For those of us in the College of Letters and Sciences, there are two distinct problems that can occur during advising season. The first is universal for UW-W, and that is the registrar, enrollment office, whoever, taking forever to notify students about their enrollment dates for the next semester. One of the largest concerns students nearing graduation have is whether or not they’ll be able to squeeze into the classes they need to graduate, or if they’ll be stuck in school for another semester or more. Knowing and planning for the opening of enrollment is a huge part of being prepared and getting things in order for moving past college. It’s really hard to get motivated about things that happen after graduation when you’re not even sure you’re going to graduate.
The second problem differs from college to college, and that is the quality of the advising. For the College of Letters and Sciences, it’s a roll of the dice who your advisor is and how helpful they will be, depending on your major. Each advisor is a professor, busy with their own schedule of classes and grading, on top of out-of-class meetings and advising the other students they’re responsible for. Some professors are competent, being able to take what is on your AAR and guide you through the processes and decisions of which classes you would be most interested in taking and need to take at a particular time, and are also open to giving life advice about what comes after college. Other professors have no idea what they are doing, or actively promote their own classes even when you clearly have absolutely no interest or time to take said classes.
And then there are the positively heavenly beings who look at your AAR, and have so much knowledge and experience that they can direct you down an easier path of life that the other two classes of advisors never even thought about.
I sincerely hope that everyone this advising season has access to this third class of advisor, or at least an advisor who knows what they’re doing and how to do it. It’s certainly made my life a whole lot less stressful.