Meet adviser Stevi Miller; She was undecided, too
Alumna Stevi Miller ('13, '14M) started at Ohio University undecided on what she wanted to major in. Now she works with College of Arts & Sciences students who are starting the same way — still wading through a large menu of major, minor and certificate options.
"Choosing a major was really difficult because I felt at the time that it would impact everything with career and after," said Miller, director of student services in A&S Undergraduate Advising and Student Affairs.
Miller, who manages a group of professional advisers who help Arts & Sciences students navigate from their first year all the way through graduation, eventually chose a communications major. And she speaks from experience when she advises students to try different things and see what fits.
Her biggest piece of advice for undecided students is "choose a major that you love — it will help you get to the career you want to pursue."
"After my first semester at OHIO, I realized I’ve got this! I finished the semester strong, and I worked really hard because I did not want to disappoint my family," says Miller, who shares the following tips for new students.
Q: If you were starting again as a first-year, what would you put in your college bucket list?
A: Getting involved early and studying abroad. I did not get involved into later into my college career. I also did not study abroad until I was a graduate student. Reach out to the Office of Global Opportunities or the Campus Involvement Center — they are here to help make these things possible!
Q: What’s the most fun thing you would tell a new OHIO student not to miss their first year?
A: Homecoming! I think Homecoming is such a great opportunity to learn more about OHIO, and the passion alumni and current students have for hOUme. (Mark your calendars: Homecoming 2021 is Oct. 4-9.)
Q: What is the most common — and avoidable? — misstep that new Bobcats make as they learn to navigate the bricks? (Besides forgetting comfortable shoes…)
A: Be open to new possibilities. Some students start with a definitive plan that doesn’t always work out. OHIO is your place to discover new interests and passions, and the faculty and advisers are here to support that discovery.
Q: What is the hardest hill most students will have to climb (not counting Jeff Hill) their first year?
A: I think most students find the adjustment to being away from home and familial structure difficult. You can still maintain a structure you are used to, if that’s what works for you. But, please know that all first-year students, and even upper-class students adjust to being away from home for the first time. You are not alone in this!
Ask for help and get involved! Go on walks around campus, try a new coffee shop. Once you start to become more familiar and comfortable with your surroundings, it won’t feel as intimidating anymore.
Q: What are some of your success stories?
A: I once had a student say that they wouldn’t have graduated without my guidance and support (insert crying emoji!). Advisers and faculty want to help you succeed. Please do not hesitate to contact your support team at OHIO. (How to contact an adviser.)
Q: Who were your favorite professors and how did they make an impact on your life?
A: I still tell students how much of an impact Dr. Art Trese had on me during his PBIO 100 class. I was very nervous taking this course because my academic interests are outside of the natural sciences, but this class was amazing and Dr. Trese did so much to make sure the class was engaging and incredibly thought-provoking. My first adviser at OHIO, Dr. Char Rae, was the person who helped me realize I wanted to be an academic adviser myself. There are amazing people at OHIO, and you will not regret building relationships with them.
Q: What are your favorite OHIO memories?
A: Homecomings, graduation, mom’s weekends, living in the residence halls, and more… You are making FOREVER memories whether you realize it or not. Enjoy your time at OHIO and in Athens!