By Matthew Scipioni

Dear Matt,

What do you recommend when you are struggling in studies and there happens to not be a tutor available?

Sincerely,

Anonymous


Dear Anonymous,

I will always say the same thing: communicate. While tutoring is a great resource, it’s not always available for the course that you are taking. Do you know what is always an option? Talking to your professor. Talking to your professors is easier said than done sometimes, but it can impact what happens. While yes, some professors are incredibly stubborn and won’t give students an inch unless they take a mile, eighty percent of them will be more understanding than not. You won’t know that until you have a conversation with them. Trust me. They get it. Believe it or not, they are people too. Maybe this professor has had other students that have faced a similar issue, or perhaps they were that student at one point during their undergrad. Maybe they can work through class material with you if you come with notes and questions, or who knows, perhaps they can share class information differently or through another medium that you might understand more. Most professors have had many years of experience working with students, so they relate to where you are coming from. Classwork and material are constantly evolving, so rightfully, students need clarification or support about the material often. Having it explained differently might help it click. So head to their office hours or extra study sessions and ask those questions of yours!

Doing your own research isn’t bad, either. Just because you didn’t get the information from a textbook or classroom doesn’t mean that it is incorrect or any less valuable. Some of the things I am most interested in are not academic skills or topics, so I’ve learned as I go. That same way of thinking can be applied to school. Check YouTube for the latest information or for resources that others have published. Don’t be afraid to open a book that isn’t on the syllabus if it relates to the course or material! But always remember to check that your source is reliable. 

Your friendly neighborhood columnist,

Matt

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