By Angela Rojo
Building a great support system while advancing through school and beyond is important. Every student can benefit from a good support system. Below are some key components I continue to use in building my support team.
- Communication: Go ahead and say your goals out loud. The people we choose to surround ourselves with are not mind readers. It might go against the grain–it did for me–but go ahead and say your goals out loud or however you normally communicate – text, email, et cetera. Once the communication starts, ideas and support will start lining up.
- Identify support team members: Once goals are identified, a support team will start to form. Think teachers, mentors, family and friends, classmates, church family, and neighbors. After voicing your goals, you might be surprised with some of the creative ways in which a collaborative effort can mold a working plan. I was surprised for sure! One of the suggestions was a working play date for my clingy kid instead of a babysitter for him. We all got together, and while they played, I was able to make progress in my writing.
- Involve children: Children are curious and naturally want to help. Include them in forming family goals. Your children will find joy in making a small sacrifice to help contribute to the larger picture. Now, instead of complaining about the time I devote to practice, my son encourages me to spend more time on my writer. “Mom, if we want our own home, we need to get on our writers.”
He absolutely loves his very own old manual writer. After my teachers and a mentor assured me he would not break my shiny, new, expensive writer, and even gifting him a manual writer, Max and I have fun with our writers. Gone are the days of holding my breath any time he would walk close to my writer afraid it was going to be damaged. Breathe in, breathe out.
- Be intentional: The intentional sacrifices I make so my son can attend his taekwondo classes I make happily, because [the school] actively supports our goals and we support theirs. They make efforts to plan activities around my school and practice schedule. They’ve made practice space for me and even extended event times so I could complete online tests from start to finish. These situations will be unique to each of us, but they are out there. When an opportunity to return a favor pops up, give it a go!
- Respect the support: Show up ready to make good use of the gift of uninterrupted time. This can include being well rested, well nourished, well hydrated, and having a plan of how the time will be used. Are the supplies and equipment ready? Another way to respect the support team is to not abuse it.
Overall, being vulnerable and sharing ways in which we need to be supported can become a strength. A team becomes stronger by identifying needs and fortifying them. I’d love to hear from you and learn more ways I can be a support to my team and family as I continue to work my way through school.
Angela Rojo is a student at Argonaut Court Reporting in Sacramento, Calif.