It’s my sophomore year and I couldn’t have imagined that things could change so fast while being in college. I know all the buildings like the back of my hand, when and where events typically will be held, the short cuts to the residence halls and to the academic buildings, and have even become a resource for first year students. Somethings never change through the years like asking what professor is better for which learning style, figuring out your room layout, and the need of sleep.

I thought this year would be a piece of cake, since I would be accustomed to campus and be in classes that focus on my major. The joke was on me, every year comes with its own challenges and resources. This year the challenge was could I keep myself motivated to prevail when things got tough. Spoiler alert: it’s a skill that’s not easily mastered but people can definitely help you move a bit closer to mastery.

During my first year I met an amazing professor who turned out to be my advisor and the chair of my department. I wouldn’t have anticipated that her office would be like a second home on campus for me. Whether it was discussing random topics, opportunities for the future, how much I understand in my classes, or just venting she was always there with open arms and an arsenal of even more resources.

I am thankful and honored to have her in my life, especially when I walked into my calculus 2 class and everything seemed to fall apart. I was never big on relying on help or asking for it much, because my parents could never help nor understand any of my work. After the first day of that class I knew I would be struggling and I didn’t know what to do. I often relied on the Internet to try to reteach myself concepts, but that rarely worked. I was stuck and I couldn’t find my way out, it was a constant debate between “Should I change my major because of this one class?”, “Will I ever get into grad school”, and “Am I failing myself because I don’t understand?” The answer to those questions are no I won’t allow this to hinder the path I’ve been wanting since childhood, yes I’ll make it to grad school if I really want to, and no I am not failing myself.

Those answers were hard to come by but I couldn’t have navigated to them without my professor’s support. She told me of tutoring opportunities, alternate paths to take if I still wanted to take the class, and kind reassuring words that I was not alone or a failure. She even offered to look over my work and help me understand if I needed additional assistance. I am beyond lucky to have formed relationships with my professors.

My advice to you is that make connections with everyone you can especially professors, they want to see you succeed as much as you want to succeed. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help and utilize the resources your campus gives you.

You can do it,

Anitra Griffin