Now that you’ve been in class a few weeks, you probably have an idea of what the semester holds for you . . . academically. If you don’t, you definitely should. The majority of that information is in your class syllabus, and I know you read the syllabus. (But just in case you need a refresher, check out the blog post.)
I know you and I know you’re smart. Being smart doesn’t mean you don’t use the resources that are available to you. I’m not just saying that from my teacher/educator perspective. I’m staying that from the perspective of someone who enlisted help for the things that others understand better than I do.
Tassel to Tassel is the company I started to help ease the transition to college for entering freshmen. I’ve been in higher education for over a decade and I know what works. I know the things that happen when you first get to college, the adjustment, and what to do when things don’t go right for you. Tassel to Tassel is my way of sharing all of that with you. I love the idea of being a support system for students. I support those who hit the ground running. I support those who don’t have it all figured out and need more time. I support those who stumble and fall so they can get back up.
However, as a small business owner, I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. I am smart – I know that – but I’m still having difficulty growing my business and getting the traction I imagine when I planned this thing. It’s not working out the way I thought it would and I don’t want to get stuck. To avoid doing that, I sought help. I got assistance from the small business center in northern VA when I was there. I came back to my hometown and applied to participate in the small business accelerator and growth program and was excitedly accepted to both. They provided resources, perspective, and experts who have been extremely helpful in building my business.
Like you, I am in uncharted territory. Instead of struggling to navigate this territory on my own – with my limited knowledge – and amateur perspective, I am enlisting the help of others. College is new to you. Don’t wait until things don’t go well before you use the resources available to you. Go now. Just in case you didn’t hear me, I’ll say it again. GO NOW. Your professor is the person who knows the content better than you do. They have seen where students hit walls and can keep you from making rookie mistakes. If you’re a sophomore who has some apprehension about this year, it may as well be new. Go see your professor while the getting is (probably) good and you can have a conversation about what the course looks like and learn what tips they have for first-year students. Basically, ask them just that. Then listen to what they have to say and apply it. If it’s difficult to do at first, it’s because you may be working against everything that you did in high school. Just stick with it and trust the process. Go back to office hours and use department help rooms of the academic success center(s) until it feels natural.
My point is that when we try new things, we often have to try to methods. Reaching out to your instructors now gives you a direct line to those new methods. You can proactively create a great semester instead of reacting to not-so-great midterm or final grades. Sure, you’re smart. Don’t discount reaching out to someone smarter.