Students need to become smarter advisees

Editorial Board

It’s that time of year again – the hours of thumbing the schedule book and lists of classes on the Internet trying to find the easiest possible schedule, and making sure none of those classes are before noon.

It involves many scientific formulas, hundreds of lists, color-coded spreadsheets and lots of poking around to find an easy teacher – but it can be done.

In this process though, many students fail. They call their adviser to get their pin number and never meet with them. They don’t advance register. They rely solely on their friends’ knowledge of a class, or worse yet – they only take the classes their significant other is taking.

Then, they expect people to feel sorry for them when they don’t graduate on time. They expect people to be mad with them because “their adviser screwed them over.”

Talk about dramatic.

Picking a course load for a semester can be one of the easiest things college students do – if they are smart about it.

No matter who your adviser is, one can guess he or she is pretty busy this time of year. While no one likes to admit it, there are other people in this world who need attention besides ourself.

One of the biggest complaints of advisers is students aren’t ready with a plan when they come into their office to be advised. Sometimes it could take hours to help students who can’t make up their mind on which classes to take.

We know it can be hard – we don’t have our parents around to tell us what classes to take. It’s called freedom. Go ahead, take that Philosophy of Love and Sex class if you want to.

The tips for being a smart advisee are common sense. First, students shouldn’t wait to enroll. Enrolling in January is a guarantee students won’t get the classes they need. Second, students should go to their department’s office and pick up worksheets that tell them the requirements of the major and work everything out before they go into their appointment. Advisers are there to double-check to make sure students understand it correctly, to ask questions and well, OK, write really good recommendation letters.

Finally, students should go to their adviser on a regular basis. They shouldn’t go in there every other semester and expect the advisers to sort everything out.

It’s not our adviser’s job to make sure we graduate. It’s our job, and it’s time students start to take responsibility.