Did you find your college advisors helpful when making your class schedule or did you feel that they mislead you?

12 Answers
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In my personal experience with college advisors, I felt that they can be a great help. Most recently, I needed help figuring out what courses I could take to fill certain criteria that were necessary to graduate. Since I wasn't sure how to figure this out myself, I made an appointment. Not only was I able to get a full evaluation of the courses I had already taken, but I was also able to delve into my future courses and requirements for graduation. I also touched on internships and credit transfer for summer courses at a separate college. Basically, any question you have an advisor should be able to assist you to the best of their ability and I have had only positive experiences with academic/career advisors.
I've had a very weird experience with advisors...for the most part, it's not great. Because my major is so big, students aren't given their own individual advisors. Instead, we can make meetings with AN advisor who is assigned randomly for the most part. I kind of hate this system because I have to go through my entire academic history every time I have a question. I honestly have stopped going to see advisors the past 3 semesters because it's more work for less gain. I can mostly just figure things out by myself and if I have a question, I email my major department office instead. However, through talking with friends in other majors who do have a specific advisor assigned to them, their advisors are a big help to them. They also serve as a great source for references if needed.
In my experience, my advisors have been helpful. They pointed me in the right direction. Still, I had to do a lot of research and planning for myself to make sure the plan my advisor told me would work.
I've had very mixed experiences with college advisors. When I came in as a freshman, my major was undecided and I had an advisor who was assigned specifically to undecided students. Unfortunately, because she was dealing with so many students who had such different interests, it was really hard for her to help me out with the questions that I had. I ended up speaking more with the advisors for the majors that I was interested in, as they were more specialized and far better equipped to answer the questions that I had. Once I officially switched my major, it was so much easier to meet with a specialized advisor and get my questions answered. Because the English program is pretty small at my school, my advisor is able to get to know all of his students and is really great at giving individualized advice. However, I still recommend doing your own research and going into your meetings with an idea of what you want, as you'll definitely know yourself better than your advisor could.
Go in knowing what you need!! If i hadn't done my research beforehand, my advisor would have made me take two extra classes that were not needed for my major. I get it, they are busy and have a lot of students to deal with, but just keep in mind to either go prepared or double check what they recommended, since it might have changed from pervious requirements.
I've found that asking fellow peers is sometimes the better option than going with an advisor, but it also depends on the school.
The college advisors are definitely helpful, however you must conduct your own research and come in with tangible questions when you make an appointment. I would also take advantage of peer advisors as well as specialized advisors. If you don't like the advisor assigned to you, ask your friends and classmates about their advisors and if they like him/her or not. However, your advisor is not going to do all of the work. You need to be proactive and you need to set up an appointment early on, rather than last minute.
They were absolutely helpful. However, you have to come prepared as well. They don't know you as well as you know yourself, and that's really what your schedule is going to come down to. So if you tell them you're interested in Psychology, they're going to sign you up for an introduction to psychology course. However, if you're typically bad in sciences and struggle, there's no way for them to know this without your input.

Basically, a counselor is as helpful as the information you provide them with. So come equipped with what your ideal schedule would look like, what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are and what your overall college/career goals are. If you do this, they'll be able to help you create a class schedule that's perfect for you.

Also, as an added tip, don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask how students typically do in a given class. Ask what other students in your major typically choose for electives. The more conversational the meeting, the more helpful it will be to you.
The first few times I went to see my advisor, I felt like they didn't have much time to help me, so I had to do a lot of researching/scheduling on my own. But as I got older, my advisor paid more attention to my schedule. I also knew more as I got older, and I was able to answer a lot of the questions I had myself. I think if you feel like your advisor isn't helping you, keep going to see them, keep emailing them, and don't be afraid to visit their office. It is their job, after all!
It depends on the person, but my college advisors helped me a lot when it came to picking what schedule would work best for me. When I was a freshman making my first schedule, they advised me on how many units I should take based on the amount of extracurriculars I wanted to be a part of. They also helped me construct a loose four-year plan that would help me graduate on time and continue to be available to answer any of my questions. I think it depends on how often you meet with your counselors and when you meet them. You should be meeting with them as early as possible, so you can be planning ahead for what classes you should be taking rather than too late when you realize you missed out on a class you should have taken a semester ago.
College advisors are tricky and experiences often depend on the person. I've known friends that have had terrible experiences with advisors adding semesters and even years onto their degrees. Throughout college, I managed to only meet with an advisor three times, but had a pleasant experience. The rest of my schedule, I made on my own. If you're someone who excels at planning their own things, both long-term and short-term, I wouldn't stress about meeting with an advisor frequently. If you're someone who has questions, I would schedule to meet with an advisor more frequently, but with skepticism. If you're having concerns, you should request to see another advisor before its too late.
College advisors are only helpful to a point as they don't truly know you or what kind of schedule will be the best fit for you. You can meet with them for help but it's worthwhile to also do some research as far as what class is offered when and formulate a schedule on your own. Your advisor may not know you need hour-long blocks of time during the day when you can go to your part-time job or be willing to do what it takes to make that happen. If you meet with your advisor armed with the knowledge of what classes you want to take this semester, when they're offered, and what class times you want, you can make your class schedule work for you and not get stuck with a schedule that doesn't leave you time when you need it or has you getting up for 8 am's five days a week.

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