You probably have that friend. The one who receives great grades in school, knows how to develop good working relationships, and has a clear vision for what life will look like after school. Wonder how they make it all happen? More than likely, this student has developed a strong sense of self and an even stronger support system of family, friends, and fellow students.
One of the goals of the UMA Wellness Center is to empower UMA students — as well as members of their households — to have a well-balanced approach to life. This month, we focus on tips for making connections and nurturing a level of self-esteem that will contribute to achievement.
Family, Friends, and UMA
Ultimately, your success is up to you, but it doesn’t hurt to lean on family and friends in times of need. Having someone reliable to turn to if your computer breaks down, if your power goes out, if your babysitter cancels, or if someone in your family gets sick, can prevent you from missing a course session or turning in an assignment late. When you share with others how important your academic goals are, you will see how you can gain friends and even co-workers who want to step up in emergency situations.
“Have the courage to ask for help,” said Nyira Gilyard, associate manager of Learner Services. “You may not realize how willing family and friends are to help with things like providing a ride to the library, cooking a meal, or babysitting when they know this will help you meet school deadlines and then get you that much closer to a meaningful career.”
If you have any difficulty getting support from family, check out this article from Wahm.com. Clearly communicating your goals and offering plans on how to schedule family life around school demands can make a difference. Also, check out this article from the UMA Student Guidance Center: Communicating Without Conflict With Your Significant Other.
If you have family obligations that keep you from expanding your social network, these UMA Student Guidance Center resources may provide advice:
- No Such Thing As A Perfect Parent
- Parenting a Child with Special Needs
- Natural Consequences, Discipline That Works
- Keeping Your Senior Loved One Independent and Safe
- Talking about Tough Subjects with Elderly Parents
- The Sandwich Generation – Balancing Your Personal Life with the Needs of Your Elderly Parents
- Balancing Work and Life
Perhaps you simply need someone to vent to or talk you through struggles. Invite this confidant to have coffee, or a walk on a regular basis. Discussion may help you remember why it is important to keep on track with school. You will probably share more about what you have learned and accomplished, than what you fear you are not doing right. Read The 7 Pillars of Connecting With Absolutely Anyone.
Also, remember, a friend does not have to be a person. Although they might not be great for proofreading an essay, a pet can provide an outlet for stress relief.
UMA knows that many UMA students juggle work and family life while going to school. That’s why we have a built-in support system. Course Instructors, Learner Services Advisors (888-216-0544) and Secondary Instructors (888-215-8215) encourage you to reach out with questions and concerns.
“I always want students to know that I’m here for them … whether it’s guiding a student on how to upload an assignment, or actively listening to them and providing encouragement,” UMA Instructor Rose Gosin, DBA, PMP said. “Students should know that each time they take a step, it is a step forward. There is not one step forward that is too small. I want students to realize that they have the power within them to achieve. You are greater than what you may currently believe … and greater than what you currently see.’”
Believe in You
It is not always easy to stay positive and optimistic while in school. Your self-esteem may be vulnerable if your coursework is critiqued or you feel the pressure of an upcoming deadline. You might also feel unsure about your abilities if you are returning to school after years out of the classroom, or if you’re still developing your computer skills in the UMA online learning platform. Believing in what you have to offer is the foundation for a strong social network and support.
If you find your self-esteem needs some work, try these exercises. If you want to gauge how optimistic you are, try taking this quiz
If insecurities and worry start to block focus on study, you can talk to someone who can coach you toward a positive mindset. UMA offers the UMA Student Guidance Center as a resource for its students and graduates. SGC counselors offer confidential guidance in many areas, including emotional, relationship, crisis, financial, and mental health. At the UMA Student Guidance Center, select the “Register” tab and enter UMASAP in the “Organization Web ID” field. Next, click on the “Register” bar to access account set up. For services by phone, call 866-797-1622. Finally, you can receive up to three counseling sessions per issue per year. These services are available for you and your household at no additional cost.
These self-guided sessions at the UMA Student Guidance Center can help you believe in you:
- The Confident You
- The Impact of Attitude on Work and Life
- Using Kindness To Achieve Personal Success & Happiness
- Laughter, Humor & Play To Reduce Stress & Solve Problems
- Connecting Mind & Body for Healthy Living
- Living with Change
Fellow UMA students (and alumni) can be a source of inspiration. The UMA Facebook page is a place to feel encouraged by seeing how other students are achieving. This page is a place to connect and develop a network of peer-support. However, connecting with the UMA Facebook page does not mean you have to post or engage in conversation. Just viewing UMA special events and milestones can remind you that you are part of a community, and part of something important.
A way to establish connections with UMA students and alumni is to serve as a UMA Ambassador. You have an opportunity to share your UMA experiences, participate in UMA events, and offer input to school leadership. Qualifying UMA Ambassador Program candidates are selected on a monthly basis. See details on how to apply and view requirements.
The Eight Indicators of Wellness
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration names “social,” as one of the eight indicators of wellness. Learn more.
UMA does not endorse any vendors, products, or services presented in the UMA Wellness Blog Series, and UMA bears no responsibility in any capacity as it relates to such vendors, products, or services. The information on wellness or related services is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please contact the vendor or service provider for answers to questions regarding its content, products, or services.