Advising week can be one of the most stressful times of the year for both faculty and students alike. Faculty work to cram their advisees into their already busy schedule while students have a million unanswered questions. Below, I’ve provided you with four useful tips and tricks to mastering the chaos that is advising week.
Ask Upperclassmen: Upperclassmen have been through the scheduling process multiple times before and are always a nice resource for you if your advisor isn’t available to you. Seniors in your major have most likely experienced the same issues you’ve had and have asked the same questions. Asking your upperclassmen friends, like your peer mentor in your FYS class, about scheduling relieves the stress of asking a “dumb question” to a professor while also giving the professors themselves more time to help you with other bigger questions, as the advising meetings are often very quick.
Come Prepared: Coming prepared to your advising meeting is very important. Looking ahead of time at the open course listings for the upcoming semester gives you an idea of what classes you’re working with while and opens up more potential questions that you might not have had otherwise. Planning ahead can also apply to future semesters down the road, not just the one you’re scheduling for. If you’re someone like me that has multiple majors or multiple minors, it’s smart to plan your semesters ahead of time. While you don’t need to know specifically what courses you’ll be taking, it’s good to have a general idea as to when you’ll be doing your community service requirements or when to take your upper-level lab classes.
Have Backup Courses Ready: There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting down during your designated time to schedule just to see that some of the classes you were planning on taking are already full. I speak from experience when I say that there’s no greater stress than struggling last minute to find a class that fits your schedule as well as meets at least one of your requirements to graduate. When you’re planning for your advising meeting, have a few classes (general education classes normally work best for this as we all need them to graduate) that fit with your schedule ready to go just in case one of your classes fills up faster than you had expected it to.
Do What Works For You: Everyone has a different style of learning that works best for them and every professor has a different teaching style that is most efficient for the class. Asking other students if they liked a specific professor when they took their class is a good idea, of course, but do what is best for you at the end of the day. I’ve taken several courses that I had previously hear negative things about and I ended up loving the class and the professor. With that, if you end up enrolled in a class that doesn’t fit your style of learning, don’t hesitate to ask your professor for help outside of class as I’m sure they would be more than willing to help accommodate to your needs.