‘Learning’ to Ask for Help

BY JOHN DRURY // FEB. 7, 2013 //

Asking for help is never a bad thing.

Many kids struggle with college-level work. The problem might be poor study habits, weak note-taking or below-grade-level reading comprehension skills. Or, maybe it’s a learning disability, like Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) or dyslexia.

Curry’s Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL) is one of the resources on campus that assists certain students who need and want help with their work.

Curry's PAL program assists students with learning disabilities and enables them to succeed in school. // Photo by

Curry’s PAL program assists students with learning disabilities and enables them to succeed in school. // Photo by

Although I am in the PAL program, I do not have A.D.D. or dyslexia. Interestingly, lots of famous people do. The problem for me is a more generic “language-based learning disability.” I’m a bad test-taker, which has always been a frustrating problem. PAL gives students like myself a chance to succeed in areas of weakness.

Personally, I have always been bad at math; I just don’t get it sometimes. It can get frustrating when I don’t do well on tests, even after studying and studying. I’m sure there are other students who feel the same way.

But with the help of my PAL advisor, I have begun to better understand math and the various concepts. Math tests were definitely one of my biggest fears in high school, but PAL has helped me with test-taking as well.

For students not in the program—approximately 20 percent of first-year students at Curry are accepted to the college through PAL, and pay extra for the support services—there are a host of other academic resources. The Academic Enrichment Center, located on the top floor of the Levin Library, offers peer tutoring, a Writing Center, and various academic enrichment courses. Student-athletes work with AE staff as well through mandatory and non-mandatory study halls. And don’t forget those folks called professors. Their assistance isn’t just for classroom instruction; they’re more than willing to work with students outside of class as well.

But the first step is accepting you need a helping hand. Just remember, it’s never a bad thing.

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