I have goals. I have dreams! My idea? Magna-Socks! Each sock has a magnet that connects it to its pair so they won’t get lost in the wash. Gone are the mismatched days of walking around wearing one orange hiking sock and another striped blue one- people’s lives will be changed!
There’s just one problem.
I have two more jam-packed semesters of college to get my BS degree in Business, and I’ve already been in college for seven years! All my friends moved away and my financial aid has run out. I am a smart person with a future as bright as my socks, but I know the truth. I didn’t handle things as responsibly as I could have. And here’s why:
1. I didn’t check out the Ready, Set, Register! Guide.This guide is simple, user-friendly, and even has pictures! If I had taken five minutes to read it, I would have learned awesome tricks for navigating my Student Center and remembered to contact my advisor ahead of time to schedule a meeting… Oops. Instead, I darted into the office 3 minutes before the door closed on my day of registration. I spied my advisor logging out of his computer to go home for the day, and I shrieked “WAIT! I MUST REGISTER!” At this point there were only two minutes left, and he had already provided assistance to more than 20 students that day alone. It did not go nearly as well as it could have, had I planned ahead.
2. I never looked at my DARS. You might think DARS stands for Dance Away Rainy Skies, but the truth is that your DARS is your Degree Audit Report. It lays out every class you need to take, and it knows what classes you’ve taken. Like a parent listing off the chores their kid must complete before he can go to skate night, this report gives you all the information you need so you won’t be left hanging when it’s time to graduate. Don’t be like me, one skate on and ready to go when I realize I forgot to mow the lawn and do the dishes. Check out your DARS, and find out which requirements you still need to fill.
3. I forgot about my MAP. Adorably named and easy to remember, the Major Academic Plan is specific to your area of study- it’s kind of like a mini-DARS your department made to help you stay on track within your major. Another great tool specific to your major is the 5-Year Course Rotation Plan, which will inform you of anything sneaky, like those random classes that are only offered in spring.
4. Three words: Double Count List. Humboldt State requires that students take Diversity and Common Ground (DCG) Classes as well as General Education classes. If you read through the DCG-GE Double Count List you’ll find that a number of these classes overlap, and you can “kill two birds with one stone” as they say, saving time and money.
5. Lastly, each department has carefully crafted Program Requirements and Course Descriptions. These give the 4-1-1 on exactly what kind of program it is, what classes are required, and what those classes consist of. Don’t just declare a major willy-nilly! Check these out so you know what you’re getting into, and make an appointment with a Career Advisor to see if it’s the best path for you.
I see you with your DARS in hand walking over to the Academic and Career Advising Center. You’ve printed out your MAP and you’ve carefully highlighted the classes on your DCG-GE Double Count List. And what’s more- you made an appointment in advanced to meet with your advisor. You got this!
I will graduate! I will make the Forbes 500 list with my Magna Socks business plan- but I certainly could have done it faster if I had planned better and utilized the resources available to me.