3 Ways that Academic Advisors Light the Path for Student Success

Are you carrying the torch?

Many first year students enter college unsure of where they’re going, whether it be to classes or their future. They often  enter college confused, lost and searching for a path to call their own.

That’s where Academic Advisors thrive. They’re superheroes in disguise; warriors that will fight for students and their futures.

An Academic Advisor is a student’s best asset. This is because students’ needs are not simplistic.They are affected by the complexities of life and each student’s experience is unique.

Because of this, the main responsibility of an Academic Advisor goes far beyond just academics. They act as counselors, motivational speakers and leaders. They’re trailblazers, lighting the path for student success.

An Academic Advisor illuminates the path by providing guidance, encouragement and inspiration, which ignites a student’s passion to succeed.

1. Guidance

Academic Advisors provide a step-by-step process for achieving a goal. Class by class, semester by semester, year by year. They break a student’s future into manageable pieces. They might re-adjust a student’s vision or present a different way to achieve their goals. Simply put, academic advisors assist in the pursuance of a future. They accompany students in chasing their dreams, leading them down unforeseen alleyways or staircases.

2. Encouragement

Encouragement is essential in the pursuance of a future. It works hand-in-hand with determination and perseverance. Academic Advisors provide constant reinforcement, encouraging students to go for what they want. This is because all of that burrows deep into their souls and reveals this tiny realization that they are capable. That they are able to achieve their wildest dreams.

3. Inspiration

Inspiration involves the setting of an example. Academic Advisors serve as role models because they resonate with their students. Students can count on them for advice, encouragement and consolation. Students appreciate what is provided for them and transfer that knowledge into their hearts.

Combined, these three ways supercharge the learning experience, preparing students for their journey down the road of success where they will inevitably set the world ablaze. 

Getting Involved: Sowing a Seed for the Future in Student Affairs

Student involvement was my stepping stone.

At the time, I didn’t know it. I was a freshman in community college and felt like I had just been plucked out of

What seeds are you sowing?

Yes, I enjoyed the freedom, but at the same time, it was scary. I didn’t know where my classes were, all my friends had went to colleges out of state and I was stuck fending for myself.

I felt like I was wandering around, searching for the experience I was told so much about. “College is the best years of your life.”

From how I saw it, college didn’t seem like it’d be anything but stressful.

But then, there was Welcome Week. Suddenly, I was thrown into student life. Tables were lined alongside the walkway to the Student Center. Music was blasting. Students were congregated everywhere. At first, I just stood there, simply overwhelmed. And then, I started browsing the tables.

The one that caught my attention was the Student Activities Programming Board. They advertised their events everywhere. As a new student, you couldn’t avoid it. They’d paint the windows of the Student Center announcing different activities they were hosting. I knew instantly that I wanted to join. How could I not? Their club looked, well, dare I say it, fun.

And that’s how it all started.

I loved every minute of my time on the Student Activities Programming Board. I soon became Vice President. That’s also where I met my future husband.

Joining that one club shaped my entire college experience. I no longer viewed college as a necessary evil. Friendships were formed. Experience and skills were gained.

I continued being involved after transferring to a 4 year school. This is where I had an epiphany. I dropped the education portion from my major during my junior year. I realized that I truly enjoyed working with students, not just teaching them. It came as a shock to many people, since I had pursued teaching for so long.

However, I just knew in my heart that the student affairs profession was for me. I wanted to inspire and engage students. Something that I couldn’t do solely inside the classroom. I wanted to do more. And I did.

I currently serve as Site Administrator for Florida Institute of Technology. I’m pursuing my passion and have my undergraduate student involvement to thank for that. It was only then that I realized my true purpose in life.

Becoming involved on campus wasn’t just a semester long commitment. I was planting a seed for my future. A future that involved shaping students’ college experiences. A future dedicated to  making those 4 years the best years of their lives. A future that I’d love every minute of. 

Chasing Ambition

Are you chasing ambition?

I feel like sometimes, we lack ambition. We crave constant reinforcement and encouragement to go for what we want. But inside, we know what makes us happy. What makes us tick. What we really want.

So, we really shouldn’t need constant nagging in order to persevere, right?


We need that constant nagging. Encouragement. Inspiration. Trust. Positivity. Faith.

But why?

Because all of that burrows deep into our souls and reveals this tiny realization that we are capable. 

Yes, I said it. We are capable. Each and every one of us. Capable of reaching our dreams and living completely happy lives. Yes, even you. 

No matter how many mistakes you make, no matter how far you need to go, no matter how many obstacles you face, you are capable. You can do this.And you will.

We all want to do our work and do it all well. But that’s not always possible. It might take days, weeks or even years to get where we want to be. Where we can finally do what makes us happy.This is because we are human.

Yes, we are human. Perfect? No. Capable? Absolutely and undeniably yes. 

So, chase after your ambition. Don’t let it slip away. Because you can do this. Little by little. Every single day. 

Failure is an Option


People often say that failure is not an option.

But the truth is, failure is an option. We choose to fail.

We choose to give up on our goals and dreams, as if they aren’t worth fighting for.

Because honestly, we only fail when we stop trying. We choose to stop trying. 

