A Guide to Working with a College Advisor

In college, you will want to take full advantage of your advisor. They can help you with a wide variety of issues. Take the following steps to make the most of this resource.

student meeting with her advisor

1) Go to him/her.

Your advisor cannot help you if you do not go to him. Usually, once you are in college, the days of having people come to you to help are long gone.

It is your responsibility to ask for the help that you need.

Different advisors at different schools offer various services. You should call or visit their office to find out the ways in which they can help you. If you feel that they can be of any service, then you should utilize them.

2) Consider their advice strongly.

An advisor might not be of any use if you just discount everything that they say.

Some college freshmen have the condition of “I-know-better-itis.” They think that they know everything and that they shouldn’t follow anyone’s advice.

The advisor probably has more knowledge about the college issues than you. Although you do not need to follow every single piece of advice – obviously you do need to make your own decisions – you should take his or her advice to heart. You should come up with good reasons if you decide to do something else.

Also, make sure that you are actually listening to him or her as they are talking to you. What they are saying could be very valuable.

3) Bring questions when you go and write down answers.

Your advisor might have a lot of information for you. Before you go, you might want to prepare a list of questions. Your advisor is unlikely to be upset by your preparation. It will help you remember everything.

Regardless of whether you bring questions, you might want to take notes while you are there. He or she may talk very quickly, and there may be a lot to remember. You do not want to forget anything.

Make sure that you have written the advisor’s name down if you do not know it, as well as their contact information.

4) Choose good times to visit him or her.

There are some times when it will be much busier at the advisor’s offices. You may have to wait longer. If you can make an appointment, you might want to do that to save time. Also, if it is very busy, he or she might be in more of a rush. Try to find a quieter time if possible.

An advisor can help you navigate the treacherous waters of freshmen year. Consider the above tips for making the most of this relationship.