How to Ask for Help
Building healthy habits to stay on top of your semester.
Adjusting to the busy schedule of university can be overwhelming. Sarah Rude, Associate Registrar, shares her tips on how to ask for help from others, and how to develop healthy habits to help yourself.
Don't be afraid to reach out and set boundaries
While asking for help may be daunting, according to Rude, research shows that when you ask for help and foster help-seeking behaviours, it actually makes you less reliant on others later.
"Even if you think you have it all figured out, chances are support teams can help you find a strategy that will be helpful in the long run," Rude says. "My key suggestion for students is to ask for help. Reach out to your instructors and reach out to support programs."
Aside from seeking for help from external support resources, Rude shares her top tips to help yourself:
Invest in your study space. Take a step back to figure out how to intentionally make your space work best for you.
"Investing doesn't have to be money related. It can mean something as simple as looking at different quotes you can put above your study space and the amount of sunlight you're getting," Rude says.
Set boundaries and communicate them. For a lot of students, there's no physical boundary between being at campus and being at home, so communicating to the people you live with that your presence doesn't equate to availability is super important.
"Have an explicit conversation with your live-in partners or family, and share your schedule and how they can help accommodate it. For example, if you don't have the capacity to have a family dinner every night, communicating that can be really helpful," Rude says.
Accept the help that is offered to you
If you get referred to a support program by an instructor or faculty member, it's important to understand that your instructors are doing their best to help you stay afloat. Support programs aren't as intimidating as they may sound, and they won't show up on your academic record.
"It doesn't mean you're in trouble, it just means that someone on campus wants to make sure you're aware of the support services available, and the resources that might be helpful for you at this time," Rude says.
Being offered a hand as opposed to having to ask for help yourself is highly beneficial for some students. Support programs offer available resources, but you're under no obligation to take them.
"At Mount Royal University, we find that students who take advantage of the support offered to them, were looking for that support beforehand," Rude says. "It's a caring community and an opportunity for staff and faculty to ensure that a student is reached out to."
Mount Royal's Early Support program has made a smooth transition to an online format, so students are able to access support remotely. Other resources like Student Counselling and Student Learning Services are eager to help students both inside and outside of the classroom.
Check out MRU's Early Support program