Establishing Your College Support System For Success

Establishing Your College Support System For Success

Having a solid support system is vital for first-year college and university students. There is a ton of adapting required when one ventures into a fresh academic environment. The level of independence is greater and the classes are at a higher level than you are used to. 

If your parents typically help you out with financial issues or any healthcare troubles, it may feel daunting to address these factors on your own. Don't stress, you are not alone if you feel overwhelmed from time to time. There are a host of student services available at most schools to help students conquer any of these potential problems. 

Career Center Services

Check out your campus career center to see who is hiring. This is available at most campuses. It is a place where local businesses can advertise summer jobs and part-time work that is flexible for students. 

You may be able to access resume-building help here or brush up on your interviewing skills too. The career center can help you line up internships for college credit. You can also obtain recommendation letters from previous employers and work experience. The majority of these services are covered as part of your attendance fees and it is unlikely that additional fees will be required to access these services. 

Student Healthcare Services 

There are typically basic healthcare services offered by most colleges. Universities that offer teaching hospitals and medical programs will definitely have some great services. Smaller colleges typically have some type of clinic. 

For checkups and common ailments, having a place to visit on campus that provides a medical professional is a relief. They are available to prescribe certain medications, sign any physical wellness paperwork and offer referrals to specialists as needed. There is also mental health support available in the form of counseling services from professionals who are qualified.

Check into the policy on your campus to discover which healthcare services are offered and what the availability looks like. You may have access to basic healthcare for an affordable cost or even for free. 

Often, insurance plans are accepted by healthcare services. You are allowed to stay on your parent's insurance until you are 26 years old if you meet specific requirements. Students without health insurance and mature students may be eligible for a low-cost student plan from the school. 

Get to Know your Academic Adviser 

Most likely, you have been assigned to an academic adviser who can help you with your class schedule. This is an excellent resource to utilize, especially if you want to graduate on time. Getting help choosing the proper classes for your major and graduating on time is essential. 

Academic advisers for your particular major often have connections regarding internships and work-study opportunities. They can help you find a suitable placement that relates to your major. This is a free service that is included in your college attendance. Make friends with them quickly as there may only be a few spots they can offer regarding work-study and internships.


There are phenomenal resources available at your campus library. Utilize them for any class projects and research papers. There are even rooms that can be reserved for working on projects or many quiet alcoves to discover. Numerous campus libraries participate in library loans with other schools and access scholarly articles. If your library doesn't have the item you are seeking, it may be available via an inter-library loan. 

You may be able to check out course materials and textbooks which can dramatically reduce your education costs. Take advantage of any photocopying, printing and binding services offered, but note the cost and be prepared. It is often so much per page and at some schools, you will have to purchase printing credits in advance. Speak with your library staff to find out what the protocols involve. 

Computer Lab 

The computer lab is available on campus to help you access technology to complete your homework. This is ideal for students who do not have their own laptop or computer. Some programs may require that you access particular software that isn't readily available to the public. 

The computer lab on campus offers free access to the Internet and these programs. There may be a printer allowance included in your fees and tuition. In these instances, you don't need to purchase your own printer. However, if you exceed your page limit, you may be charged for the items that you wish to print. Find out your school's specifics so that you can be prepared and organized. 

Tutoring Services

If you need some help with a subject or two, don't hesitate to contact your campus tutors. Many campuses utilize upper-level students to provide help and insight to other students. These tutors are approved by professors. 

Certain schools may even have employed tutors on staff. If you require help with math, check out the math department as they will have tutoring labs. The same goes for composition help; visit the writing lab and get in touch with tutors there. 

Generally, these tutoring services can be accessed for free. However, certain schools may ask that you pay a small fee that is extremely affordable if you are planning to utilize these labs more than once.

Learn About Campus Supports So You Can Access Them

Attend meet-ups on campus, check the school’s webpage, ask your RA if you live on campus, speak with a counselor, check the bulletin boards, and talk to other students and teachers to find out what services are at your disposal. You want to have solutions before you need them so that if something stressful arises, you already know where to look for help. 

Taking responsibility for your success requires effort and patience. Undergoing new schedules, people, places, and deadlines while being responsible for your living expenses, travel and studies can be a lot. 

Knowing that there are numerous support systems available to help you in all aspects can offer peace of mind and solutions you may not have thought of on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Keeping stress to yourself can affect your ability to eat, sleep and focus. Stay positive and remember, many others have asked similar questions or found themselves in a similar predicament.