Post #4: What Kind of Support System have you Created?

Create your Own Support System

In case you did not know: you really need to create a support system for yourself.  I would like to address this topic because support can mean so many different things and it depends on your perspectives and priorities.  Second, everybody needs support of some kind.  It does not matter who you are or what stage of life you are in, we all need help.  Who are you going to lean on?

Help is Available, Just Ask!

Part of the challenge when asking for help is that you must recognize and acknowledge it.  For some of us that is a hard thing to do.  But I promise that your chances of relieving problems will increase after you can admit to them out loud.  Support can fall under the realm of academics, finances, mentality/emotions, physical health, special accommodations and the list goes on.  It may not always feel this way to you but there are others who are facing similar issues.

Another challenge when seeking help is to understand your options.  Always check with campus resources but it is ideal if you have additional options, too.  You may not have realized that there are campus employees whose sole job it is to help students!  And this leads to a very important tip:  you must initiate contact.  Chances are very unlikely that answers are going to magically fall into your lap.  Do not wait around for problems to go away.  Ignoring them will only exacerbate the issues.  There is not much time to be shy or afraid because your semesters will fly by before you know it.

Get Used to Speaking Up

Your time as a student (and as a human being) will always involve the process of learning how to learn.  Your growth may involve temporary discomfort.  This is true now and will be true for the rest of your life.  It takes skill to be honest with yourself and to admit your problems to others.  Practice overcoming your shyness or your fear of people.  Initiate contact with others and start breaking out of your engineering cocoon!   This will be one of the most important life skills you can learn as a student.  It might feel like a slow process at first and that’s okay.  You will be amazed at the generosity of others once you learn how to break your silence and speak up.