Scheduling time. That time of year where you have to wake up at 8 a.m. on the days you don’t start until 4:25 or sit in the back of your class on your laptop, silently cursing under your breath while your teacher stares you down. It’s that time of year where tensions are high, and many people take classes that they don’t even need to hold it for a friend.
It’s also that time that you refer to that resource that you see once a semester: the good old advisor.
While advisors may be associated with the worst time of the semester besides finals, students must realize that advisors are actually a treasure trove of ideas, overflowing with knowledge on how to help guide you through your education, get the most out of your classes and even have fun.
Advisors know the class workbook like the back of their hand, and they are there to help advise you through every problem you have. The amount of times that I have frantically emailed my advisor at 2 a.m., only to wake up and see a “Relax, I’ve handled it for you” email at 9 a.m. is more than I can count. I believe that advisors are some of the most underutilized and under-appreciated people on campus, maybe even the planet.
A personal story of mine when I realized how valuable these advisors really are did not come until my final semester at West Chester. After scheduling some classes, I quickly realized that the classes I was in were simply not for me. An 8 a.m. Russian Culture class just wasn’t cutting it for me or my brain. I went to my advisor desperate for help. It was the final day before add/drop, and I was prepared to face certain defeat. What’s worse than having to take an 8 a.m. class? Don’t answer that.
As I entered my advisor’s room, I took a deep breath to prepare for the berating for not taking the classes that were specifically recommended as ones I would like, and the certain defeat of a quick and sharp “no” right to my face.
I got neither of those.
My advisor simply smiled and got right to work helping me to find another writing emphasis class that would sting a little bit less. Quickly and efficiently, I was being read off dozens upon dozens of different classes that would help fulfill my requirement, each one better than the next, and all of them better than Russian culture. I realized that day that my entire college career I had severely underestimated my advisor. I only saw advisors as the person you visit once a semester to get your schedule in line—nothing ever more than that.
I realized after a small conversation we had, just shootin’ it back and forth, about what I wanted to do, about after school and even just my hobbies and about me, that advisors are more than most people take them for. Advisors are here to help, but so much more than that, they are there to guide and help you along the way. My advisor has known me since day one at West Chester University, and here I was now, at the end of my career, finally appreciating him.
I feel guilty about never getting to really know my advisor like I should have, and because of that, I try to visit and talk more. They are people, too, and they are there for your best intentions, but also to be your friend. Here’s to advisors everywhere!
Alex Libutti is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at AL803657@wcupa.edu.