Advisors, they are surely different from high school advisors who you only see when you are ready to prepare for college or if you need some advice. Advisors here in college are supposed to help and nurture you into your new role as to what you are going to study and what field you are going in to.
What to look for in an advisor:
1. They don’t just take the hold off for you to sign up for your classes without telling you what they think you should take or what you are interested in, in the other departments. I am a theatre major but my advisor also helped me pick the liberal studies class that would best suit my goal of becoming a costume designer, so instead of taking music, theatre, dance, or film. He recommended to me visual arts. I actually wanted to go into art and just taking that class was a really great experience and helps me place time periods now which is awesome!
2. They should be asking you the hard questions now, “What are you going to do this summer? Internship?” “What are you going to do after you graduate?” “Is there a major or minor your are interested in?” If the advisor doesn’t ask you this, who will? Your friends may mention it off hand as commentary about their situation but your advisor really needs to know because then they can help you or get you into contact with someone.
3. Make sure you have the “right” advisor. The head of the undergraduate studies in my department took everyone and instead of having us placed alphabetically to each person, we were separated by department. For my first year I had a great professor, who is an amazing woman, but she didn’t know what to do to help me with costumes because she is a dramaturg. Once the whole department spread out and we were sent into our right fields I have been able to get more information about what is needed from me and what I can do to better myself in the department and my career.
So there you have it. Three things you should be looking for in an advisor.
If you need to switch over to another advisor, talk to your advisor to see who specializes in what you are aiming to do (i.e. I am a theatre major but my emphasis is in costumes) and hopefully they can guide you to the right person.
Hope this helps!