Okay, so you applied. Enrolled. Took your placement test. Signed up for a payment plan. Received your schedule.

First day of classes for the semester came.

Now you just have to get there.

Navigation can be a difficult experience. Think about it akin to driving. Staying in control, with your eyes on the road, being cognizant of the hazards present, and reaching your destination within a certain time… depending on road conditions.

Navigating you way through a college campus is kind of like that. You are walking to a class, take your eyes off the path you are walking (put down your smartphone, please) and hit a wall, or maybe encounter a student late for class running wildly in the opposite direction, and then see a yellow construction tape blocking the exit way.

Yep, doesn’t seem that different, does it?

On your schedule, it says HTEC 115 or HUMN 014. Sounds like a cryptic code to a discerning eye, right? Just kidding! It’s not really hard to figure it out. (HTEC stands for Health Careers & Technology Building while HUMN stands for the Humanities Hall). A campus map you can easily pick up on the Welcome desks breaks down what these letters mean. The numbers simply represent the room number.

The main campus where I am, CCBC Catonsville, is nicely designed where one building typically happens to conjoin with the next (few exceptions apply). All buildings loom over the quad area where a farmhouse (always wondered why it’s there – no one goes there) is located in the middle. Rain or snow, you are covered. You are not forced to go outside, as may be the case with a large college campus. You simply have to know the passage to your class and weave through the hallways to reach your destination, without as much as stepping a foot outside in the quad.

But there are instances where we get lost. Happens to me all the time. I am looking for a class like 014 and forget that it may be located on the lower level. I am too shy to confess I am lost so I become even more determined to find my way.

Don’t be me! Ask someone – anyone. Chances are the other person is just like you. They are new and trying to find their way. Maybe you guys are heading the same way. Maybe this strange person will become your new friend. And all you ever did was ask for directions.

Or maybe the other person is a faculty member, a professor who is all too happy to point you to the right direction. Maybe you find out that the same professor is your professor for a future class. Oh, I know this professor. He guided me when I was lost!

That’s what professors do, anyway! They not only inspire, but guide and direct students to the right direction. It just so happened that the first guidance you received was elementary… just like how we receive guidance in making our first walking steps from our parents. But directing or being directed to the right path is what we all are supposed to do.

After all, we are all in this together. Student or not – we are all part of the CCBC community.

So when you encounter someone who looks lost, offer to help. You may make a difference bigger than you realize.

Recently, I met an elderly student at CCBC who had registered for a class in criminal justice but did not know where his class was. It was in the library. I was working at the time but offered to take him there. We walked all the way to the other side of the campus to the library building, where I showed the student their class.

He then asked me to help him find out how to access Blackboard, where professors post course materials and information. But he did not know how to.

Thanks to the librarian, I was able to assist the student and create their CCBC account. The student exclaimed they did not even know that technology like this existed, lamenting how he wanted to know how to access Blackboard but never got a chance to. Now, the student had another wish. So, I walked him to the Business, Education & Social Sciences Hall (BESS) just across the library where he saw his professor’s office.

So… finally! With a map of the place preserved in his mind, the student was visibly happy. He knew exactly where to go on the day of his class and probably saved a lot of time that he would have otherwise spent searching for his class or the professor’s office.

If you are lost, simply ask! And remember, staff from the Department of Public Safety and other departments is always nearby. Whether from a student or a staff or even a stranger, don’t be afraid to ask for directions!