Ask Jackie: Vol. 1

How do you get better at asking for help?

Asking for help can often be difficult, and it takes practice if it’s something that doesn’t come naturally. We’re sometimes wary of trusting and depending on others, but seeking help ultimately alleviates pressure off yourself and can be beneficial in the long-run. First and foremost, recognize your needs and don’t be afraid of speaking up about them. Figure out why you’re asking for help. Help comes in many ways, and being as specific as possible about what you need will most likely lead to the result you want. Don’t make others guess about what you need, because this’ll often be ineffective and can result in feeling hurt. Do you need help with a specific task or action, or do you need someone to simply listen and be there for you? This is an easy way to make things seem more manageable. If you’re asking someone for help on a project, for example, ask them to help you with a specific task first. All in all, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. Getting better about asking for help takes time and patience, but it’s something that can definitely be improved and developed over time!

 

How should I get more organized?

Getting organized is intimidating, and it definitely isn’t a one size fits all process. Try to find organizational methods that work best for you. First, consider any friends or family members who you view as organized and ask them what they do and what works for them. Hearing about different ways of how others stay organized can help spark new ideas and give you different methods to try! Next, if you’re looking to organize your schedule to truly seize each day, there are so many planning methods you can try - Google calendar, physical planner, bullet journal, or even just simple to do lists. The possibilities are endless! Finding a planning system that works for you will probably take some trial and error, but having so many options can also be so exciting! You can stick to one of these, or even use a combination of some. Personally, I use a combination of Google calendar, a physical planner, and post-it note to-do lists to keep myself on top of things! Next, break down large tasks into smaller ones so they feel easier to tackle. If you’re a procrastinator like me, this can be especially effective for increasing productivity in a way that doesn’t feel so daunting! Finally, if your problem is keeping your space organized, set aside designated time to clean and do chores. For example, when you’re waiting for your laundry, use that time to tidy your space. Also, be sure to put this time in your calendar or planner so you don’t forget and you’re more accountable to actually do it. 

 

How would you know if switching majors is the right choice?

Switching majors is always a tough decision that requires weighing the pros and cons of the situation. If the thought of staying in your current major fills you with dread, you should seriously consider switching majors. If you plan on pursuing a career in your current major one day, why would you want to perpetuate your unhappiness? Did you choose your major for the wrong reasons, and deep-down find yourself drawn to other academic disciplines? Do you find yourself not looking forward to your classes and they feel like a chore to get through? These are all questions you should ask yourself and give some thought to. However, you should also consider how changing your major will affect your projected graduation date, and ask yourself if staying for a few extra quarters (if applicable) is something you’re willing to do. If you’re confused, I would recommend drafting out your academic plan if you haven’t done so already. Seeing everything laid out in one spot can make things feel more manageable and give you direction. Also, if making this decision feels overwhelming, don’t be afraid to seek out your college advisor for further guidance. That’s what they’re there for! Consider meeting with an advisor in the major you’re considering switching to, and also reach out to anyone you know in the major, as it can be especially helpful in answering any questions you may have. Sometimes, hearing another student’s perspective can be the most honest insight you’ll get. For your mental health, it’s important to be in a major that fulfills you and makes you excited to go to class and learn everyday. I’m a big believer in the phrase “when you know, you know.” So, do some self-reflection and see if there’s something you know but maybe haven’t been addressing. 

 

Disclaimer: I’m in no way an expert on anything. The above advice is just from my own perspective, and this is how I would give advice to a friend. So, results may vary. If you submitted a question and it wasn’t answered here, it’ll be answered next week!