I can't even count how many times I felt confused and lost about what I wanted to do, what I wanted to major in, what courses I wanted to take, and the timing of everything. So I made appointments with my adviser to make sure that I was pursuing whatever major I had intended to apply for at the time while also exploring other possibilities to keep my options open and to be as flexible as possible.
When thinking about which courses to take, I think about my personal values and my interest level in the subject beforehand. I try to think in terms of the course practicality — what are some potential takeaways from this class that can be used in other classes? In my major? In a professional setting? Maybe not so much in terms of course material, but general techniques, ways of thinking, different perspectives, etc.
The UAA office was my main source of help, but talking to department advisers and individuals that were already in the major I was interested in to get more information helped tons.
In my experience, UAA Advising has helped me to critically think about my academic path and strategically plan courses to set myself up for what I wanted to do. It was through advisers asking me critical questions about why I was doing something that helped me realize my academic, and career, priorities. Advisers are not meant to give a path to you, but instead help you assemble the puzzle and make sure you know why you want each piece to fit. I really came to understand this as a student when I decided to not go Pre-Med, and also when I was on the other side working orientations with First Year Programs alongside UAA Advising.
When I first came to UW, I was not sure how I should figure out my college career path, and had so many questions about courses, majors, and some other stuff. One day I got an email from my adviser about how UAA Advising can help me with any questions, so I decided to check out how UAA can help me. I went on UAA’s website and made an appointment with my adviser, it was kind of nice that I was able to do the advising whenever I have free time.
My adviser helped me to solve a lot of questions about choosing courses and how to plan out my academic career. She also helped me to have a clear mind set to recognize how I can improve, how I can switch my focus on important stuff, and even to find out ways to help me succeed. Since then, I have been meeting with my adviser consistently just to make sure I am on the right track, and also I got so much good advice about how to thrive in college.
I really appreciate UAA and my adviser who give me an opportunity to get help. They are just really nice and are compassionate about helping students of UW.
I used UAA Advising Services because I went into college knowing that I was interested in becoming a teacher but I didn't know what options I had to pursue my interests. Meeting in person with my advisers (both undergrad and departmental) once every quarter helped me see the different routes I could take in terms of coursework and what majors UW has to offer. With the support from my advisers, I've decided to double major in English and ECO and I now have a better understanding of what I want to do and a clearer plan of how to get there.
When I arrived at the University of Washington my freshman year, I was dead set on pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology, and then heading off to medical school. That is, until a few different factors guided me in a different direction, one that I now realize is a much better fit for my own personal interests and goals. I was in the habit of scheduling an advising appointment through UAA every quarter to discuss my classes, as well as next steps, and around the beginning of my sophomore year, I was not sure that more chemistry and biology was the route I wanted follow.
My adviser suggested that I take a class or two outside of the subject areas that I had already explored at UW, so I registered for a medical anthropology course (Anthropology 377), and I absolutely loved it! I scheduled a meeting with my professor for that class, specifically to discuss majors I should consider if I wanted to continue to study the subject material we had been covering, and public health was one of the areas he recommended I consider. My next steps included more research on the major itself, as well as opportunities it might provide, and meetings with Public Health advisers in Raitt Hall specifically to discuss how I might accomplish my goals.
I started to realize that had I been more open-minded coming in as a pre-major student, I might have found that the Public Health major was the right fit for me much sooner. Now, I am on track to earn a B.A. in Public Health by my graduation year of 2019, with the hope of pursuing a Masters of Public Health in the future. I am very grateful to the many people who helped me on my path to finding the right major and who encouraged me in the process of pursuing my interests and goals! My UAA advisors were fantastic and ended up being a critical resource for me here at the UW.