That’s what SHE said blog: Say YES to HELP!

The ‘That’s what SHE said’ blog is written by SHE College student Mel. As an intern for the college of SHE and a Peer Learning Advisor, Mel is passionate about sharing ideas and highlighting the services available to you in order to make Uni life just a little easier.

There are a lot of things I don’t get right first time around. It really is the way we learn isn’t it, by making mistakes. We just finished a large assessment for our course recently and our subject coordinator offered a 10-minute check in consultation.  Thank goodness I went, because for one part of my assessment, I was considering the wrong audience.  It didn’t take much to change it, but it meant that I got back on track and didn’t waste precious time working on it. 

Asking for help brings so many benefits.  But for some reason, we find it so hard to do.  Have you ever found yourself unsure about something you are doing or learning, and you spend hours figuring it out to avoid asking for help?  Or maybe you have been tracking with average grades, but would like to start improving your WAM?

Three little words will help you get there:  Ask for HELP!

When to ask for help

Okay so if you are this cat and feeling stuck, now is a good time to ask for help. If you feel yourself reacting physically to something, or find yourself searching for hours for an answer, or to find direction – that is also a great time to ask for help. 

Don’t put it off and wait too long, as the content will move ahead and what you need help with might be essential foundational knowledge. 

You can even seek help before you need it. Reach out to your educators and introduce yourself.  Building a relationship with them will help you feel more comfortable asking questions later.  It is also a great idea to find out what help is available to you.

Where to get help

I will have loads of links here for you, but the best place is to start with your subject LMS page.  Look at your LMS student forum.  Read through your subject learning guide (quite often links to help at located at the end).  Look at the additional resources on your subject LMS that your educators put together. 

Next, you can download a copy of the ‘First Year Survival Success Guide’.  It is full of examples and helpful tips on how to do Uni well.  Don’t forget to sign up for Studiosity!  It is free for all current La Trobe students.  Then we have our Learning Hub where you can access face to face support both online and (when we are not in lock down) on campus.  We also have the libraries resources and workshops and achieve@uni.  If you need support that is not academic, we have wellbeing and the LTSA. 

It is always easier to ask for help where you feel comfortable. Surely one of these many mediums of support caters for your ‘asking for help style’. 

Accept help

If the help you need is family or friends providing a meal or helping with your kids – say yes!  I am guilty of this one.  Often my friends will offer to help when they know I have a lot due or am on placement.  For some reason my instinct is to say, “it’s okay I am all good”. When really, I am exhausted, and I do need help.  So, if people offer to help, say yes 😊.

Reflect back

As with any process it is great to reflect on what you did to seek help and if it worked for you.  You may consider making up a checklist of supports to have on your desk or wall, to remind you to seek help early.  You might highlight which ones are more appropriate for your learning style.  Some students prefer face to face support, other would prefer to post a question and wait.  It doesn’t matter how you seek help, just that you do it before you feel overwhelmed.

Here is a list to get you started: