Asking for Academic Help

We all know the feeling; you’re reading through an assignment and feel yourself sink into confusion and despair with each passing moment. A pit in your stomach grows as you realize you have no idea what is being asked of you. When thoughts like this fog your mind, it is important to not give power to this internal monologue. It’s great to be an independent thinker, but knowing when to ask for help is the true power. 

Asking for guidance on parts of an assignment is sensible for even the most intelligent of people. Successful students recognize that they do not need to do everything alone. Initially asking for help requires both self-awareness and self-advocacy. Self-awareness is an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, recognizing when you need help. Self-advocacy is being able to speak up for yourself and ask for help when it’s needed. The trick is knowing when and how to ask for help. Figuring out what you need and what works best for you can take some time. 

Remember that your college and faculty want you to succeed, no matter what obstacles you may face. Remind yourself that if you’re having difficulties or have questions, there are resources available to help you find answers. Do not hesitate to go looking for help. Many successful students learn about the different college services available to them sooner rather than later. Talking with your professors is the first step for most issues. Your professor may be able to point you in the right direction and provide assistance in overcoming your obstacles. As a student, you are an important part of your professor’s life, and most are happy to host office hours or schedule a one on one appointment to address questions. Your professor may also recommend you contact Student Services, or at RMCAD, the Student Learning Center (SLC). These services are in place because colleges want their students to benefit from having support. 

The SLC at RMCAD offers tips, tricks, and resources for subjects including writing, software, drawing, and everything in between for students. They offer free peer tutoring and academic tutoring, aiming to provide the support that encourages active learning so students can develop strong, independent learning habits. Student services, counseling, the tech bar, library resources, etc, exist for students because the college understands that students benefit from having support at different times throughout their college career. 

As a student, you are responsible for being your own advocate; learning is a process. While it can be overwhelming to navigate what’s best for you, taking the time to identify what you need and how to get what you need is never a waste of time. It’s up to you to get the most out of your educational experience. 

To learn more about resources available to students at RMCAD, check out this link

This piece was written with the help of Kristal Montgomery from the SLC. The SLC welcomes students from all programs both on-campus and online who strive to do better in the classroom while perfecting their craft. Self-schedule an appointment with the SLC here or email the SLC at learning@rmcad.edu.