They say that hindsight is 20/20. I think of this each time I speak to new students and gush about the many services available to them. I always wish I could get these students just as excited as I am. Why? Because hindsight is 20/20, and I wish that someone had encouraged me to use all available resources when I started my own studies.
I have a distinct memory of visiting the writing lab during the semester when I took English Composition. I was perturbed, put out, and ultimately annoyed that I had to do this little activity to earn the additional 10 points I needed to get an A on my essay. After all, it was easy: show up, review my essay with the tutor, get 10 points. Probably the easiest 10 points of my college career, but I learned an even greater lesson. Through this experience, I gained this knowledge:
- It was free. Yep, I said FREE! It opened my eyes to the many resources that were available to me as a student and I saw I wasn’t on my own. The school had strategically placed assistance to support my academia, in addition to my “whole” student experience.
- I learned a little something about comma splices — something I used to do in my writing quite a bit. Remember, I was so determined that this wouldn’t help me? Well, didn’t I receive more than just one lesson that day.
- Why did I begrudgingly agree to use a service through the university that ultimately made me a better writer? I don’t really know the reason, but if I could go back and thank my English professor, I would.
Now, this post isn’t about using writing tutoring. It’s about taking advantage of student services, learning support, student life and development opportunities. I wasn’t a student affairs professional when I approached that appointment at the writing center. However, now that I am, I choose to share this wisdom with you. Your school provides so many resources to support you as the “whole” student: your academic success, your professional success and your social needs. Do yourself a favor this next year and make a New Year’s resolution to use more student services, attend a free workshop, sign up for tutoring or join a student organization.
Ultimately you have nothing to lose. You never know, you might learn something that could make you a better writer, a better job candidate or a better-rounded individual. Take the leap and seize an opportunity. You’ll be better for it.