How to survive freshman year in college

Haley is a senior at Kutztown University studying Communication Design. She loves hot pink, her nails are done, and she loves to shop. But don’t let her fool you. She enjoys sports, the outdoors, and getting dirty just as much. This girl has experience all across the board that she uses in her design work and writing alike.

It’s Awkward
No matter who you are, questions are awkward. Who likes admitting they need help? Excuse me, I don’t know how to figure this out I’m stuck and defeated. No thanks, I’d rather struggle and secretly try to figure it out myself, until I spent my junior year as a Resident Assistant. This position taught me a lot about both my colleagues and myself. The most important thing I learned was to actively ask and answer questions without the fear of feeling humiliated.

Just Ask
As a RA (Residence Assistant) you are trained in how to help answer questions, but that’s the easy part. Asking the questions is uncomfortable, yet so important. To stay successful in college you must actively ask and seek answers to everything. This is the best way to better yourself and the others around you.

Be a Leader
As a student leader, employee, big brother, upperclassmen, you name it make sure you both accept and answer questions sincerely. If you don’t know the answer make a promise to yourself and the person who asked you for help that you will figure it out. When someone asks you for help they trust you. Don’t take that for granted. To that person you are not like the rest. If someone asks for directions, and you aren’t positive that you can give them accurate ones, don’t. Take the extra 15 minutes and personally walk them across campus to the building they are looking for. That little bit of extra effort is 100% worth it.

Doing the Leg Work
What happens if you really don’t know the answer? Find someone who does. As a leader you will be asked questions you don’t know, that is to be expected. However I guarantee you know who you could ask who would know the answer. Do the extra legwork and figure it out. You are more than capable. This will benefit the one who asked you and trusted you to find the answer. It will also benefit you personally because you will have learned something you didn’t know before.

The Scary Professor
A perfect example would be the fear of speaking with a professor during office hours. It is so easy to make up excuses why you don’t have time, I will just email him later, it’s not a good enough reason to ask for help. In this case face to face communication is much more clear than email. Do yourself the favor and raise your flag of defeat. March yourself into that office and say I surrender, Professor I need help. They get it, asking a question isn’t fun and it takes extra effort many don’t put in. You will feel defeated and unintelligent at first but you need to get over this fear. Give yourself a little pre game pep talk and go ask them whatever you are in question about.

Be Inquisitive. Be Smart. Be Cool.
Curiosity is a great thing. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t loose it, keep questioning without hesitation. When you were a young little guy you would ask questions after question without a second thought. You had no shame. You asked why is the sky blue? Where do babies come from? But Mom! Why can’t I drink soda at midnight? You were fearless. But the same rules apply now. Ask away. It’s always okay to ask questions no matter what you need help with. And keep seeking those answers, find the help you need and don’t settle for less.

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