Get Help Meeting College Demands
While getting accepted to college is a major achievement, succeeding in college is an even bigger one. To give yourself every advantage, tap into college resources.
College are Communities
The more involved you are in your community, the more likely you are to stay in college and complete your degree. Several studies have found that students who live on campus and are involved in school activities are more likely to graduate. Why? Perhaps these students are more aware of the resources that their college has to offer.
Don't be shy about asking for help. For example:
- Meet with your professors during office hours to ask any questions you have about assignments and course topics. If you have a problem with a professor, you should speak with the chair of the department or with a dean of undergraduate studies.
- Get help with basic composition techniques in your school's writing center.
- See if tutors are also available through a particular department.
- Look into study groups with other students in your courses. These groups are a great way to get support in a more informal setting.
College residences usually have a resident adviser who can address issues outside of your regular courses. If necessary, your adviser can direct you to other campus services for more specific forms of support, assistance, or information.
Also, many colleges have "living-learning" programs which let you live with others who have similar interests, interact with faculty outside of the classroom, and broaden your involvement in academic, social, and leadership activities.
College Counseling Services
If you're having a tough time coping with stress, pressures from home, or problems in relationships, or if you feel isolated or depressed or have other personal issues that you want help working through, mental health counselors are a great resource. Colleges generally offer free and confidential counseling to students for a set number of sessions or semesters. If you have continued counseling needs, they can refer you to off-campus counselors and psychologists.
The doctors and nurses at college health centers provide medical services and education. Services include treatment of illness and injury, immunizations, and diagnostic testing. Counseling and health centers often are joined or work together with the goal of maintaining students' overall wellness. Like counseling services, all services at college health centers are confidential.
Most colleges have clergy members with whom you can talk, as well as religious organizations that hold services and sponsor activities. Religious centers can be a good source of support and a stabilizing influence in what can otherwise be an ungrounded environment.
The financial aid office at your school can explain your financing and loan options. Aid forms can be daunting, but financial aid counselors know all the options and can introduce you to strategies you may not have previously considered. If you have questions about or problems with work-study, this is the place to go, too.
The key to meeting college demands is being knowledgeable about the resources available to you. The earlier you start taking advantage of these resources, the better.
Adapted from the article "Free College Resources: Get Help Meeting College Demands."
©2006 collegeboard.com. Reprinted with permission. Visit www.collegeboard.com.