Students have a superpower.
Yes, you have a superpower that you don’t even know you have. Great news, right? Most students never realize they have it until it's too late. Once it's gone, it's gone. Everyone who graduated college was a student once, but their power fades with time. That’s why it is so important to take advantage of it while you can.
So what is this power you’ve never heard of?
Your hidden superpower is the near perfect ability to get others to help you.
That's right. People want to help students. Now, we get that a lot of students have some hesitation about reaching out for help. I can relate, because that was me.
But let’s reframe this a bit. People like helping students. It makes them feel good to give back. They got to where they are today by asking for help from others. Now, most would love the opportunity to turn around and help the next one in line. That’s you. So why would we rob them of that opportunity? Everyone who has gotten to a certain place in their career remembers what it was like to start from the ground floor. It can be tough getting started, and most people have a drive to help students begin their journey.
Unfortunately, most students don’t know that. They think that to ask for help or guidance makes them a bother. Wanting to go it alone is admirable, but it can actually hold you back. Going and asking for clear direction is a much more effective way to make inroads and jumpstart your success.
Say, “I’m thinking about this field, but I don’t have the level of intel I need from my college. Can you help me understand what it is really like and I will buy you a coffee in exchange for your time?”
It’s really as simple as that, yet so many never unleash their college student superpower by asking for some direction.
Maybe you’re still not convinced. Fair enough. It’s a new perspective for some. But the only one who can give you permission to do this is you. I learned how to do this over time, and without doubt, it was one of the best lessons I ever learned. I was stubborn at first. I liked doing things for myself. I had a need to prove to others - and myself - that I had what it took.
That led me to an interesting discovery. When I did ask for guidance, I found I could build trust faster with those who are well informed. Plenty were happy to help an aspiring professional such as myself. Most were just impressed that I made the effort in the first place. Maybe I didn’t know exactly what I wanted yet, but that was okay. They recognized that I was willing to put in the grunt work necessary to figure it out.
Another perk of actually using this power is that it breaks down stereotypes quickly. Hardly anyone expects students to contribute anything meaningful, let alone ask for help. Fair or unfair, this generation doesn’t always get a sparkling reputation. Too many people think of Millennials as lazy and entitled (including other Millennials!). While some undoubtedly are, we know there's a lot more to it than that.
Therein lies an opportunity: students can debunk this myth by presenting a different example. In doing so, they position themselves as a thought leader.
Victoria Bonnet, one of our recent Student Success U students and graduate of Monmouth University states, “the earlier you do it, the less money and time you will have wasted, and the more ahead of the pack you’ll be.”
When you ask for help with humility and sincerity, you'll win every time.
For more information, and to join the student improvement movement, you can click here.
Alex is Director of Content at Student Success University. When not drinking tea, discussing the finer points of English cheese, or being accused of general ‘snobbery’, he can be found in the library or on the archery range, recounting charming tales from his youth to anyone who will listen. Generally a bit of a jokester, he is quite serious about commas.