Need help? Just ask

By Rahul Nachnani | Blogger | SQ Online (2013-14)

“The answer to all the questions never asked is always ‘no,’ said the sage to the young explorer.”

Unfortunately, we do not live in the times of traveling sages and minstrels telling us amazing advice, but from time to time, we do hear it. A high school teacher told me this statement, and in context, he was simply telling us to ask questions about a test if we didn’t understand anything; but out of context, he told us something very different.

His statement to me was that nobody gets to be where they are without asking for help. There is no superman or wonderwoman who can do everything by his/herself without the help of others. The sooner we learn to understand and accept that,the more successful we can become.

From personal experience, I would not be a blogger here at SQ if I did not ask people to read my application to be a blogger. Actually, almost every application I have written has been read by a peer or mentor of mine.

“But Rahul, aren’t you afraid of people copying you, stealing your ideas, ultimately ruining your chances of getting into a medical school?” No. Not because I think I’m good enough for that to happen, but because that is not how the college experience should be. In the scientific community, communication and teamwork trumps individual success. Why? Because if one person makes the discovery, we all benefit. Now, let’s be rational, do not let anyone else take credit for your work. But if you submit any piece of writing from just your own opinion, mind, and reasoning then you are not submitting your best work.

There is more to it than asking for help with writing (although, this is arguably the most relevant in our college lives). Asking for help when you’re feeling stressed or down is important as well. This is not middle school, it is no longer “cool” to be aloof and nonsharing. People who care about you and people whom you trust will be your most valuable assets in keeping yourself sane. Trust me, as a pre-med, you’ll need someone to vent to when your chemistry or physics classes get a bit too much to handle.

Ask for advice.

Ask for help.

You will receive it, but most importantly, you must ask.