Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Nervous about Starting College?

Don't be. The majority of people at NCC--faculty, students, administrators, staff, and others--are friendly, caring, and helpful. They want you to do well in your classes and enjoy your time in school as much as you do. Most are more than willing to extend themselves and to respond to pretty much any question or concern you might have. You'll be surprised how many folks here are willing to offer a helping hand. 

But the one thing people at NCC can't do is read minds. They can't tell if you're enjoying college, doing okay in your classes, meeting people and making friends, handling the daily commute, or balancing school and the rest of your life.  They can't tell if you're happy with your area of study, have found a club that interests you, or have discovered your dream career.  

So it should go without saying that if something in school (or elsewhere in life) isn't going as well as you'd like, it's up to you to do something about it.  Most of the time, that means finding your way to a professor's office, a campus service, or a counselor or adviser's office and asking for help, information, or advice.  It may sometimes involve scheduling an appointment or--depending upon what's happening--visiting an office or service several times.  Some issues can get resolved quickly; others take longer.   

But all of this must start with YOU.  While that might seem pretty obvious, it's not so to everyone.  For far too many students, staying silent is preferable to asking questions or opening up about a problem. Some students keep to themselves out of shyness; others, out of pride; still others, who knows?  But the outcome is almost always the same: an education that's been shortchanged.

If you're just starting Nassau--if today's your first day of classes--here's lesson number one about college: Be your own advocate--your own best friend.  If you have a question or concern, talk to someone.  People here care about you and are willing to help.  But before they can, they have to know what's going on.  And only you can help with that.   

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