First-year advising guide

As a first-year student, you will be presented with many new challenges and opportunities at the UW. Sometimes, the infinite number of paths you can take can feel overwhelming. Your first year will be spent developing the skills and knowledge that will serve as the foundation for your undergraduate education. This advising guide can help you start to explore your interests, get involved, and set goals for a meaningful first year. 

First-year advising guide

 

Summer

Summer Activities:

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How can I be intentional and flexible about my course choices?
  • How can I use my first quarter courses to explore my interests both inside and outside the classroom?
  • What are my strategies for getting adjusted to college academic life?
  • What new co-curricular experiences am I excited to try in my first quarter of college?
  • What did I enjoy in high school that I hope to continue in college?

Questions to ask your adviser:

  • Given my academic interests are there any courses that are important for me to take my first quarter?
Autumn

Autumn Activities:

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What am I learning about myself and my interests during this time of transition?
  • How might I use what I have learned this quarter inside and outside the classroom to choose my next quarter classes?
  • What is something new that I'm excited to try and that will push me out of my comfort zone?
  • Where will I find familiarity in a time of transition?
  • How am I planning to form a community at UW?

Questions to ask your adviser:

  • How do I strategically plan my courses even if I don’t know my major?
  • How should I begin in the major exploration/preparation process?
  • How can I feel comfortable with the ambiguity inherent in the major exploration and preparation process?
  • When is it good to see a departmental adviser? What questions do I ask them?
  • How do I know where to start when looking for activities to be involved in outside the classroom?
  • I'm worried I may not have time to balance my academic and co-curricular responsibilities? Are there resources for managing my time?
Winter

Winter Activities:

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What adjustments do I need to make in my study strategies?
  • What majors/disciplines am I finding myself curious about? What activities can I participate in to explore those interests more?
  • How is my transition to college going? Am I taking care of my mental and physical health? What activities in my life are contributing to my wellness?
  • If I wasn't involved in co-curricular activities in the fall, what held me back?
  • Am I feeling connected to my peers and others on campus? If not, what would I like to have in common with new friends? How might I meet these people?
  • Am I able to balance my academic and co-curricular responsibilities? How would I know if it becomes too much to manage?

Questions to ask your adviser:

  • How do I strategically plan for multiple major options?
  • What resources are there on campus that can help me reduce my stress and anxiety and contribute positively to my mental health?
  • What other offices do I need to be in touch with? What questions do I need to ask those offices?
  • I'm not finding community like I thought I would, what are ways to meet people on campus?
Spring

Spring Activities:

  • Begin to solidify plans for summer
  • Research activities that you want to get involved in your sophomore year
  • Revise your academic plan according to what you have learned about yourself and your academic interests.
  • Narrow down major choices to two or three
  • Attend the Undergraduate Research Symposium and/or meet with an adviser in the Undergraduate Research Program
  • Apply for on campus jobs for the next academic year
  • Search Handshake for on and off campus summer job and internship opportunities and visit the Career & Internship Center to get your resume and cover letter reviewed

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How do my potential major choices fit with my goals and interests?
  • What have I learned this year about myself and my academic interests?
  • What have I enjoyed over the last two quarters? What didn't I enjoy? Why?
  • Reflect on the general education classes you have taken. What have I learned from taking a variety of courses?
  • What are my co-curricular goals for the rest of my first year of college? How will I hold myself accountable?
  • What am I hoping to be involved with next academic year? Are there things I need to apply for this quarter?
  • What will I do with my time over the summer? What skills or experiences am I hoping to gain?

Questions to ask your adviser:

  • Are my major plans realistic? What can I do to continue to refine my plan?
  • What academic activities can I get involved in outside the classroom that will enrich my education?
  • Can you help me talk through the factors that might lead me to choose one major over another?
  • What factors should I consider when planning my summer activities?
  • I'm interested in experience tied to my academic interest area. How would I go about finding these?