Undeclared, undecided, exploratory: whatever we call it, students often feel pressured to “be” a major, make a decision, clear a clean and direct path to a career, and become what they were “meant to be”… As advisors guide their advisees throughout the process of declaring a major, it can be helpful to ask the right questions, as well as be a source of support.
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Students who wait until they are faced with an obstacle to generate alternative opportunities in career development can experience a shock that they are not prepared to deal with. Their initial plan is the only direction they have considered, and when the road blocks appear, students cannot see beyond them.
The author remembers that his advisor never gave up on him. Not only did that experience change his life, it also allowed him the opportunity to change the lives of others.
Whether a student is attending a community college, a private liberal arts college, or anything in between, the inclusion of career competency or soft skill development into conversations with undecided students is important because it sets students up to apply, transfer, and integrate various aspects of their experiences.