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College is a place of contradictions for some. This is the time and place to learn, but it is also the time to take on more responsibility, which could conflict with studying.

We have all had to do things out of our comfort zone, but talking to people professionally can be an unnecessarily challenging task. Emailing a professor or going to his or her office sounds simple, but doing those things can be difficult for many students.

Whether you are approaching a professor to discuss a course or to ask for permission to enter a class, everything lies in how you present yourself. Though it may feel like you are not being yourself, try not to think of it as putting on an act.

If you find yourself wracked with anxiety and unsure of what to say, remember that keeping it simple is always best. Whoever you are speaking to will appreciate your efforts as well as the fact that you took time out of your day to meet with him or her.

Reminding yourself that professors meet with students all the time can be helpful as well. Though it may feel like you are interrupting their busy schedules, coming to them outside of class will show a willingness to learn and improve.

Similarly, sending emails can be an all too complicated bother for some students. It may be difficult to get the right point across to a professor through simple text. Even if you do not know what to say or how to address the person you are emailing, remember that the route of sincerity is always best.

The inboxes of professors, advisors and counselors are flooded with unprofessional emails on a daily basis. Students often forget to include important information such as which course they are in and even their name in emails.

If you provide the person you are emailing with all the information they need to identify you, they will appreciate your efforts all the more. Presenting yourself as serious and open to their many different responses will give them a platform to get back to you in a quick and helpful way.

Speaking to professionals that are not professors can also be daunting in a different way. You may have to speak to people on the phone for a job or work closely with someone you don’t necessarily get along with for a group project.

In these instances, it is important to address your nerves and anxieties head on and try your best to keep them at bay. Learning the art of faking confidence can certainly help in this department.

Issues with talking to people in higher positions may stem from anxiety, but I believe a lot of it may come from natural levels of stress we are met with on a daily basis. With all the things we have to do each day, something as simple as setting up an advising appointment can be burdensome.

In school, it is easy to find yourself living in a self-imposed cocoon. You may find that you study more effectively alone rather than in a group. You may eat alone and come home only to sleep or watch TV alone.

Doing things on your own is by no means negative. Everyone needs his or her own personal time, but learning to ask for help can be beneficial. It is vital to become comfortable talking to people who will help you throughout your time in college.

Though school is a collaborative learning environment, we are often met with difficulties that we can conquer only on our own. If you find yourself struggling with simple tasks, try to think of it as being in training. Yesterday’s work will always help you with today.

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