From one classmate to another

This past week I had the privilege I doubted I would ever receive: helping out a fellow student with an assignment problem. I had been quite busy, with my work going into overdrive, registration for Summer classes being open and the to-be-expected class assignments, the newest research assignment being a bit difficult for me to understand.

“I’m tired of being the only one who asks questions,” I exclaimed angrily to a family member through a phone call, “Everyone else seems to know what is going on but me.” I emailed the instructor to learn for certain what the goal of our assignment was. I did not work on the assignment right away after that (smart, I know), but I did later in the week, enough to help explain the study process to another student who called up asking, “What exactly are we supposed to do for this assignment?” 

The student who asked me this question was someone I had attended class with in-person when nobody else did for a class last semester. He and I were well-familiar with each other but not much more than simply being students each trying to pass a class. At least that’s how I saw this situation.

First, I received an email from him, addressing me as “Colleague,” and my ears perked up immediately because I recognized his name. We then connected through a phone call since I was away from campus and I explained everything the teacher had told me on how to maneuver the assignment; with some helpful tips about how I was doing it.

I was genuinely surprised at how authoritative I sounded in explaining this. He thanked me for my help, and we went our separate ways for now.

What I learned most from last week was that we students should reach out to each other more often. With remote class and surviving the pandemic, I know it’s not the top of our list to “call up a classmate for directions on a confusing assignment,” but try it sometime. It is helpful in keeping the function of a working college class together in a time without a physical classroom in place.

I have never felt so helpful to another student in all of my years of college as I did for this student. We met and helped each other in different ways, and all it took was a question which the student sought out help from another; it made my year. Don’t hesitate to contact another student if you have a question, you both may be surprised with the result.

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