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Ask Dr. Syl: Where Can I Turn to for Help on Campus?

Dr. Syl

Dear Dr. Syl,

 In college, what type of support groups were there for you?


Support Systems in College.


Dear Support Systems in College,

It is that time of the year again! The fall semester is near and students are preparing to begin or continue their college journey.  This journey could be very difficult for many but there are support systems available for help.  First, do your on-campus research.  It is very important to know what clubs and/or organization exist on your particular college campus.  Whether you are attending a public or private university, community college, trade school or any other post-secondary education school, there are usually multiple options for help.  Talk to a counselor, go to the writing center, join study groups, meet with a career specialist and network.  It is also essential to meet with your instructors because they typically have very essential information needed to pass their class.   


Another system that can be helpful includes your classroom peers, your family and friends.  These groups can help with talking about problems, destressing from all the school responsibility and having loving people on your side.  As an undergrad, I definitely depended on my family and friends to get me through each semester.  However, I failed to network with my university and my GPA was not as high as my potential.  By the time I got to graduate school, I had learned my lesson and knew exactly what to do to achieve my straight “A” goal.  


I attended the University of Southern California for my doctoral degree and participated in every opportunity that existed in order to do well.  I am happy to say that this lead to straight A’s at USC!  Finding networking opportunities, workshops, requesting feedback from multiple faculty members, attending weekend retreats and keeping close contact with professors was the key to my success.  Although family and friends continued to be supportive, I think the combination of the two support systems is the perfect recipe for college success.


Good luck to all especially the incoming freshman!  Have a great school year!

Author: Dr. Sylvia Landaverde

Sylvia, also known as Dr. Syl, is a first generation college student with a B.A. in sociology with a minor in women’s studies from California State University, Long Beach, an M.P.A. from Cal State Dominguez Hills, and her Ed.D in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. Dr. Syl lives with her fiancee and two-year-old son and enjoys travel, volunteer work and spending time with her family.


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