This story is meant for those of us who struggle with mental health and trauma who feel as though leaving school is the only option to help ourselves. I know the feeling and the sentiment. I am a Survivor of a lot of different, really bad choices people have made. These choices left me feeling helpless and honestly like a zebra trying to fly.
Through the ups and downs of trying to work, go to school, and heal, I often tried to take the “I’m a big girl” high road. That is until December of 2019. I had a mentor who told me in no uncertain terms “Just say you’re scared of asking for help.” This conversation convinced me to finally take the leap toward my confusing path to healing and also made me realize that most students either don’t know their resources or don’t have that push.
Often as humans, we are afraid of asking for any form of help. We are shamed into thinking that help means that we are failing. This is simply not true, it is actually quite the opposite, asking for help is what makes us succeed the most. Asking for help doesn’t have to be a big ceremonious thing nor is it a burden. The faculty who work at universities often take their jobs for the sole reason of helping. It can be hard to ask or figure out when you need help so here are some signs and ways to receive your resources.
Where to Ask for Help:
All of these following services and conduits for assistance can be found by a quick school website search or by contacting your classroom staff or school’s directory numbers
Most colleges and Universities have highly trained mental health professionals that you can contact. Look on their website and resource guides to locate those professionals. Also, check city and county professionals, there are a lot of people willing to get you that kind of help.
Seek out your advisors and guidance assistants at your school, they can help you with all things academic, always contact them sooner rather than later. I often opt to check in with them at the 4-week and 10-week mark in a 16 week semester.
Mentors and coordinators (scholarship, dorms, student body) are always a good first stop and they always have your best in mind. Just be prepared to hear some things that may come as a rude awakening (I know I did).
It may be hard to reach out at first but it is always going to be much easier and you will feel the support that you have around you much more that way. More than anything, listen to you, you know what you need and when you need it. Listen to that voice and it will not steer you wrong.
Ask for Help When:
A problem is taking your focus away from school and your goal. This is not a sign of failure, but it is a sign that maybe it is time for you to get some support in the emotional heavy lifting
Studies become stunted or move too fast. Office hours are there for a reason and professors actually love when you show up because it also helps them become better teachers. Often they’ll take your concerns and apply them to their teaching and classroom practices.
Having trouble processing or communicating with yourself or others. This sounds so weird, but I promise, sometimes just going to a trusted faculty or advisor really can help, and oftentimes they can aid you by giving you tools of self-care and self-auditing.
WRITTEN BY Aubre Thomas Central Michigan University
I am the epitome of a personality that is way bigger than my size. I come from Detroit, MI and I am a proud student at Central Michigan University. I am the co-owner of a start-up clothing brand XonIT.