage to ask for help when you need it. Don’t be ashamed, ever.
If you’d like to speak to me personally about this issue or seek further advice then leave a comment below or contact me here. Likewise, if you are interested in collaborating on projects related to this issue then you’ll find more details here.