15-213/14-513/15-513 Introduction to Computer Systems (ICS): Your Well Being

Our Concern for You

Carnegie Mellon is known for its stressful environment, and we realize that the pace and expectations of 213/513 can contribute to that stress. If you find yourself having trouble keeping up, please realize the following:
  • It's Only a Class. Your life and personal welfare are more important than your performance in this or any course.
  • Manage your Time Wisely. Students struggling in 213/513 often follow a pattern where they fall behind and then try to catch up with a marathon effort just before an assignment is due. Instead, they start having health problems, skip or fall asleep in lectures, do poorly in this and other classes, and fall further behind. The key is to never fall behind in the first place. When an assignment goes out that is due on 2 weeks, that's because we expect it to require 2 weeks of concentrated effort to complete.
  • Take Care of Yourself. Do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle this semester by eating well, exercising, avoiding drugs and alcohol, getting enough sleep and taking some time to relax. This will help you achieve your goals and cope with stress.
  • Don't Resort to Cheating. As a deadline draws near and you aren't making progress, it can become very tempting to start searching the Web or asking your friends for help. Don't do it! If you get caught, the consquences will be much worse than not doing the assignment at all. If you don't get caught, you will still do permanent damage to your own sense of personal integrity, your own learning, and the ability of others to put their trust in you.
  • It's OK to Ask for Help. Some students believe that asking for help makes them look bad in the eyes of the instructor, or that it demonstrates they shouldn't be in the course in the first place. We want you to succeed, and we want to help! If you've thought about an issue and are stuck, spending a few minutes with one of the teaching staff may save you hours of frustration.
  • You are Not Alone. All of us benefit from support during times of struggle. There are many helpful resources available on campus and in Pittsburgh. An important part of the college experience is learning how to ask for help. Asking for support sooner rather than later is often helpful.

Some Resources

If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings of anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. Here are some possibilities:
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS). Call 412-268-2922 or visit their website.
  • Consider reaching out to a friend, faculty or family member you trust for help getting connected to the support that can help.
  • If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal or in danger of self-harm, call someone immediately, day or night.
    • CaPS: 412-268-2922
    • Re:solve Crisis Network: 888-796-8226
    • Police (On campus: 412-268-2323. Off campus: 911.)