Don't panic, don't doubt yourself, and don't give up!
College is hard and many people struggle. Don't doubt your intelligence or abilities. There are a variety of factors that could be keeping you from really showing off what it is you are capable of. Common examples include:
- Personal issues
- Mental health
- Distractions (video games, hunting, etc.)
- You didn't learn academic or time management skills in high school
- It's just not your subject! *cough* math *cough*
At this point, you may also start doubting your choice of major. While your major very well may not be the right fit for you, it could also be that you are still only taking general, hard, and perhaps even boring courses. Don't be too quick to jump to the conclusion that you are in the wrong major. Wait to get into the higher level coursework, or better yet, start getting career related experiences through volunteering, jobs, and internships!
Identifying exactly what you are struggling with is a good first step. This will help you to identify what resources you might need. Really, though, all the resources provided here are ones I'd recommend everyone to explore, regardless of how you're doing.
Student Counseling Services
On top of the unexpected issues that might pop up outside of academics, you may have found that your mental health has also deteriorated since you started college. Fortunately, Iowa State University offers free counseling services through the Student Counseling Services office located on campus. Please do not hesitate to reach out to someone for help and schedule an appointment today.
Student Accessibility Services
Do you get extremely anxious when going into tests? Do you have a physical health challenge that forces you to miss class regularly? Well you are in luck because the Student Accessibility Services office tends to students with disability-related barriers by accommodating to their specific needs. Their services include, but are not limited to, flexibility on assignment due dates, exam time frames, and attendance.
Talk with your Professors
For many, approaching a professor can be intimidating, but oftentimes, your professor is your greatest resource! Most professors enjoy teaching and want to see you succeed. Push yourself to ask questions in class or attend their office hours. Don't have any questions? Find an opportunity to introduce yourself and talk about a personal interest that they mentioned, such as their research or hobbies! The connections you make with your professors will only benefit you.
Find people you can study with! Teaching and learning from your peers is one of the best ways to get information to stick. Not sure how to go about doing this?
- Make friends with the people sitting around you
- Plan to take those physics and organic chemistry courses with people you know
- Take advantage of the Study Buddies feature in EAB's Navigate Student to connect with others in the class interested in forming a study group
For a small price, tutoring is available for common core courses. Tutors are students who have taken and succeeded in a specific class, so they understand the material and structure well. Sessions are held a couple of times a week in small groups consisting of 3-5 people, but spots fill up fast. Tutoring services are a great resource for asking unanswered questions related to the course and meeting classmates. If cost is an issue, there are a few funding options that might help, such as programs through certain scholarships, WiSE, STEM majors, and Multicultural Student Affairs.
Similar to tutoring services, supplemental instruction (SI) is led by students who did well in the class prior. The program meets at least once a week, and is completely free to students enrolled in the course. Each session allows students to work collaboratively in a stress-free environment with peers while learning difficult concepts in a creative way through repetition and interactive games.
PSYCH 131: Academic Learning Skills
College doesn't have to be scary. PSYCH 131 is a highly recommended course for incoming freshman, but can be taken at any time. It teaches topics such as time management, effective note-taking, test preparation, and goal setting. These subjects can be used to help students succeed in your classes and life after college.
If talking one-on-one with someone about academic concerns is more your style, then academic coaching may be an option for you. Academic coaching allows students to personally grow with their coach who is professionally trained to help students do better throughout their college career. Students who meet with a coach should develop effective time management skills, decision-making skills regarding academics, and responsibility for their learning.
Writing and Communication Consultations
Consultations for any student who wants to improve their writing skills. The program is geared towards helping students brainstorm ideas, outline and revise papers for English courses, or even review resumes and cover letters.
Career Counseling Services
Having second thoughts about your career plans? The Career Counseling Services office focuses on helping you identify your strengths, interests, and values. This information is then used to guide you in making the best academic decisions for you, like picking the right major and exploring career options.