males-1002779_960_720.jpgBeing at the University has taught me a lot over the course of these last couple years.  It’s taught me the importance of diversity and inclusion, the power in speaking your mind, the strength that’s found in a community, the will to set and meet your goals, and the most crucial lesson of all, never be afraid to ask for help.  I say this to you guys now as a second semester senior at this University, with a very high tendency to run from anything that throws me in the spot light.

Nonetheless, I have been in plenty of scenarios were my own stubbornness and nerves have put me in more harmful situations that I would have been, if I had just taken the time to ask.  I have gotten lost because I wouldn’t ask someone for directions. I have broken the zipper to a dress because I didn’t want to ask someone to help me take it off.  I have even almost failed a class because I was too nervous to approach the teacher directly in class.  Clearly, I did a lot of things just to avoid having to ask a simple question, and if you’re someone like me, (stubborn and anxious), you might be able to resonate with some of the things I’m saying.  However, if you’re not anything like me…well then you’re lucky.  You probably don’t get the same gut wrenching feeling like the rest of us.  But to put it in perspective, in my eyes asking for help was never something I felt like was positively accepted.

Throughout my life I have always felt a certain negative stigma attached to the notion of needing, wanting, or asking for help.  Asking for academic help meant you weren’t smart enough, wanting help with a personal matter might make you feel embarrassed, or isolated.  Unfortunately I know these emotions all to well myself.  My first real step to overcoming this fear of asking for help was to mentally combat the social stigma that I saw being placed on it.  Readjust my mind from thinking that not asking for help was what would make me appear strong.


After being at the University for some time, I found myself open to accept this way of thinking with a new found ease.  I learned that speaking up, asking questions, and requesting help when it is needed is something that is, more often than not, encouraged here at Albany. If you’re having trouble with a certain topic in class, your professors (the good one anyways), usually will commend you for asking, rather than condemn you for not knowing.   And if it’s a personal matter at hand, try maybe going to someone you trust, like a family member or a close friend.  You never know, they too could be experiencing the exact same thing.

Moving through the rest of this week, if there is one thing I want everyone to take away from this post, it would be this one principle: If you need help, don’t be scared to ask for it. 

I know it can be hard to gather the strength, and I get that it can be intimidating.  But the most important thing to remember is that your well-being;  your ability to thrive academically, socially, mentally, physically, etc., all depends on you.   Other professors and other students opinions won’t matter because at the end of the day, you will know you did everything in your power to try and that’s really what counts.  Be confident and unapologetic in your pursuits.  Be bold.

Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories  –  their voices.
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About the Author:


Brittany N.
Class of 2017
Major: English
Minors: Psychology and Education
Blog Theme:
Be Brave. Be Bold. Be You.

Established in March 2015, Project MyStory is a community building effort to help students better acclimate to UAlbany and to work more effectively toward their goals. We began in UAlbany’s Academic Support Center (ASC), where you will see many of the posters featured above. We are now co-housed in ASC and in the Center for International Education and Global Strategy (CIEGS).

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