Student Success Series: How to Ask for Help


two people sitting around a laptopWhen you’re an adult and have lived through career changes, children being born, supporting parents, and all the ups and downs of life, it can be hard to be a beginner again. However, going back to school presents challenges that can’t always be struggled through with grit. Sometimes, asking for help is the best option. To make reaching out a little less painful, we’ve collected some of our favorite tips.

Change your mindset.

Instead of thinking you need to do it all or have it all figured out, let yourself be a beginner again. Focusing on soaking up as much information as you can may make asking for help easier, according to this article in Forbes. Then your focus shifts to your growth instead of your perceived shortcomings.

Check your pride.

As Christians, we are called to humility. Is your pride keeping you from asking for the help you need? If it is, it may be time to self-assess and consider ways you can approach this issue. Sometimes it takes courage to battle pride, but the fruit of reaching out is worth it.

Consider the consequences.

Ask yourself what would happen if you don’t ask for help. In some cases, it may be simple—I didn’t ask for help with the dishes, therefore, I have a sink full of them to do tomorrow. Other times, it may not be so simple. The price could be a failing grade or worse. Be sure to know when you need to ask for help and do it sooner, rather than later.

Know who’s in your corner.

Even though we may have trouble asking, our friends and family are often eager to support us when they can. Whether it means asking for extra help around the house or calling a classmate for advice on an assignment, find small ways to use your support network. There may be a time when you’re in a position to reciprocate.

Plan to give back.

Speaking of reciprocation. You may not feel comfortable receiving without giving, but that’s sometimes unavoidable. If you fall in that camp, make a plan to give back later, either with a thank you note or small gift that shows how much you appreciated the help.

Don’t wait.

Reach out for help before you’ve reached a point of no return. It’s easier for a professor to steer you on the right track a week or two into class than right before the final.

If you’re struggling, SNU has many resources to support you spiritually, mentally, and academically. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to a professor for advice. The SNU faculty and staff are here to help you be as successful as you possibly can.

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