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Advising Interactive Worksheet: The First Year

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The First Few Quarters: 0 – 45 Units (or so) 

The first three quarters of your undergraduate journey at Stanford will comprise, on average 12-15 units a quarter. Typically, by the end of Frosh Year you will have taken or completed between 36-45 units. This may be more units depending on whether you have AP/IB units or transferred some units to Stanford. You should spend time exploring the Current Students section of the Academic Advising website, which is an amazing collection of important and useful information created by your Academic Advisors as you are planning your first quarter, your first year, and beyond. 

Your first year should be a year of academic and intellectual exploration. While you may think that you know what you will study, it is important to remember that Stanford has a very diverse offering of fields of study, and that exploring new topics is a very valuable part of your academic journey. There are several ways that you can explore new courses and areas of study: 

You should also attend Majors Night, where you will be able to meet with Academic Advising representatives and representatives from the different majors and programs at Stanford. 

During your first year, it is especially important to have continuing conversations with your Academic Advisor. You will have conversations about your academic plans and considerations, but you can and should also come to your Academic Advisor to discuss:

Adjusting to college life 

  • Time and effort involved in a change of environment can take its toll; it may “feel” like you’re taking an extra course on adjusting to college. Be aware of this phenomenon. 

Building and improving academic skills

  • The change in study skills or learning style from high school to college is significant; some modifications are subtle while others are coarse. Talk to your advisors about it. 

Learning of resources on campus and how to get support

  • A wealth of resources are available and can present solutions to challenges you’ll face. 

Managing time between courses, extracurriculars, wellness

  • In his book Making the Most of College, Harvard educator and author Richard J. Light identifies time management as one of the single most important factors that leads to student satisfaction in many areas of their college experience. 

Learning more about how to reach out and connect with faculty 

Download our Interactive Worksheet

Academic Advising is a planning process that helps students to approach their education in an organized and meaningful way…

—National Academic Advising Association