Advisor Updates

Feeling Like a Burden

Reaching out to others can be difficult when you have been told for most of your life how capable you are—how resourceful, bright, and skilled you are at addressing and solving most problems in your life. Sometimes when you are an accomplished person who has been successful, particularly academically successful, you can begin to believe that you should be able to solve all of the challenges you face on your own. The world may seem to suggest that you should not need others because you have not needed much assistance up to this point. 

The truth is that we all need to depend on others at times and it is honestly a critical skill to know when you need to reach out to others and to take the wise risk of allowing others to share in your struggles.  Sometimes all that means is letting yourself vent to someone else—letting your thoughts and feelings flow freely.  Rather than being a burden to others, you are literally showing them how much you trust them. You are also letting them know that you are willing to reciprocate when the time comes—because we all know that it will.   

More often than not, we consider ourselves to be a burden WAY more than others perceive us to be a burden. In addition to your key family members and friends, please remember that you have many people at Purdue who care about you—including your advisors, faculty members, mentors, etc. You are the farthest from being a burden than you can possibly imagine.  You each matter to us and we have chosen to work in this setting because we find meaning and purpose in encouraging the growth and development of people just like you. 

Heather L. Servaty-Seib, Ph.D., HSPP 

she, her, hers

Professor and Associate Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning 
Office of the Provost, Counseling Psychology, College of Education

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.