The Gatepost Editorial: Don’t be afraid to ask for help

As college students, we are really good at making last-minute deadlines, stretching our dollars out to the very last penny, and drinking copious amounts of caffeinated beverages. But we’re also bad at a lot of things – such as asking for help.

Countless students set unrealistic expectations for themselves as they begin their college journeys. Some are full of anxiety about coursework and social situations, while others are in denial about needing help in order to be successful. 

Many factors affect a student’s willingness to ask for help, such as socioeconomic status, or whether a student is the first person in their family to go to college. Some might fall into the trap of becoming overly self-reliant, in the belief that once they mess up, there is no going back.

One of the most valuable lessons freshmen – and really anyone – can learn is that time goes by faster than you think, so it’s incredibly important to learn strong time management skills. This is where the Center for Academic Success and Achievement (CASA) can come in handy. 

CASA supplies academic coaching and tutoring for students. Although those services are free and invaluable, students believe if they are seen going into CASA, then they will be labeled “unintelligent.”

But the student instructors employed by CASA are there for a reason. They are approachable and non-judgmental students who are there to offer academic support based on their own course experiences.

CASA also provides support for first-generation students, and its program provides specialized support for those who are the first in their family to attend college.

If you had to go through the college application process alone, file your FAFSA all by yourself, or even explain the differences between twin and twin XL mattresses to your parents – you are not alone.

Students might feel as though they can’t go and talk to someone when they need help with their personal lives, too. Due to the residual stigma from previous generations concerning mental health treatment, many people also believe mental health is not as important as physical health.

When depression and mood disorders are becoming more common among members of our generation, we can no longer overlook them.

The Health Center offers counseling, and also provides other services, such as diagnosis and treatment of injuries, referrals to specialists, and even nutrition consultations. 

Also, students: keep in mind these services have been 100% covered by the student fees you pay every semester. You do not have to pay to see a counselor or a tutor.

As students, we all have a lot on our plates. Some play sports, some have dozens of lab reports or hundreds of pages of reading a night  – and some even write for a student newspaper! We understand it can be hard to ask for help.

But please – take care of yourself and look out for those around you. They may be going through a tough time.

It is OK to ask for help on that lab report. It is OK to talk to someone about that person who broke your heart. It is OK to cry. 

So, go ahead and email your professor you need an extension. Tell your counselor you’ve been feeling depressed. Go to CASA and say you don’t understand trigonometry worth a damn.

It’s our responsibility as an integral part of the Framingham State community to eradicate these stereotypes and create a culture of support for those just need a little help to get by. 

And let’s be real – that’s everyone.

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