Opinion

Adviser meetings encouraged

Did the Advising Week (Oct. 29 through Nov. 2) ship sail without you aboard?

First-year students are required to see their adviser during advising week, and returning students are encouraged to reconnect with their adviser at that time.

From informal reports, it appears that few students actually met with their advisers, and this is, in my opinion, a real missed opportunity.

What’s in advising for you?  Why should you see your adviser, even when you don’t have schedule changes to make?

Think of advisers as experienced travel guides.

If you’ve ever traveled, especially outside the U.S., you know how helpful it can be to have a “native” of the country you’re exploring there to give you tips, point out attractions, share cultural expectations.

In much the same way, an academic adviser is a “native” of higher education land and beyond—of the land of your intended profession.

You can talk with your adviser about what kind of journey you see yourself embarking upon, and they can help you discover whether your major and intended career will be the kind of trip you want to take.

Maybe the first step is figuring out where you want to go and asking yourself where you want to go.

Advisers can show you  highlights of the academic landscape (like Wartburg West, internships, study abroad, the Orange Connection), help you choose which attractions you want to be sure not to miss, and be your academic concierge.

They can help you book tickets for events you want to attend.

They can describe the major and career scene so you can decide whether this is truly the land where you will find your purpose, a land where you will flourish.

Like any good tour guide, your adviser will help you learn the local lingo.

Your adviser can help you navigate the murkier waters such as essential education requirements or what exactly a DAC requirement is.

What mileposts will you look for to see whether you’re heading in the right direction?
There’s the GPA milepost, the Declaring a Major milepost and more.

Advisers can help you evaluate progress toward your degree and your life goals, and point you to resources there to help travelers along the way.

As you become a more seasoned traveler, your advisers will celebrate with you as you become more confident and independent in your decision-making.

It’s not too late.  Your travel guide awaits.  See your adviser to plan your fantastic voyage.

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