The Importance of Advisors

I’ve been trying to figure out what it is I want to do with my life. Ever since I gave up the premed life way back in August, (and posted about it in September), I’ve been drifting. And that sort of drift, that sort of lack of focus and goals, can be debilitating. You can be stressed unconsciously. That’s a hard lesson I learned this year. And I felt, especially when I walked away from premed, that I had failed some unwritten lesson, even though I felt relieved at the prospect of cutting myself off from all that unnecessary (for me) stress.

So this is the part where I tell you this: Advisors are the best thing to ever exist, if you find the right ones. Go and talk to them!

Let me repeat that again, because of how important that is: Advisors are the best thing to ever exist, if you find the right ones. Go and talk to them!

I want to start on this topic by saying that I did not have great experiences with advisors my freshman and sophomore years. But that might also be because there’s a stigma attached to premed students that I didn’t realize existed until I separated myself mentally from that group. We’re all a little too idealistic and enthusiastic, and we feel like its the end of the world when a specific thing doesn’t go our way in the beginning. Feel free to contest me on this, but take a hard look at yourself if you’re young and premed or when you were young, and you’ll see what I mean.

That’s not to say that that’s entirely a bad thing; we have every right to be the way we are, because that’s what youth is. Our experiences shape us, so we have to be hopeful to want to experience different things.

So when I went looking for newer experiences to find what I wanted to do, I found myself standing in front of the Deans of the Honors Programs.

And let me tell you, they are wonderful Deans. I’ve never found a community of staff that cares so much about its students before. Not only did they guide me and help me find a path to follow, but they also offered advice for the future that I knew would help me for years to come.

We don’t trust our elders enough, I think; when we enter college, we feel we’ve got it all figured out. It’s our time to decide how we want to live our lives. But we forget that our parents, our Deans, our advisors, our instructors–our elders–have often gone through many of the things we’re going through right now. It’s so unfortunate that we don’t utilize these resources enough. If you could save yourself a world of pain and mistakes by speaking to someone who has gone through what you have and solved the issues, wouldn’t you speak to them? Wouldn’t you glean all of their knowledge?

So go. Go and talk to all of your advisors.

And if you have no idea what you want to do with your life, do yourself a favor and go see University Career Services. The advisors there were the main driving force in helping me find what I was interested in as a career, which happened to be UX Design. Wikipedia defines it as, “the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product.”

And they, too, were some of the kindest and most helpful people I had met.

Kind and caring people are hidden in pockets around campus. Go out there and find them. Find yourselves! And don’t forget to fail a little bit too, just for the personal growth.

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