If you’re anything like I was before coming to Furman, you’ve probably already got some idea of what major you might want to pick once you get to Furman, maybe a minor or two, some clubs and extracurriculars that’ll be perfect for your resume, AND you’ve planned for study abroad, internship, and research experiences!
It all looks and sounds like a good plan, right? But maybe you don’t really know what major you might want to pursue or how you see your Furman experience unfolding.
That’s okay. Wherever you stand in thinking about your Furman career, one thing can set your mind at ease: every student has an advisor (or five if you’re like me) that will help you through your time at Furman.
When you first step onto Furman’s campus for Summer Orientation, you are assigned a summer advisor to help you get registered for your first semester classes. This is really nice because you are able to think about what you might be interested in, but don’t have to worry about scheduling or the stress of actually registering for your classes. You talk with your advisor about what’s interesting to you and what your educational goals are, you decide on some classes, and the registrar puts you into a set of classes that fit your goals and don’t conflict.
It’s that easy.
When you get to Furman your first semester you are assigned a new advisor that is related to your major interest. This is your first advisor and is meant to help guide you onto your academic path at Furman. Many students end up switching their first semester advisor once they decide on a major or if they find a professor that they connect with better.
One of the cool things Furman is how strong student/faculty relationships are. Because we are in small classes, it’s really easy to get to know your professor and for them to get to know you. All professors have open office hours which can be for helping with class material or just catching up.
Furman professors are known for loving to connect with students– checking up on them, going on walks around the lake, playing a game of tennis, inviting students to family dinners, and so much more. For many students, their advisor becomes a really important mentor and even friend!
My first couple months at Furman were with a professor in the English department because I thought I might want to pursue the creative writing track when I applied to Furman. After I brought up the idea of creating my own major and switching departments, my first advisor helped me find the best people to reach out to as my potential primary advisors for my major.
Switching advisors was easy, there were no hard feelings, and somedays I still stop by my first advisor’s office to say hello. Advising is really meant to benefit the student—advisors just want you to be placed with someone who can help you progress and grow confidently at Furman.
And that’s exactly what happened!
Since my first semester I have been placed with a new advisor in the Communication Studies department who helped me throughout the process of creating my own major. I have two other secondary advisors for my major because its interdisciplinary, and I have two advisors for my minors.
I have an arsenal of mentors who are willing to go to bat for me. They have supported me at every step of my Furman career and continue to guide me on my path. They have helped me achieve my academic goals, secure internships, fellowships, study abroad opportunities, and nominated me for leadership awards. They check up on me, encourage me, and sometimes (pre-COVID) invite me to family dinners just for fun.
I am proud to say that I’ve found the perfect advisors for me at Furman and I’m confident in saying that you can find yours too. ❀