Speaking Up for Yourself In College

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The college experience is one that varies for every person. Some leave home for a college four hours away, and some are states away. But one common thing is adapting to the changes college throws at us, no matter the situation. Isolation is a common feeling most have when they move away from all that they know. For someone like me, college was not a given. It was something I had worked tirelessly for years to push through. It has been far from an easy feat getting to where I am now–an upcoming senior, almost 23, still feeling as clueless as ever. 

Now I have a little bit more independence and memories compared to where I first started off moving from southern Texas to the bustling city of LA, all alone at community college. My experience could be summed up by stating that it has been a series of constant failures and learning. However, that’s what college is all about! 

One major thing I have learned throughout my time in college and as a young adult is how much reaching out can positively impact your college experience and personal life. I’m not saying that every time you reach out to mentors, educators, advisors, peers, etc. is going to be easy or impactful, but there are those special times when you do have the courage to speak up that changes your life forever.  As I’ve grown older and have had years of experience with overwhelming tests and finals, I have finally grasped the art of communication with my advisors and professors. I have learned that most professors want you to talk to them; they want to understand and want to help you in any way they can. After all, your institution is there to help you and provide for you, so it is important that you do your due diligence and seek it out.

It’s also important to remember that speaking up for your education, your grades, or what is right for you is just as important as advocating for yourself in general. Over the years, I have been given much help by the people around me, but I have also been stomped on by other people along the way. Letting this happen has affected my grades and my future detrimentally, and I hope that this advice will help you avoid some of those failures and allow you to find that path to communicate positively. There is nothing wrong with confrontation or speaking up for yourself as long as you have the right intentions behind it.

There will always be someone around looking to help others, but it takes two. I encourage you during your time in college, whether it be finals, homework, or something not completely academic, to reach out to the support you are surrounded by. You never know how life-changing one conversation can be.