The power of asking for help

By Madeline Sharp, Academic Peer Coach

We’re All In This Together

You might have just gotten into a routine with your classes and work schedule. But suddenly everything seems as if it has been flipped upside down (because quite frankly, it has been!) Everyone is suddenly in transition mode again; everyone is trying to adapt to this “new” normal.

So now what? You are in virtual classes online and perhaps you have even lost your job. You might feel like there is no end in sight and are questioning what the point of everything is. Let me tell you though, keep fighting! There is a point to all this.

One of the biggest pieces of advice that I have for you is to ask for help and communicate to others how you are feeling. Perhaps you have never been good at or have never felt comfortable asking for help or asking questions. But now, more than ever is the time to ask for help and ask questions, because most likely if you feel lost or have a question, someone else does too. According to Wayne Baker, author of the book All you have to do is ask, when you ask for help, you get the resources you need to be successful: information, advice, ideas, opportunities, referrals, and emotional support.

One positive way of looking at this crisis (if you are to approach this with optimism) is that everyone is suddenly in the same boat. Everyone suddenly has a connecting point, something in common. You asking for help could be helping someone else. So do not hesitate to ask for help, whether that be in one of your classes or in your everyday life outside of the classroom.

As high school musical said best, “we’re all in this together.” Let’s stick together and help each other become our best selves by leaning on each other during these trying times.

General tips for asking for help:

1.) Email your professor as soon as you have a question – it is better to ask a question when you do not understand something instead of waiting until it becomes an issue.

2.) Pay attention in class to other questions that your classmates ask so you do not miss an answer and to help avoid asking the same question as someone else, this should also help you stay attentive in class.

3.) Ask help from someone you are comfortable with, if you are able to ask a classmate / friend a question you should. That being said, your professor is always going to be willing to help answer your question too.