A Guide to First Year Advising

Coming in as a freshman, you have no idea what classes to take, what your next 4 years will look like, and some don’t even know what to major in yet. Well, the good thing is everyone has an advisor to guide them through the process from the very beginning! No need to worry if you’re lost or confused about classes, majors, or anything academic. Every advisor helps their students in the best ways they can.

In around June or July, I was assigned a “summer advisor” who helped me pick my classes for the first semester of freshman year. He talked to me about my interests, high school activities, and things I was looking for in college. We talked about organizations and clubs I could look into at Furman and the best way to make the most out of my 4 years. He helped me pick out around 8-10 possible classes for my first semester, but I eventually got my schedule around August with the 4 classes I would be taking. I also got to talk about potential majors with my summer advisor, but there’s no need to be set on a major at this point. Talking about this before coming to college is so helpful and it’s so great to have a Furman professor to help decide what classes are best for your first semester.

Once you’re on campus in the fall, you will be assigned a first year advisor. This professor can be from your potential major if you already have a good idea, but it also doesn’t have to be. I came into college thinking I might want to double major with Spanish, so my first advisor was a Spanish professor. He actually ended up being my Spanish professor in one of my classes first semester, so I loved getting to know him more and create that relationship. Whoever your advisor is at this point will help guide you through freshman year. They will help you get all your classes in order for first semester and before you know it, you’ll be meeting with them to make a plan for second semester and future classes. These advisors help answer any questions and make the start of freshman year easy. Any concerns about classes, majors, or anything with academics can always be handled by your advisor. They want to help you in any way possible!

Next thing you know, you’ll be set on your major and ready to declare. Once you have declared, you will be assigned an advisor from that field. If your first year advisor was already from that department, then you may just stay with them! If not, you will switch to someone more focused on your subject. If you end up declaring a double major, you would be assigned 2 different advisors from both of those departments. It’s so amazing to have someone guide you that understands the classes and requirements that you’re looking to fulfill. They can help you succeed in so many ways throughout your time at Furman and they can be way more valuable than you realize. Especially once internships and research programs come into play, your advisors will be your best friend!

I have already declared Health Sciences as my major, so I ended up switching to a new advisor during my first semester. I’ve had such great experiences with all my advisors and they’ve helped me in so many ways. Switching classes and preparing a plan for the future has been very beneficial and my advisors made it all so much easier.

Having a person like this to guide you through freshman year is so important. I love knowing that my advisor is there for me and there’s someone I can always turn to for any academic questions. Just know that any worries you have while starting your freshman year – your advisor is there for you!! These professors are some of the best people and they want to help you in every way!

ALL the love!

Andersen

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