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How To Ask For Help

The fourth list in a four-part series by a semi-knowledgeable sophomore about how to get out of that First-Year Fall Funk

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This is probably the most important advice I can give. No one is expecting you to handle absolutely everything by yourself. You are not alone, there are a ton of resources available to help you, but you need to reach out and ask.

1. Office Hours

If you’re struggling with a class, GO TO OFFICE HOURS. Speak with the professor or TA and let them know you’re struggling. They can help you understand the subject matter in the class more, offer advice on how to do better in the class, or go over what went wrong with you exam/essay/problem set. Office hours should be listed on the class syllabus, but you can always email your professor to schedule a time to meet.

2. Peer-to-Peer Learning

If you need help outside of usual office hours, consider Peer-To-Peer Learning. For larger subjects like chemistry, computer science, and economics, there’s general help rooms open a few times a week where you can go and talk through the latest lecture, ask for help with worksheets or problems, or just make sure you understand a topic. If you would like more individual attention, you can request a tutor through the Dean’s Office (it’s free!). Tutors work with small groups of students in specific areas like foreign languages or calculus.

3. Speaking and Writing Fellows

Do you think Michelle Obama just gets up and delivers a speech with no preparation? Of course not, she has a team of speechwriters and professionals to help her perfect her writing and public speaking. You too can be as eloquent as Michelle Obama with help from the Speaking and Writing Fellows! Speaking Fellows can help you prepare a presentation for class, practice giving a speech, and give you tips and tricks to improve your public speaking skills (ask about power posing before a speech!). Writing Fellows are there to work with you on your papers and essays, no matter which class it is for. They're there to help revise your paper to make it more organized and concise.

4. Furman Counseling Center

Furman Counseling offers a ton of services to help you achieve personal and academic success. From individual to group counseling, listening hours, and consultations, Furman is there to help you with highly trained and specialized staff members. Every Barnard student has access to free counseling sessions at Furman, so even if you’re unsure if you need counseling or therapy, you can schedule an intake appointment to talk and explore what Furman can do for you.

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