Academic Advisors: Who We Are
The soft clacking of computer keys interrupted by the short, pressurized blast of noise from the Keurig machine is sometimes all that fills the buzzing silence of the office. On days like these, the mundaneness of everyday life seeps in and overpowers the sense of meaningful purpose. The answering of emails and void of interaction can easily make one forget the powerful impact an advisor has on students and others on campus.
The answering of emails is a given on any weekday. Most days, I arrive and answer multiple emails before taking my first sip of coffee or greeting my co-workers. And yes emails are an interaction of sorts. The type of interaction, though, that is key for advisors and makes us wake up and drive to the office in the morning darkness is the one-on-one, in-person kind. The welcomed kind that breaks up the routine of memos, reminders, and meetings.
Advisors are helpers at heart, and we live for moments of helping a student in need, encouraging a disheartened student, or navigating a lost student. We know course descriptions and degree plans inside and out, backwards and forwards; however, we are so much more than course recommendations and moved holds. I can suggest courses via email and move holds effortlessly without a student in my office; when a student is in my office I want to reassure, encourage, and motivate her that she is in the right place and that she can do anything she sets her mind to. When a student is in my office, I want a sincere interaction where questions are asked and answered, fears are assuaged, and self-esteem is boosted. Without a student, that interaction cannot take place.
So, dear students, please know that you are never a bother or unwelcomed guest in our office. You are the other piece of the puzzle and key to our drive. Our doors are open to you with all of your questions, concerns, frustrations, and celebrations. We have the knowledge, experience, and understanding that you seek, and we hope to make a connection with each one of you that will give meaning to our days, and hope and determination to yours. We will always be right here waiting for you whenever you need us.