The Stages of Being Ghosted by Your Advisor

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A real screenshot from my registration portal, <48 hours before registration.

With registration upon us this week, some of you upperclassmen have already started solidifying your schedule for next semester. Still others will be doing so in the next couple of days. And yet an unlucky few are left with one pressing question: where the fuck is my advisor? Bwogger Maggie Moran deconstructs this issue, hoping to provide some insight on the stress-inducing phenomenon.

Academic advisors are, for many students, crucial mentors in the class-scheduling process; they can give helpful information on which classes to take, when to take them, and how to incorporate study abroad into your triple major while still managing to graduate on time. As a first-year student, though, your advisor likely has no real connection to your plan of study, and perhaps as a result, has much less contact with you. But at what point are they crossing the line from just “letting you do your thing” into straight-up avoiding you? Everyone knows the feeling of being ghosted, but never did I expect it to come from the one person who was supposed to be there for me, guide me, and literally just press a button to allow me to register for classes I chose entirely without their help. If you, too, are in a similar boat, the pre-registration process might have gone something like this:

Two weeks before registration. You receive an e-mail alerting you of the advising period for spring registration. With the spring semester far from your mind, you probably ignore it, not wanting to risk the inevitable existential crisis that would result from dedicating real mental effort to your future.

1.5 weeks before registration. In the still of the night, you vaguely recall that you should be planning your courses for the spring. You start picking out classes, still glowing with the naive belief that next semester will be your semester. In the back of your head, you can’t recall if your advisor is supposed to reach out to you, or vice-versa, so you decide to give it another few days to avoid seeming overeager.

One week before registration. Throwing chronic passivity to the wind, you take the initiative and e-mail your advisor. Making sure to exercise the full extent of e-mail etiquette, you smile as you hit “send”, daydreaming about how thrilled they will be when they see your well-balanced schedule and enthusiastically grant you permission to register.

Five days before registration. Your advisor still hasn’t responded, and while you were attributing it to their undoubtedly busy schedule, after 48 hours you start to wonder. Why can’t e-mails have read receipts? You try not to freak out, but you feel like this meeting was supposed to take place a while ago.

Two days before registration. Practically frantic, you consider texting the Tinder match you stopped replying to after he told you he voted for Jill Stein. Anything, you think, to rectify this bad ghosting karma you seem to have accumulated with the powers that be. Maybe you even show up to your advisor’s office, half-expecting a lone tumbleweed to roll out the door. Indeed, much to your dismay, they are nowhere to be found and you feel like you should file a missing person’s report.

24 hours before registration. The clock is ticking. Sweating, you eye the personal phone number included in your advisor’s e-mail signature. How insane would you look for calling it? In your paranoid state, you’re starting to hallucinate. You see your advisor everywhere; on the walk to Ferris, in the elevator ride to your room…it seems that they’re somehow simultaneously omnipresent and nonexistent. You start resigning yourself to the idea that maybe you just won’t get into any of the classes you’ve chosen, or any classes at all. And maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad fate.

2 hours before registration. Your face lights up when you see a new e-mail from none other than your advisor! It reads: “Sorry, I must have forgotten to tell you: I am on sabbatical for the next two months, researching the effects of hallucinogens on Peruvian wildlife. If this is an emergency, please feel free to call my personal cell phone number, which I have provided below. Due to time difference, however, I will only be available between the hours of 1AM and 7AM, Eastern time.”

Is it “advisor” or “adviser”??? via Bwog Staff

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