No one in an epic crisis would intentionally slap a lifeguard, run away from the paramedics, or avoid a star in Mario Kart. That sounds silly at first, but that is how it appears when we reject help-especially when we know that we need it. But according to research help around campus is becoming more and more difficult to find. According to an article by The Hechinger Report, there is only 1 College Advisor for every 367 students (http://bit.ly/2p7xA9p). When you don’t take advantage of help when it is within reach you could find yourself standing behind 366 other students.
If you plan to survive any emergency or disaster you need to know where your resources are and how to use them. Using campus resources is like having a first aid kit, so it needs to be approached like this:
#1. Know What Goes Into A First Aid Kit: Most people can name 5 things that go into a first aid kit, but can you name 25 things? If you have a first aid kit for your house, you’ve gone hiking, traveled cross-country, or prepared for disasters, then you can probably name more than 25 things that could go into a first aid kit. Identify the Student Services office/area at your college…and if you are being proactive, identify them BEFORE classes begin. There will be information online at the schools website, at the Admissions office, or the office for the Dean of Students. There are even Student Organizations who keep lists like these. This will require for you to research and network–which are two activities that require you to do a bit of leg-work. Here are a few areas to call the school about:
Counselors : Not just Counselors for the school, but ask if they have program-specific Counselors, i.e., Counselors for Health Science students or Engineering students. Locate their offices and their free resources.
Disability Support : Did you know that some schools provide special devices for the hearing impaired? Did you know that some schools provide special testing areas for students? They can also help you to determine if you have been dealing a with a learning disability.
Veterans Assistance : These initiatives help our Veterans to get adjusted to college life, access supplies, interpret complex college documents, and simply offer support to those who have supported and protected us.
Tutoring Services : Schools usually have different tutors for each of the major subject ares or those areas that seem to encounter the most difficulties. Now, most tutoring is free so most often the cost is simply your time.
Minority Based or Needs Based Services: Ask your school if they have any academic, minority or needs based student groups available for you to join. Often times these groups have alot of strategies in place for student success, as well as access to other very viable student success resources.
Food Services: You will live and die by your stomach, so know what food services are available on campus. Lots of student clubs have free food as incentives to join, and they already expect you to come for the food. Some local establishments give student discounts but some of the better discounts can be found on apps like the Vittl app.
#2. Locate Your First Aid Kit: You need to know where your first aid kits are. I keep a first aid kit in my bedroom, one in the kitchen, another in my car when I travel, and the 4th is in my office. I have needed all 4 at some time, and most of the time it has been for other people. The point of this is that I knew where to locate my assistance when I needed it–even if I did not need it often. Do you know where to find free tutoring? For Math? For Biology? For Literature? For Economics? Did you know that there are programs that provide assistance for clinical and technical supplies, like nurse uniforms, welding masks, technician gloves, lab coats and more? These programs actually pay for your equipment! What have you found on YOUR campus?
#3. Pay The Fee: There are two prices to pay for free assistance–Pride and Time. We have to put down our pride to ask for help and admit to ourselves that we are not perfect. We must spend the time seeking this assistance, while keeping in mind that sometimes academic assistance is NOT clear. It is often times created, but not publicized nearly as well as school officials assume that it is. They think that an mass email and some small flyers on random boards will out shine the frat party flyers and free pizza flyers. These are outdated notions, and they simply do not work. To find the best resources, it will require a few days of searching for sure.
When my friends and I arrived for our first day on campus, we spent the weekend before classes walking the entire campuses, walking in and out of buildings, and writing down what we found. Why? Because the campus was pretty big, we were pretty new, and people told us everything we needed to know about having fun–but nothing about where our classes were, where the other computer labs with printers were located, and where study labs happened to be for each of our majors. We located so many secrets that for an entire semester people thought that we were sophomores! It’s not too late to begin searching for this material right now. It’s time to get a first aid kit and stop being a casualty of war.