How to ask for help? 

Here are 3 ways to ask for help in an effective way, 

I always wondered how fast I could have achieved my goals had I just known it was okay to ask for help a little earlier. What if I owned up to the fact that I was doing poorly in a class and received help sooner rather than seeing my grades drop? What if I knew myself a little better and understood I needed an accountability partner? There is nothing I can do about the past, but I can surely use my past mistakes to help students going through the same issues and not make the same mistakes I made. 

  1. List your strengths and weaknesses. During the past 10 years, I have read several books on self improvement, and I have to say there are some recurring themes.  For example, it is essential to understand one’s strengths and weaknesses. This is a fundamental step in making progress because it makes it easier to manifest one’s natural gifts. Imagine if Michael Phelps did not know he had the body to be a good swimmer, and he tried to be a runner instead? (reference here). People have natural gifts and no one is great at everything, and that is okay. That is why it is imperative to have good people around with other strengths to compliment our areas of weakness.  The good news is that most people like to help; we just have to ask.  If someone does not have good study habits and it takes a long time to focus, then an accountability partner would be a tremendous help. Accountability partners can be found with your friend group, at school, by visiting your tutoring center at school, or paying for a tutor outside of school.
  1. Start making friends at school. Are you shy and new to school? Perfect! The best way to start making friends at school is by creating study groups. Just ask classmates if they want to study after class or find an agreeable study schedule. I was a commuter when I started going to Engineering school, so making friends was a little hard for me. However, I was at a group lab, and made 2 friends that I still have today. My grades started skyrocketing because I had a community at school. I had people to study with during the weekends, and this helped me enhance learning habits. When I wanted to study, I would reach out to my group, and at least one classmate would always be there for me. Another benefit with study groups is that teaching others or hearing instruction from a different perspective is mutually valuable. Both the helper and the one being helped strengthen their knowledge and skills. 
  1. Tell your professor the truth about the fundamentals you are missing. Just by going to your professor’s office, you are already getting points. They are not going to judge you if you are honest at the fact that you do not feel ready for the class. Trust me, they know how broken the education system is. Many will empathize as they may have been in your shoes previously or they know precisely where to go to get the required to grasp a  fundamental equation. In my own experience, I was not good with Limits by the time I was doing Calculus, and I wished someone would have told me to strengthen those skills because I would have enjoyed Calculus so much more. Do not get me wrong, Calculus was still one of my favorite clases… believe it or not Calculus III was my favorite of them all.  

I hope this helps you achieve your goals and potential faster than you think. Remember, it is all about who you are becoming in the process. I know that the picture of the person you want to be might not be there for you yet, give it time. Just trust the process, and choose to do the small habits everyday because that will get you faster to your goals.

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