With the help of his academic peer advisor, incoming freshman Aaron Towne scheduled Biology 173 for fall semester, as well as an advising appointment in late October to discuss dropping the notoriously difficult pre-med course.
Advisor Marc Thompson explained that Bio 173 is “generally considered to be a great foundation for any science degree.” He added, “it’s also a great foundation for ruining your GPA. And I don’t mean a C+ in your first semester as you adjust to college life. I’m talking about forever destroying your chances at becoming a doctor.”
“So I like to recommend that any freshman who schedules Bio 173 also schedules an appointment with an advisor later in the semester,” Thompson continued. “They really fill up quickly, so it’s good to get a head start on addressing your failures and abandoning your lifelong goals.”
Towne, who still has hopes of graduating in 2019 and studying medicine at Michigan, remained skeptical that the advising appointment is actually necessary. He explained, “I took A.P. Biology in high school. I’m great at science—like straight A’s. I even won the science award last year.”
“An introductory level class shouldn’t be too hard for me,” Towne went on. “The tour guides always said it’s easy to get help from professors and GSIs here, even though it’s such a big school. Not that I’ll need it, of course. I’ve been told I should be a surgeon since I first played ‘Operation’ in elementary school. I was good. I never got zapped.”
Pre-med is not the only path for which peer advisors recommend “backup plans,” Thompson explained. “With Bio 173, I typically advise students to rent their textbooks instead of buying them, or just blatantly tell the students to schedule advising appointments. And when a student asks me about Ross prerequisites, I usually say Econ 101 is already full. When it comes to kids who have their whole lives planned out, you always have to be on your toes.”
Concluded Thompson, “I also generally recommend that the freshmen proactively schedule a CAPS appointment for mid-October.”