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Entering college your Freshmen year can be a scary process, whether you’re living on campus, or commuting back and forth to class every day.  Either way, you’re in a new setting and experiencing things that are much different than the good old high school days. You’ve gotten your first academic schedule, and you’re curious to know about your classes, and what classes you may have moving forward.  Your major may be declared already, or you may still be undecided; however, you still have a ton of questions about the steps you should take as you make your way through your academic career. But, who is the best person to address all of these questions? Enter: Your Academic Advisor.

Your advisor plays a critical role in the time you have during your college career.  Not only do they assist you by answering any major questions, but they also help guide you through your courses, help you decide on a major, or figure out if you declared the right one, and put you on a path for success throughout your entire four years. Here are a few major reasons why you should regularly meet with your advisor:

Know Your Options

One of the things that students get most excited about when they enter college, is the ability to make their own schedule.  Gone are the days of having a set Monday-Friday 8AM-2:30PM routine. In college, you’re able to customize your schedule to better fit your needs (usually after the first semester).  The downfall to this is the number of options you have to choose from; sometimes, it can be overwhelming, and if you go it alone, you may choose courses that you don’t even need. Your advisor is there to help you navigate through the different options, and find the ones that suit your schedule the best.

Understanding Requirements

Depending on what major you choose, there are likely going to be pre-requisite requirements that must be met before you can be accepted into the major.  Depending on your school, these requirements can also vary based on what your school requires for “general education”. When you sit down with your advisor and go over the necessary requirements, you avoid making a mess of your entire schedule and know the right steps to take to successfully move forward.

Creating a Plan

Once you’ve sat down to go over your course options and the requirements you’ll need to move forward into your major, you’ll want to create an academic plan to ensure your success.  Your advisor can be there to provide you with advice, help you find internships and externships as well as work on campus or off if you’re looking for a job.

Entering college can be very exciting; however, without the right guidance, can bring some confusion.  Always make sure to meet with your advisor if you have any questions about your next move.