In the world after college, consultation is one of more powerful professional tools available. When professionals don’t know something, they ask. That’s all consultation is – seeking answers from others to questions that help us to move on with our goals and projects. In general, we don’t need to consult with others (i.e., we can probably figure the question out on our own), but we should want to seek it out because it makes our work more efficient (speeding things up).
At college, students often shy away from consultation – some because it’s a hassle, others out of concern for that it might create a negative perception of them in the eyes of professors or staff. This is unfortunate because practicing consultation while in college is excellent preparation for work after graduation. For those students open to consultation, it’s equally important to know where to go – what resources are available. The University of Minnesota offers a staggering number of options for consultation that span across the academic realm (advising, professors, etc.), student affairs (counseling services, writing center, housing office, study abroad, multi-cultural student support, etc.), student activities (clubs, organizations, etc.), and more.
Satisfaction. Satisfaction with your college experience is essential to academic success – feeling satisfied (vs. burned-out) gives students that little bit of edge or boost needed to make it through exams, term papers and projects. Since academic involvements generally don’t fully satisfy students, engagement in other activities and opportunities on campus become essential for maintaining balance. Be active – explore the campus for opportunities that match your values, interests, beliefs and needs. Meet new people, make contributions and increase your satisfaction quotient on campus.
The Bottom Line: Keep in mind that you don’t need to reach out and use resources on campus or to be more engaged, BUT … that you should want to invest time and energy into them. Doing so will make your academic efforts more effective and efficient, you’ll have more to put on your resume to help with future employment options, and you’ll feel more satisfied overall.