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Students sitting and socializing outside.  Credit: Andrew Brodhead

Advising Resources Toolkit

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These advising tools are intended to help frame your reflections throughout your time at Stanford, guide your strategic thinking if you face challenges or difficulty, facilitate your academic planning and intellectual development, and support you as you consider post-undergraduate education. They may be used cooperatively during an advising conversation or you may use them on your own, to help you prepare for a conversation with your Academic Advisor.

Stanford offers a wealth of opportunities to grow and challenge yourself, both in and outside the classroom. The office of Academic Advising is dedicated to introducing you to the full richness of undergraduate study at Stanford, and to supporting you in your academic and intellectual pursuits.

Your relationship with your Advisor(s) is an ongoing conversation and partnership that is ideally characterized by mutual respect, engagement, and responsiveness. You can get the most out of advising if you:

  • Bring your questions, ideas, and reflections about what is working for you (and what isn’t) to your meetings, understanding that participation is a critical part of the advising conversation.
  • Be open and honest about your background, specific academic or other goals you may have, as well as special needs or circumstances that may affect your experience.
  • Be respectful of their time (and know that they will be respectful of yours). Keep your appointments, or notify your advisor in a timely fashion if you need to cancel or reschedule for any reason.
  • Try to remain open to possibilities they suggest, but understand that you are the author of your own education.

Reflection Throughout Your Time at Stanford

These resources provide structure for you to pause and reflect on your Stanford experience. Talking through these prompts with your Academic Advisor—or working through them prior to an advising conversation—may help you contextualize your experiences, make plans, and set goals for yourself. It can also help you appreciate how far you have already come, and to take inventory of all you’re learning along the way.

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Facing Challenges or Difficulty

Throughout your time at Stanford, you will challenge yourself academically, intellectually, or personally. As you do so, working with your Academic Advisor to develop strategies for facing difficulty, even disappointment, can help you navigate this natural part of the learning process. These resources may help frame those conversations and reflect on how you might use the insight and guidance provided.

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Academic Planning and Intellectual Development

Intellectual development and identity may be forged in the making (and revision) of your academic plans. These tools are designed to help you connect seemingly disparate experiences, relationships, plans, and decisions with your education as a whole. Your Academic Advisor can help you by asking questions about what motivates you, what concerns you, what inspires you, and what thriving at Stanford means for you.

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Post-undergraduate Considerations

Becoming a lifelong learner can mean many different things, including formal study that continues beyond your time at Stanford. Stanford has a team of Academic Advisors who specialize in pre-professional advising and who have expertise in the process of preparing and applying for medical school, law school, business school, or graduate school. These resources are provided to help you prepare for advising conversations about post-undergraduate study.

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