You just need to know where to find them.

Have you heard the phrase, "it's not what you know, but who you know?" It's so true in the transition to higher education. And when you've found who knows, you become the one who knows, too, right? And that's when good things happen; you figure out who the calculus tutor is, how to access a note-taker as an accommodation, or where students sign up for intramural sports, and how to get involved with the pre-nursing volunteer group at the nearby hospital. As a soon-to-be college student, your ability to reach out to those who can help, redirect, and tell you what's what is among our highest of recommended skills. It's so simple, really, but we get that it is also hard. Frankly, it's okay to feel confused, unsure, unsteady, overwhelmed, unclear, anxious, lost and all the other things that college students experience (yes, all do at some point). But then what? What's next?

Interdependence. Education professionals often tout the importance of independence-building. Your high school teachers, coaches, and counselors are supporting your ability to get assignments in on time, keep deadlines in your planner, and to raise your hand when you're unsure. Perhaps in high school it feels the opposite than it does in college. Youmay feel vulnerable, unsteady, in a spotlight of "I don't know", when you are unsure. But in college (and probably in high school, too), it's the stronger, resourceful students who reach out and get the help they need without extra prodding; it's a sign of strength rather than weakness. When you find yourself getting your accommodations letter right away, or setting up your tutoring sessions during the first week of classes (even if you're not sure you need them yet), then you have arrived, you are truly ready to succeed. The more a student schedules check-in appointments with support systems (counselors, tutors, writing centers, disability services, etc), the more we might predict they are performing at the top of their game, or minimally doing all they can to navigate college well. It has less to do with those giving help (though higher ed professionals are pretty cool people); it's the student engaging resources and accountability that make a difference. Interdependence-it rocks. It's about deciding what you can do on your own, and then using your network to navigate what you can't. Power.

Girl holding phone (probably calling someone who can answer her question). Photo credit Viktor Hanacek

Girl holding phone (probably calling someone who can answer her question). Photo credit Viktor Hanacek

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