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!