Those Who Are Bold Enough to Say “I’m Exploring”
One of the greatest challenges when advising UESP students is maintaining a working knowledge of so many major and college requirements, the logistics of transferring, and the various ways in which a student can go about exploring various majors and careers. I know that advising students who have declared a major has its own perils and requires a much more thorough understanding of specific majors, minors, internship programs, learning communities, you name it and I am by no regard discounting or minimizing these efforts. However, I will admit that I early on, I thought advising in a college might be easier and therefore was contemplating focusing on these types of advising positions within the job search.
What has ultimately swung the pendulum back in the UESP students favor, or at least balanced everything out again, is my respect for students who are bold enough to admit that they are exploring. I for one was unable to do so and stayed in a major that did not fit my interests or strengths as a result. I believe that my undergraduate experience would have been far more enriching if I had been willing to admit that my original major choice was not based on a thoughtful or thorough analysis or if I had been willing to enlist the help of an advisor in exploring different pathways. Instead I explored on my own, mostly through random courses that did not provide a good avenue for learning more majors I was considering and after becoming frustrated with what seemed like a losing process resolved myself to simply get my diploma as fast as I could. It is because of this personal history that I am truly inspired by those students who come into college so open to learn, so passionate about many subjects, so uncertain but trusting of the exploration process. While I may end up advising for many different academic disciplines and students in many stages of their major and career decision making process during my career, I will continue supporting and facilitating the exploration process in whatever ways I can.