This is because there’s so much societal pressure to be perfect. We’re expected to do everything correctly, flawlessly, timely…

We often forget that mistakes are inevitable. That our society is not free from error. That we are not infallible.

We often forget that obstacles and trials make us stronger. That they are not barricades to our success. They’re meant to make us stronger, more determined, more persistent.  As much as difficulties can leave us disheartened, hurt or disappointed, that  should make us that much more motivated to pursue our dreams.

Perhaps if we saw obstacles as pit stops along our path to success instead of blockades, we’d be more prone  to continue.  And then, failure would not be an option. It wouldn’t have to be. 

Climbing the Ladder Can Lead Us to the Moon, But We Might Only Want to Reach the Stars

Are you climbing the ladder?

There’s this social stigma on success.

There’s this requirement that we must “get ahead” in order to be successful.

But what does it really mean to “get ahead?” What does it involve? How are we sure that we’re actually getting ahead and not falling behind?

To me, “getting ahead” means “moving forward” towards my goals and pursuing my dreams.

However, it seems that “getting ahead” has become too much of a goal and not just a means to reaching a goal. That’s not to say that getting ahead can’t have its benefits. It involves achievement and progress, a reachable dream. But there is a point where we can lose sight of that dream.

Perhaps we search for more money. More convenience. More flexibility. All of those things are wonderful in themselves, but if we have all those things and still feel empty, unhappy, worthless… we’ve sacrificed the most important thing: our purpose.

We know this in our hearts. They speak pretty loud when we actually listen to them. They’re quite wise too. We need to follow that advice, develop our mission and know the type of impact we want to have in our profession, in our lives, and in the world.

It’s easy to climb the ladder of success. It’s just one rung after the other. The ladder can lead us to the moon, but we might only want to reach the stars. We need to know when to step off and when to embrace where we truly belong.

**Topic was inspired by this week’s #SAChat**

The Attainment of Knowledge: Finding Buried Treasure

Good evening, all!

I confess that I absolutely love learning. I just love the challenge of acquiring new knowledge.

And interestingly enough, sometimes that knowledge comes from unforeseen places. As student affairs professionals, sometimes, our students will teach us, instead of us teaching them.

Other times, we learn from our mistakes. Or from our colleagues, families or friends.

But that’s what’s so unique about life. Things aren’t always straight forward, nor are they expected.

Things just happen. Knowledge is just there. Waiting for us to snatch it up, digest it and transfer it into our minds.

We need to realize that knowledge is all around us, like buried treasure. It’s out there for us to find. Sometimes, we’ll stumble upon it, other times, it’ll be right in our path. But it’s out there. Everywhere. And it’s awaiting our discovery.

Leap of Faith

I wrote this piece about 2 years ago when I was an intern for Kean XChange as an undergrad.  I’m so proud of this piece that I just had to share it with all of you. I hope it resonates with you as much as it did with some of the first year students it was shared with…

“…One of my fellow classmates discussed the electronic literature piece entitled “Faith.” I instantly fell in love with the poem. I have to admit that I don’t usually fall instantly for poetry. It takes me awhile to digest it and even after I read it the first time, I still may have trouble interpreting it. But this piece really hit home for me. And it hit home instantly.

Perhaps it was because I can totally relate with the author struggling with faith and trying to abandon logic. It’s hard to just dismiss logic because it seems to be the foundation of so much that we know. Except, faith does indeed delicately balance on logic, which is depicted in the last scene of the piece. Too much logic and faith seems to be pushed out of the way. Too little and faith becomes an exaggerated notion.

Faith will always be a difficult concept to grasp because it’s not concrete. It’s not something you instantly understand. Your mind tends to contradict it. Faith is believing without seeing. Whether it be religious or not, everyone has some type of faith. You may have faith that you’ll attend college someday even if your financial situation isn’t the best. You may have faith that you’ll get married one day even if you haven’t found the right match yet.

That being said, faith has no bounds. As long as you believe it, you can achieve it. And in a way, that’s a little scary. That notion is foreign to a lot of us. We put restraints around faith, as if to try to define its limits. But if you do that, then you’re losing the true essence of faith. 

Faith is not something seen, but something felt. Faith is not a result of theories and experiments, but of imagination and ideas. Faith lives on the inside; whereas logic resides in the outside world. When you manage to grab both of them at the same time, you’ll notice that they not only complete one another, but find a special place in your heart as well.” 

Blogging: Getting Comfortable with the Discomfort of Vulnerability

Let’s be honest here…

Blogging is scary. It really is. The whole vulnerability aspect of it freaks me out. It’s not because I’m afraid of my thoughts. Or my emotions. Or even my opinion.

It’s just that all of that stuff is out there. Just floating around. Like “Hey, there! Read me! I’m all yours.”

I mean, your words matter. Okay, you probably already know that.

But just think about it. They aren’t just useless things taking up space. Those words can resonate with people. Those words can change lives.

To me, writing is not just about expression. It’s about inspiration. I want to motivate people. Encourage people. Lift people up instead of tearing them down.

That’s always been who I am and what I strive to do.

I mean, what’s wrong with chasing after your wildest dreams? After all, “shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” ~Norman Vincent Peale