In Academics on
February 12, 2014

Asking for Help

Asking for help can be a difficult thing when you are attending classes on a day to day basis. Realizing when you need that help can be a big pain as well, especially when you are a new student and you are not quite sure what to do. Today I am going to give you all some advice on how to recognize when you need help and then how to go about asking for it.

 Asking For Help In College | Asking for help can be a daunting thing for students in college, but it doesn't have to be. Click through for my tips on how to realize when you need help academically as well as how to best go about getting the help you need.

*picture via Adobe Stock Contributor WaveBreakMediaMicro

How to realize when you need help academically

It’s not always easy to determine when you need help academically, but it really important to evaluate your academic life and understand when you might need it. Check out these three reasons you may need help.

1. Your test grades aren’t measuring up to how much you have prepared

If you are consistently seeing low test scores even though you have studied your heart out, you may want to consult a professor. It may be something simple, but it’s much better to find out what’s going on.

2. Your not understanding any of the material

If you are reading things weekly and it all looks like a bunch of text of a foreign language you don’t understand you may want to ask for help before you are in over your head.

3. Your professor is going too fast for you to keep up

Students feel as though they can’t come to professors about the speed of their conversation. You can, but it’s all about approach. Instead of blaming the professor for being a fast talker, ask if there may be some tips to keeping up that the professor can help you with. Don’t be accusatory. Just ask for help.

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How to go about asking for help

How do you even go about asking for help? Here are my best tips for asking for help so you do not fall behind.

1. Don’t take up class time

In college you only meet three times a week or two times a week. Professors don’t really have time to stop during class and address your concerns as much as they would like to. Instead attend office hours.

As a side note, don’t be afraid to speak out if everyone is having issues. If it’s just you, that’s one thing. If the entire class looks confused, step up and talk with your professors during class. Students often don’t feel comfortable asking for help, even if everyone is lost, 

2. Be specific

 One concern professors address all the time is lack of specificity! Be specific about your problems—even if there are a long list of them. Instead of saying “I don’t understand any of this” be specific and state “I don’t understand concept 1, concept 2, concept 3, and so on.” Bring a list of questions to office hours if you have to.

3. Don’t be afraid to go to office hours

Students get their underwear in a bunch worrying about office hours. Your professors have to hold office hours as a part of their paycheck. They are getting paid to wait in their office for your questions. You are not only paying them to lecture you, but to help you in the office in case you have question. Put your adult underwear on and ask for help. They want to help you, I swear!

Overall asking for help will not kill you, but it will make you stronger academically and personally. It will be a little painful yes, but you can easily get over that. If you need help, ask for it.

Amanda C.

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