Help them help you

There’s a great scene in the movie Jerry Maguire where sports agent Maguire, frustrated with his lone client’s stubborn refusal to take his advice, pleads, “Help me help you!”

The actors play the exchange comically, but there’s an underlying truth in Maguire’s message.

Most successful students get help on their way to college. Teachers, counselors, tutors—whomever you’re relying on to help you accomplish your goals and get where you want to go, remember that they can’t do it for you. You have to help them help you.

Some students sit back and passively hope the help will magically intervene. They wait for their counselor to seek them out to talk about college. They let their struggle in a particular class drag on and then ask for extra credit to raise their grade. They sit through their tutorial sessions but their mind is somewhere else.

But the students who lean into their help are doubling down on efforts to improve their situation. They seek out the help, they bring their attention and preparation to the exchange, and they embrace, rather than abdicate, responsibility for the outcome.

Best of all, the ability to make the most of your help isn’t dependent on your GPA, test scores, or your accolades on your resume. It’s a benefit that’s available to anyone willing to give enough to take advantage of it.

Ask for help, sure. Then do your part to help them help you.