Communication Key to Recovery

Recently, communication has become an integral skill to my college career, communication with my both my peers, employers and my professors.  As addressed in chapter 9 of Taking Charge: Your Education, Your Career, Your Life, effective communication is a vital component of college success. Without it, I would find myself drowning under the immense stress I face at this moment.

Sept. 15, I began preparing one of my favorite meals, spaghetti.  I make this meal at least once a week and it has yet to pose any serious problems.  However, this time would prove to be different.  This time when I removed the noodles from their package, whether by distraction or loss of control, I dropped the noodles.  My instinct was to catch them but, unfortunately, the handle to the pot of already boiled water was facing toward me, and in my effort to retrieve my fallen noodles my forearm slammed into the handle and tipped it off of the stove all over my hand, the front of my legs and my left foot.

The pain was excruciating, by far the worst pain I have ever felt in my life.  By the time I arrived at the ER, blisters were covering my right hand, my thighs and my left foot.  Over the next few days and the weekend following, I could barely walk at all and not without help.   The doctors said because of the risk of infection, I should not return to school right away. This meant I was going to be out of school for more than a week.  I had not missed that much school in my entire educational career at Baylor.

I could have easily been struck by panic in that moment. I did feel a bit of stress, but I knew I could handle it, thanks to the fact that I had been in constant communication with my professors.

The day after the accident I asked my roommate to send out e-mails to all my professors and my supervisors at TSTC Publishing.  When I was able to type personally a few days after the accident, I e-mailed them again and made them all even more fully aware of the situation.  I found that all of my professors and my supervisors at TSTC were completely understanding and willing to give me leniency.  I was touched and relieved, and it has made my recovery much easier.

I cannot imagine how difficult the healing process would have been if I had the added stress of not being in cooperation with my professors.  It would have been a source of constant irritation, and I would not have been able to rest and recover in peace.

This situation more then any other has reminded me how important communication is for students in college.  Students have an amazing untapped resource in their professors.  It is just a matter of opening up the door of communication.  Many students hold back on this because they are intimidated or think they can handle situations on their own.  Professors are, more often then not, perfectly willing to listen to the individual situation of the student and make allowances when necessary.  Professors are not unreasonable people and often all the student needs to do is make them aware of his or her circumstances. Students face many situations which make it impossible to perform up to usual standards or to be physically in the classroom.  These situations are typically stressful in themselves and do not need the added stress of worrying about class.  It is here that if students would only communicate with their professors, they would find a great deal of help and understanding and an amazing willingness on the part of the professor to work with the student.

My circumstances could have easily overwhelmed me, after all, a week of school is a lot to miss. Yes, it has still been a challenge, but I know I can still succeed despite these drawbacks because I communicated with my teachers and stayed in contact with them outside of the classroom.  Now I am on the mend, and thanks to my incredible professors, I am prepared to return to the classroom and get back to work.

Stori Long