Still in need of advising?

Apr 25 by

When I was talking to a professor the other day, I mentioned offhand that I still consult my academic advisor- even as a spring term senior. They commented back, “Isn’t that when you really need the most advising?” I’m not sure if I’d say “the most,” but then again, I can’t really think of a time that stands out as when I needed my advisors the most…

I came in as a declared Anthropology major, and Professor Cool was my academic advisor for my freshman year. She was absolutely fantastic with helping me choose a variety of classes to try out, which is probably when I needed academic advising the most freshman year, at the very least- but in that variety of classes I found probably about 4 or 5 or 6 or so potential new majors, and I flip-flopped almost daily about which to explore further.

In my sophomore year, I declared English and Classics as my majors and I got two brand new advisors: Professor Jill Murphy of the English Department and Professor Hans Mueller, the Classics department chair! Perhaps when I officially declared my majors I needed my academic advisors the most? After taking Intro to Lit: Fiction and doing my Scholars Sophomore Project with Professor Murphy, I talked with her about changing my major and got her advice, and then eventually asked her to be my academic advisor. I knew Professor Mueller because I was Golub House Council Chair and he was the Faculty Representative for our house council, so I went in to talk to him about Classics. Originally I was planning on declaring an English major and a Classics minor, but Professor Mueller began preemptively advising me when I asked him to sign the form- because I was one credit away from a minor in my sophomore year, Professor Mueller suggested that I do a double major and, just like that, I became a Classics major and one of Professor Mueller’s advisees!

After taking my first two years to   explore different departments and take courses that interested me, by the time I got back from York in the winter of  my junior year I really needed to pay attention to filling gen ed requirements in preparation for graduation and major requirements to get ready for thesis (oh, pre-thesis days!). I consulted both of my wonderful advisors, and their advice about gen ed courses (take a gen ed science when you get in- just do it) and encouragement about thesis prep (again, write a thesis-just do it) confirmed my plans, and I completed gen ed courses junior year. Maybe this was when I needed my academic advisors the most? It was certainly when I went in and bothered them with my plans for course distributions or ideas for thesis the most!

But then again, I consulted my academic advisors all the time when I was applying to graduate school during Fall term. Because I’m going to study English, I talked mainly with Professor Murphy (as well as other amazing members of the English department) about where to apply, what to to write in my personal statement, how to e-mail professors- basically every aspect of every application I submitted.

Still, I can’t think of when I needed my advisors the most… maybe I should consult with them on this one, too!

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Ceillie '13

Hi! I’m Ceillie! I moved from what I thought was a really small town (Watertown, CT) to an actually really small ‘village’ (Whitehall, NY) right before high school, so I already had two hometowns before Union and Schenectady became my home away from home! I’m now settled into my senior year, writing my thesis on Shakespeare and Sophocles for both of my majors, English and Classics. When I’m not in Schaffer library studying or working at the Writing Center, I love to watch terrible tv shows, read, write, laugh, and explore. I love when people say please and thank you, and I really love when they read about my day to day life at the U on Union Unfiltered!

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