5 Myths about College Academic Advisors / Counselors

Here are five myths about college academic advisors

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We all know how difficult it can be to admit we need help, especially the more we are considered adults. But the beautiful thing about academic advisors (sometimes called college counselors) is that their sole job is to provide assistance to you throughout your college career. They are there to make sure you succeed, so take what advice and tips from them that you can. Here is a list of 5 myths you might have heard about college academic advisors.

Myth: My Advisor Doesn’t Have Time for Me

While during busy times of the school year (such as when classes for next semester open up), this might seem to be true, it really isn’t. Your advisor likely has a place where you can sign up for a time slot to guarantee your meeting. Walk-in hours are usually available as well. If for some reason none of the times work, you can always email your advisor and either ask your question there or ask to arrange a time to meet.

Myth: I Don’t Need to Meet With My Advisor

The truth is, you probably do. Advisors are there for multiple reasons. If you need to drop or add a class, you probably have to talk to your advisor. You aren’t sure what else you need to graduate, so you probably have to talk to your advisor. If you are thinking of declaring or changing your major, you will probably have to talk to multiple advisors. Even if you are pretty sure you’ve got everything figured out, it helps to talk to someone who can read your requirements and can reassure you that you are on the right track. There’s not a feeling worse in the world than coming up on your last year and realizing that you missed a required class somewhere.

Myth: My Advisor Knows Everything About All of My Requirements

Your advisor should definitely know how to read your degree requirements and whether you are meeting them. However, if you are meeting with a general first-year advisor, they might not know everything about your prospective major. What they will do in that situation is either refer you to someone else who has that detailed information you are looking for or contact that person and get back to you with an answer. The same applies if you are double majoring in two fields that don’t overlap. Don’t expect your Music Education advisor to have all the answers for that Math degree you are also going for.

Myth: My Advisor Will Tell Me What Classes I Should Take

Some majors are incredibly structured, and therefore they need a specific set of classes. However, most majors allow you options for classes. Your advisor is there to guide you (you know, the synonym of “advise”), not tell you exactly what to do. They can pull up a list of classes that would fulfill a requirement, and they can okay a class schedule, but don’t expect them to make it for you. The freedom to choose is yours.

Myth: My Advisor Will Judge Me for Dropping a Class/Changing My Major

Simply put, no. Things happen. Life happens. And sometimes, life requires that you change your plan for the semester. No advisor will pass judgment on you for dropping a class, especially if it means that you pass all your others or can keep yourself in school. And no advisor will take it personally if you change your major (and thus probably your advisor) because they understand you need to do what’s best for you.