Be advised: college planning


Ryan Chow

Career Center employee and student, Shoptorshi Rahman, walks through a sample resume with Alexis Young on January 24. Academic advisors are available to assist with student problems.

By Ava Traverso, Special sections editor

Looking through the long list of stresses that college students face, making sure to graduate on time can be one of the biggest, with another close one being securing a job post-graduation. While it can feel overwhelming with the pressure to make sure you are doing everything right during school, you do not have to feel alone in your progress. One of the most valuable resources that our University has to offer is that of our advisors. An academic advisor serves as a guide in aiding students to access important University resources, set academic goals and in whole, making sure you are heading towards your desired outcome after college. It may seem intimidating to meet with your advisor if you have never spoken with them, but they truly are here to assist you. Here is a guide offering tips on what to ask your advisor during your appointment.

  • Go into your appointment with a game plan.
    • Most of the time, advisors only have appointment windows of about 15 to 30 minutes at a time. This means that you have to make your time count and come in with a set of talking points. If you have an extensive laundry list of things to go over, make sure to book two windows back to back in order to have adequate time.
  • Make a four-year plan so you can have a guideline.
    • Making a four-year plan (or a plan for your remaining time at the University) is a beneficial decision because it helps keep you on track and allows you to make quick adjustments if anything changes or goes awry. This is especially smart if your major has a lot of classes that are semester or year specific, like if a course is only offered in even or odd years.
  • If you are planning on studying abroad, your advisor can be a great resource.
    • This is another reason why creating a four-year plan can be great in making sure you achieve your future goals. Studying abroad, whether it’s for a break or a semester, can take a lot of foresight and planning. Whether this is to get your financial situation in order or to make sure your schedule can accommodate a study abroad, planning ahead can benefit you greatly.
  • If you have doubts about your major, they are there to help.
    • If you are considering changing your major, know that you are far from alone. According to a report from the US Department of Education, about 30% of undergraduate students who had gone into higher education with a declared major had changed it at least once. By discussing a change of heart with your advisor, you can make sure to get the right resources and contacts to ensure that you still graduate in the quickest time frame.

No matter your major, consulting your advisor can be a great step to take in order to achieve your goals. After you take the first step in meeting with them, your advisor can become a great ally throughout your undergraduate career.

Ava is a junior in ACES.

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