At Big Universities, Advising Doesn't Set You Up For Success But The Five-Year Plan

Starting at the beginning of my fourth year in college, I knew I would have to stay an extra semester. During the end of my freshman year, I decided to switch my major from health sciences to journalism. Unfortunately, my first-year advisor did not tell me switching my major would then change my course catalog year resulting in extra general education requirements, something I didn't find out until the middle of my junior year.

My university happens to be the fastest-growing college in the county and recently exceeded 68,000 students. Sadly, the number of students grew faster than the advisors at the university. One would think once I got to the major it would have been easier to meet with an adviser but it just got worse. Within my college, they have two advisers for roughly five majors and those in with "pending" status.

As much as I love being part of a fast-growing university, one working hard to make a name for itself exceeding in other departments like sports or research, I find it frustrating the university is more concerned with how they can grow the school than how they take care of the students who already attend the college, and I am not the only student who feels this way.

I have several friends who changed their major and now, they have to complete additional classes than people who started the same year, but different course catalog did to take. For instance, health sciences majors now have to complete an additional year of chemistry than those who declared their major in 2016. Although Florida State Legislature charges students for running into excess credit hours to encourage students to graduate within four years, they are constantly changing requirements for students which only adds to the classes needed for students who change their major. At a large university, advisors just don't have the time to actually help and guide the students who are looking to them for advice. This makes course selection a guessing game and we do not have access to update course catalogs, only advisors do. Here is the thing, if you don't change your major than you're fine but how often is it students come to college knowing exactly what they want to do?

Are students supposed to decide what they want to be when they are 18 years old? People aren't allowed to drink until they are 21 or rent a car until they are 25 because humans' brains aren't done developing. Why do people expect us to know what we want to do for the rest of their life if our brains aren't done growing?

States and colleges need to stop making it difficult for students who are trying to succeed. It is hard enough to determine what exactly it is we want to study and what we would eventually like to do. Why must colleges add the extra problems of making it nearly impossible to meet with someone whose job is supposed to help you during this crazy process?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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