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Your academic advisor is an important person in your college career. They know your degree requirements, can help plan your courses and can answer any questions you have about your experience. They’ll either answer your question themselves, or help you find the resources you need. In my experience, building a relationship with your advisor can have a huge impact on your college career. I met my academic advisor before I even officially became a Sun Devil, while I was still a senior in high school, and she has been my greatest advocate throughout my four years at ASU.
I’m a senior now, and thanks in part to my advisor, Debbie Daly, I’ve found a major I love and have been able to navigate college life and graduate in four years, all while balancing my goals for my future career.
During my first year, I started turning to my advisor while I was struggling with loneliness and deep homesickness. I found myself lacking motivation to continue my education, and all I wanted to do was go home.
My parents told me to talk to my advisor to hear her opinion on what I was going through. She helped me identify what was making me unhappy. We explored if it was ASU, my degree program or something else. She advised me to talk to my theater professors to see if there was any way I could continue taking the classes as a non-major, and encouraged me to meet with an exploratory major advisor to see if there were any minors I could add to my degree for a new challenge.
Using my advisor’s advice, I talked to my musical theater professors, and was able to take some of those classes as electives. I added a nonprofit management minor and more classes in my communications major to help me feel academically challenged. After making these changes with the help of my advisor, I felt that I had found my place at ASU.
From then on, I turned to my advisor whenever I had questions or was looking for advice. We emailed throughout the year and met at least once per semester, updating her on how things were going. She helped me decide to take a ballroom dancing class in my second year and even came in as a guest to one of the classes!
She reminded me to apply for scholarships, and was a reference for those applications. She even nominated me for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Award — and thanks to her nomination, I received the award and the scholarship that came with it.
Your advisor is someone you can turn to in a time of need. They’re a great resource when it comes to professional advice as well.
When I was wrapping up an internship, I was offered an opportunity to continue working remotely with the company. I wasn’t sure if I could juggle everything I had planned for the semester with the additional work, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. I knew my advisor could help me make this tough decision, so I emailed her. Despite being on vacation, she left me a voicemail scheduling time to chat when she got back. Thanks to her advice, I decided to end my internship over the summer, seeing that it would be too much to handle with my last semester of school.
Your advisor can be your biggest champion and greatest advocate in college — all you have to do is start the conversation. Make an appointment with your advisor now, and start developing your relationship. They can help you pick your classes for spring, advise you about your major or cover a ton of other topics. Seriously, make your appointment. It’s one of the best things I ever did.
Contributed by Lindsay Lohr, Sundevil Storyteller
Sun Devils turn to ASU Adulting 101 to learn (some of) the things not taught in class. Not sure about how to do something? Need to connect with an expert? We got you.