Posts Tagged ‘advisors’


Thursday, May 13th, 2010

The best advice I can possibly give to an undergraduate is to find a professor, advisor, or dean that you trust and can talk to. Being in such a big city and being part of a huge sea of classmates can be intimidating and there are many times that having help is essential.

Last year I found my mentor, a professor I had had the previous semester for a Philosophy lecture. I liked him so much I took a smaller class in order to get to know him better. His class was intellectually stimulating and interesting and I found myself actually excited to go to his class every day. He did not teach any undergraduate classes this past semester; so unfortunately, I had to sign up for some courses that I was not so passionate about. A few weeks into the semester I found myself having serious problems with one of my professors. He practically ignored me in class, gave me bad grades on essays, and seemed to scoff at everything I said. When the problem got to be too much to handle, I went to my mentor to ask for advice. He told me how to approach the dean of Philosophy to explain the situation and offered to do an independent study with me so I could get the credits that I needed to graduate. He helped me figure out how to deal with my current professor in the meantime. He also helped my psychologically, by explaining that I had done nothing wrong in my dealings with this professor and that situations such as mine sometimes just happen.

Not only did he take me on as a student and build a course around my needs, but he also helped me with the other classes I was taking. I told him about my struggle with Logic, a course that was way too much like math for me to understand. He supplied me with links to online textbooks so I could practice, and, even though Logic was not his strong suite, he spend his time re-explaining the material that I did not understand in class.

While I suppose I could have dealt with my professor and found tutors on my own, the simple fact that I had a central person to talk to and who knew the ins and outs of my college was indispensable to me. When you go to college in a city like New York, it is so easy to get lost amongst the masses and get swallowed up whole. And college is such a confusing time of self-discovery and red tape. The best thing to do for yourself is find someone who can help guide you to the finish line.

-Emily S

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