In our recent series, Eigga had taken the first step in reaching out for help after failing her exam. After speaking with a friend who noticed her struggling, perhaps Eigga decided to meet with her dean to talk about what she could do.
In this kind of meeting, Eigga’s dean would have spoken with her about the possible impact this could have on her GPA, and also about how Eigga could talk with her professor about improving her standing in the class. A lot of these actions might feel intimidating or scary. But! In this story, Eigga’s dean works with her to plan how she would approach a conversation with her professor. Her dean also can email her professor ahead of time to say that Eigga would be asking for help. However, after this productive conversation, Eigga may still be feeling stressed and overwhelmed. She might start feeling really nervous before her class and start procrastinating on her assignments out of a fear of another failure.
Eigga can certainly talk to her dean about these concerns, too. Who else might Eigga go to?
Eigga’s Resident Assistant might notice that she seems to be really stressed and less active with her residential community. Her RA might reach out to Eigga to express her concern. After learning more from Eigga, Eigga’s RA could suggest going to the PLTC to talk with an APT about studying tips.
However, say that Eigga feels that going to the PLTC would be embarrassing. She is worried students would judge her for needing help and that going to the PLTC would be admitting that she doesn’t belong at Wellesley. Here, it could be helpful to remind Eigga that many students go to the PLTC! And that many students benefit from tutoring! And that asking for help is a powerful strength! Her RA might also do something called a “warm handoff.”
A “warm handoff” is a kind of referral. In a “warm handoff,” the person making the referral maintains contact with the person seeking help. In this way, the Eigga is never left to take a next step by herself. Knowing that going to the PLTC might feel intimidating, her RA might help Eigga reach out to their residence hall APT first. The RA could also offer to go with Eigga to a procrastination program led by their APT.
In the course of talking with her APT, Eigga might realize that the issues she is having are larger than she had acknowledged. Say that her APT and RA encourage her to contact the Stone Center to talk about her fears of failure and how to best help herself.
Let’s take a pause here to look at all the different support networks Eigga used.
– She spoke with her dean for immediate academic support.
– Her RA reached out after noticing a change in her behavior and helped her utilize her APT to build her academic skills.
– Her APT noticed that the issues Eigga was having needed more support and helped her set up an appointment with the Stone Center.
– Last week, her friend had spoken with a MHE to learn how to best express concern.
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