Greetings, Bears! I am so happy to be back for another semester of blog posts. If you happened to read my posts from over the summer, you may have noticed that there was quite a bit of discussion about the first-time freshman student experience. Chances are, if you are a freshman, you have had at least a little bit of time to adjust to your new life here on campus—but that doesn’t necessarily mean that things are perfect. At any stage of your life or college, you may encounter difficult times or have a hard time adjusting to change, and that is when having a support system becomes very important. Building and maintaining a support system is something that I have struggled with, so I want to use my post for this week to talk about something that you could be struggling with too.
What is a “Support System” and Why is it Important?
“Support system” is a term usually used to refer to the people in your life that you can turn to for emotional support. In most cases, this can refer to your friends, family, or other close people in your circle. However, when you’re in college, your system can expand because you have access to so many different resources. It’s important to be aware of these resources, as well as build and maintain a support system, because even the strongest people need support during tough times. College is an amazing and fun experience, but it can also present its own unique challenges. Building a support system to help combat these challenges can look like all sorts of things, but most college students find their support in family, friends, and on-campus resources.
How to Build Your Support System
Most people looking to build or enhance their support system turn to friends or family. Even if they are further away, your family can still be a great way to find support. Your relationship with your family members can change and vary while you’re in college, but if you feel comfortable doing so, there is absolutely nothing wrong with turning to your family for support when you’re in need. Sometimes, your family can know you better than you know yourself and provide helpful insight about things that you may be experiencing. Friendships are also important and can do great things for your mental health. Good friends want to provide you with support and can also provide validation and advice. Oftentimes, it also just helps to have someone to talk to about your troubles. If you are in need of support, don’t be afraid to ask friends or loved ones for help; they want to support you and see you succeed.
As a college student, you also have the opportunity to expand your support system by utilizing on-campus resources. One of the many great resources available to you is the Counseling Center, which is located in Magers Health and Wellness Center. Counselors can help you build your support system, but also serve as support themselves. As a Missouri State student, you have access to 8 counseling sessions per semester, but the Counseling Center also hosts other forms of therapy and skill-building workshops. You can find those listed on their website, along with links to many other resources.
There is also, of course, our office! The Center for Academic Success and Transition has both Success Coaches and Peer Mentors that are available to support you and guide you to success, both academically and as you navigate life at MSU. If you are interested in meeting with a Success Coach or Peer Mentor (or both), you can fill out the request form on our website. Other areas at MSU where you can find ways to build your support system include the department and college for your major, your academic advisor, the Bear CLAW, Foster Recreation Center and more.
I hope that after reading through this post you feel reassured about all of your options for finding support both on and off campus. It can be intimidating sometimes, but everyone goes through hard times, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help and support from others. If you are feeling overwhelmed, remember that there are many resources and opportunities available to you on campus and through MSU to help you succeed! I hope that your semester is going well so far, and I will see you again soon in a future blog post!
(Bio: I am a junior out-of-state student studying Creative Writing with a minor in Philosophy.)