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Advising Interactive Worksheet: Academic Difficulty & Personal Challenge

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Every student, at one time or another, will experience challenges—either academic, personal, or both. These challenges may arise for any number of reasons, and may impact you in various but significant ways. During these times, it is important to acknowledge any struggles you may encounter. Confiding in others who can support and assist you as you manage your situation can lead you on a path to resolving the issue. 

Some situations may come-and-go quickly; others persist. In either instance, the challenges they present are real and can have a negative impact on both wellness and academics. For example, we know that many students who struggle try to maintain a high level of academic performance, but their health may be negatively affected. We also know that about 1 in 10 students at Stanford—for whatever reason—find  themselves unable to sustain a satisfactory level of performance which leads to an academic status (e.g., “probation”). Regardless of the result, any struggle takes its toll. Whether struggles lead to wellness concerns, academic difficulty, or both, it is important to proactively address them with someone who can assist you.

Whether challenges are academic, personal, medical, or some combination of any of these, we encourage you to consider the following:

  • Resource Offices
    First and foremost, it is very important to be in touch with university resource offices that can assist you.  It may not be easy to do, but it is very important.
  • Family/Personal Community Support
    Many students attempt to do everything on their own.  Support from family and personal community members is especially important in times of personal challenge.  Again, it may not be easy to do, but the benefit will be worthwhile. 
  • Evaluation, Re-evaluation, and Decision-Making
    During this time, many things will change and develop. An important action is to carefully evaluate—and periodically re-evaluate—the situation. Ideally, this will occur in discussion with both family and representatives from university resource offices. Gathering input sheds light on possibilities not initially considered and re-affirms decisions already made.
  • Reflection
    Once an issue has passed—and this may be some time in coming—it is important to reflect on the issue and what it now means for you. Often, we push an issue to the side, or consider it “completely resolved” once the initial impact is over. But issues may linger on, even if we don’t realize it, and may continue to affect us in different ways both mentally and physically.

We in the office of Academic Advising are eager to assist you as you consider all of these items.   

Download our Interactive Worksheet

Academic Advising is a planning process that helps students to approach their education in an organized and meaningful way… 

—National Academic Advising Association