The Importance of Speaking with an Advisor and Fact-Checking

Once you get to university, talking to an advisor might not be at the top of your list. Maybe you’ve spent some time getting to know your major and the coursework it entails, and you know exactly what you’re going to do. That’s great! However, a major resource that can often be overlooked at university is the resource that comes with connecting with an advisor who understands your goals and guides you to achieve them.

I’ve often heard “I only talked to my advisor a couple times when it was required… but didn’t really keep in touch after.” A lot of people only really talk to an advisor just a few times during their duration at college! It’s important to note that if you don’t find an advisor you exactly ~vibe~ with, you can easily connect with another or simply use helplines/email addresses for those questions. Point being, it’s a good idea to fact-check what you think you know about college, because many times, your information can greatly vary from what you’ve heard vs. what is factual. 

I’ll give you an example. I only learned in my senior year of high school that dual-enrolled classes taken on high school campuses didn’t count at my university. At that point, I had already taken a couple and was set to attend college. When I got to university, I realized that this was indeed true after speaking to my advisor, who told me that I had been misinformed and this wasn’t a recent rule or anything, but something that had been in place for the last seven or eight years. Yeah! 

Additionally, there are tons of nuances and specifics that come with various matters in college, such as registering for classes, prerequisites, four-year plans, graduation audits, and dozens of other things that can be hard to keep track of. Advisors are people who know how the university works, and if they specifically don’t know, they can refer you to someone who does. They’re also aware of the hundreds of resources these institutions have to offer. 

As students, we arrive into a new system and might think we can handle it, but there’s always room to make sure, verify, and confirm what you are doing. After my dual-enrollment blunder a couple years ago, I kind of have a paranoia about this and feel the need to make sure of all sorts of things – for example, it’s better to verify that a community college class will transfer, even after you’ve checked the equivalency and it does transfer. After all, we are living in Corona times, and there are a lot of specifics with whether a university will accept your online class (which in many times, they won’t for specific subjects!) 

If anything, if you keep up a good rapport with your advisor, they can more easily write you a solid letter of recommendation if you need one. After all, they are the ones who can see your transcript/grades, the courses you take, the personality and work ethic you have, and how much you’ve grown over a period of time. I would encourage you to reach out to one (if you don’t already have one) or connect with one you already have so that you can have as fulfilling an education as possible! 

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