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When and How to Ask For Help

Last updated September 27, 2020

Asking for help is a hurdle for most students and even working adults. You shouldn't let feelings of being embarrassed or feel like you're wasting someone's time, stop you from asking for help. It's totally okay to not know everything.

When should you ask for help?

  • Struggling with a concept. This is especially important when it's a formula or building information that you'll need later.
  • Clarification on something. A name, number, or details need to be clarified early before you get used to remembering incorrect information.
  • After missing a couple of classes. If you're planning to miss class, for example, to go to a doctor's appointment, reach out to your instructor beforehand.
  • Feeling overwhelmed. If you're forgetting assignments or activities, or if you have a lot on your plate with other classes and extracurriculars.

How do you go about asking for help?

  • Go directly to your teacher. Stop by before/after class and tell them what's going on. Ask for suggestions and work on a study plan together.
  • Go to tutoring. Bring your assignments and describe what you're struggling with.
  • Get a study group together. Ask your classmates if they understand the topic that's being taught and offer to help them go over other topics you understand better. The best way to know if you really know a subject is if you can teach someone else.
  • Speak with your advisor/counselor. Talk to them about your current workload and make adjustments where it's possible. You can also talk to them about things outside of school that could be affecting your school work.

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