As a college student, you need to find time to study and complete your assignments. However, the rest of your life continues as if you have not just gotten busier.
For example, a student, Tammy, was pursuing her master’s degree. Because her husband had supported her when she earned her bachelor’s degree, she thought that circumstances would be the same during her master’s degree; however, it did not happen that way. She still did all the cooking, all the grocery shopping, and she was having trouble trying to finish her homework with the kids running around. Finally, frustrated, she blew up at her husband. After she calmed down and they really talked to each other, her husband shared that he thought that because she had already earned a degree, she knew what to do and would not need any help. Tammy shared that it was because her husband supported her by taking over some of the things Tammy normally did that she was able to complete her first degree.
Families (support systems) may not intuitively know what the college student needs. Tammy was self-advocating, having the “I need” conversation with her husband. In her case, she needed a quiet area to study four times a week for two hours, help with the kids during study time, and some help with cooking and cleaning when projects were due. She found that by sharing what she needed, her family (support system) understood her needs and were better able to meet them.
What are your needs? For Part 1 of this assignment, you are going to have an “I need” conversation with your support system (family, friends, whoever will be there to support you). This involves the following steps:
· First, write a list of the main points you want to cover in your conversation – what is it that you really need to make this college journey a positive experience? You want to explain what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what you need from this person.
· Second, point out the “win-win” in the situation – how does your support person “win” when they help you to meet your needs while you are a college student? Also, be ready to answer questions your support person may have for you.
· Third, during the “I need” conversation, pay attention to the verbal and nonverbal cues your partner is giving you. Be able to interpret those signals appropriately so you have a productive and meaningful conversation.
After having your “I need” conversation, for Part 2 of this assignment you will write a paper about your experience. Your written assignment is to address the following points:
1. Provide your “I need….” list. Explain the points you wanted to cover in the conversation.
2. Recap your “I need…” conversation. With whom did you have the conversation? Did you cover your main points? Why or why not?
3. Reflect on your emotions. How were you feeling during the conversation?
4. Analyze your support person’s response. How did the person respond to your conversation?
5. Anticipated results: Do you believe you will get what you need? Why or why not?
6. If you were to have the “I need” conversation with a second person, would you change anything given your experience with the first conversation? Why or why not?