No matter how intelligent you are, there will come a time when you just don’t have the answer. Maybe it will be in your calc class. Maybe in English. It could be any subject; the only thing that’s sure is that it will happen. And when it does, what are you going to do?
You could just make something up or skip the question that’s giving you trouble. Or you could take advantage of the many sources of free academic help and simultaneously get the answer you need and set yourself up for success in the rest of the class.
Academic Support Center
A highly underrated source of free academic help is the on-campus academic support center. These resources will have different names on different campuses (e.g., Writing and Math Resource Center), but we can guarantee that almost every campus will have them.
Academically talented students receive work-study jobs in these centers and their sole function is to help you learn. This is probably the best way to go, as it’s close, it’s manned by students who will understand what you’re going through and what you’re trying to learn, and you’ll support other students in their work-study jobs. What else could you ask for?
While some colleges have comprehensive on-campus support centers, some—especially smaller ones—are more likely to only provide resources for general courses, like English, math, and basic science.
If you’re in a class that’s more specific, like an engineering or political science course, you may have to look elsewhere for free academic help. In these cases, the student study group becomes invaluable.
Many students have organized study groups for this exact reason: to bring together students who can help each other succeed in tough classes. Sometimes these groups are supported by professors, and sometimes they are completely student-organized and –run. These are often very informal and can be as simple as question-and-answer sessions.
Students will ask questions of the other students, who will help them understand the concepts behind the issue in question; then the next question will be raised. This is a great way to meet people within your degree program and your classes. It’s also a good way to spend a greater amount of time on a subject than you would in an academic support center, which makes it an invaluable study tool.
Many professors make themselves available for one-on-one time with students. If a professor has their office hours listed on a syllabus, it’s pretty likely that they would be more than willing to field some questions and spend time with you individually to help you out with their class.
Because professors really do care that you’re learning in their classes, they are usually more than happy to assist struggling students (or students with a question or two).
There are many places where you can receive free academic help; the above three sources simply give you a place to start. There are on-campus, off-campus, online and offline places to get answers to your questions.
The most important thing to remember is that no question is too large or too small to seek assistance with. Once you’ve come to terms with this idea, you’ll have no problem finding help with any academic issues that you may come upon.