Freshman tip: Academic advisers are your greatest ally

By on April 19, 2018

By Phillip Lentsch —

When it comes to choosing the appropriate courses in college, incoming students often feel overwhelmed by the multitude of options available. More specifically, it can be difficult to sort through a plethora of classes and professors one should take as a freshman.

According to many seniors and academic advisers at U of L, the key is to combine personal interests with courses that are both interesting and practical.  

“First and foremost, pick classes that get you excited. Only after that should you see what fits your requirements,” senior Keitan Stacks said. “Even if those classes can’t fit into your schedule this semester, you’ll at least have an idea about what topics interest you and what major you could eventually pick.”

“Don’t be afraid to take classes you’ve had little to no exposure to,” senior Anand Prabhu said. “You’d be surprised what subjects you’ll find interesting.”

While advice from older students at U of L is always helpful, it’s crucial to also develop relationships with as many academic advisers as possible. Making lasting connections with U of L faculty and staff can help incoming freshmen find the right path when they have no idea what to do.

“I would encourage all incoming students to form a connection with an academic adviser as early as possible,” honors adviser Kirsten Armstrong said. “U of L has a very strong network of professional academic advisers in every undergraduate program who have a wealth of knowledge and are hoping to get to know their students from the moment they set foot on campus.”

Whether it’s through the College of Arts and Sciences, the Business School, dentistry, pre-med, education and human development or any one of the individualized majors and departments offered at U of L, every student has the help available to them as long as they remain proactive.

Most importantly, each school and department’s advising team will help students reach their long term goals of a degree and employment with the right amount of effort.  

“I think when you’re selecting a major, it’s important to consider the job options associated with that field,” senior Jake Fooks said. “You want to have a major you enjoy studying that also provides some professional satisfaction after graduation.”

For some students, learning about what interests them is the primary focus; the rest will figure itself out when it comes to the job market.

“As long as I’m reading about what I love and channeling my interests and passions in the right direction, everything else will fall into place,” senior Meg Dierig said. “It’s obviously smart to be as practical as you can in college, but always make sure that your studies leave you fulfilled when you’re going to class.”

Overall, incoming students at U of L have the tools for academic success at their disposal. With the right amount of guidance and trust in the classes one can take in an undergraduate career, any student can discover their passions even this early in their lives.

“We are here to listen to you one-on-one, help you discover your strengths and interests, and guide you through important decisions that you’ll make about your experiences both in and out of the classroom throughout your time at U of L,” Armstrong said. 

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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