Taking Advantage of Your Resources

Photo:  Adobe Stock

Photo: Adobe Stock


I didn’t step foot into my school’s career center until my last year of college. I was about 8 months away from graduation, so I anxiously began to seek assistance in every aspect of my professional and academic life. Not only did I have deadlines looming over me, but I come to the realization that my resume was mediocre and my senior thesis topic was uninspiring. I had ample time to utilize the many resources that were at my fingertips for the last three years, but clearly I had waited until the last minute.


At the time, I was hearing similar stories from my peers who were less than inclined to use these services until months before graduation Whether it was the career center, free tutoring, the reference librarian or the writing center, many of us were unwilling to be perceived like we were in need of help.  


Admitting that you needed a tutor meant that you were inadequate in a certain subject, working with the reference librarian meant you weren’t able to find research articles on your own, asking someone to review your essay meant you were bad at writing. Thankfully, my upper-level courses required us to use these resources as a part of our grade


As I walked into the writing center as a 4th-year student, I was immediately overcome with shame. It was difficult for me to engage with the student worker as they edited my research paper. For a moment, I felt weak. But I had to intentionally change my attitude so I could get the help I needed. Unsurprisingly, the session was helpful and it enhanced my paper in a variety of ways. It is unfortunate that I (and my peers) had to be forced to use these resources in order to recognize their advantages.


After my experience in the writing center, I began to take full use of the other student resources. I became more efficient when completing research projects due to working with the reference librarian and the writing center allowed me to better outline my essays for potential graduate school applications.


And let’s not forget the career center. My career coach fine-tuned my resume and gave me tips on how to market myself during interviews, which helped me land multiple job offers a few weeks before I graduated.


When I think about it, being an undergraduate student is a very unique experience. Students have a chance to make use of a variety of services that are only going to enhance their knowledge. So, instead of consistently walking past the writing center or tutoring office, turn around and walk in! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.



Taylor Cones is a JTG contributor. She is a recent graduate of Calvin College where she currently serves as an admissions counselor. As a JTG contributor, she hopes to inspire those who are seeking insight on how to successfully further their education.