Tips for dealing with your academic advisor at college

The infamous academic adviser… I am still getting over the awful advice that my academic advisor gave me freshman year when I started at the the University of Pennsylvania. When I entered college, I really had no idea what I wanted to do in terms of career choice, I really had no idea what I wanted to do in general, and so I turned to my handy dandy college adviser.

Maybe I had a bad experience, but the feeling that the adviser experience was sup-bar is one that is not solely mine. The biggest problem that I had with my college adviser, in hind-sight is that there was no real advising. She did not help to focus me, something that I think is extremely important, especially freshman year of college. And she did not lay out the reality of the college experience. She told me to explore my options, have fun freshman year, see where the winds take me.

But now it is my junior year and there are so many requirements and courses that I have not taken. And while I will not say that it is entirely her fault for letting me loose and allowing me to take all of the useless classes that I did freshman year, if I would have known the importance of not only having a general plan, but also the importance of tackling general requirements and major requirements with single courses, I would be much better off right now and have more realistic hopes of graduating on time.

So my advice to all those people out there they are entering college that have no idea of what to do: make a general plan, even if you don’t exactly know what you want to do for the rest of your life, have some ideas. Look at different paths of study that you can take and plan it out. Trust me, you will be better off in the end. But most importantly, seeing as how it is your freshman year, have fun, and be safe!

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Tamara Sinclair (


Yes! Yes!! Some basic planning before hand can save hours of headache and confusion later! Have you given thought to why you want to go to college in the first place? What’s the point of going to school? More importantly, what’s the payoff for YOU? It is your investment; it’s your life; it’s your time…


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About Nathan and Joanna Cornett

We are a from San Diego California, currently on a mission trip in Guatemala. Nathan has worked as a youth pastor, teen center director, college advisor, and now missionary. Joanna has worked at LaBahn's Landscape for 7 years in the field, sales, and as the Vice President, she started the Hispanic ministry at Foothills Church, and has worked in youth ministry, she is now working as a missionary. We are both passionate about youth, worship, and missions.

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