Top 12 Tips for Exploratory Students

  1. Talk to students. When you get to AU and start taking classes beyond gen-eds (you will likely try out the majors you are interested in) ask people in your classes why they chose to study [Blank] major. It might feel awkward at first, but more than likely asking someone about their passions could help you get a sense for the department and you might even make a new friend! 

  2. Read about it/Research it. Search Google, read pamphlets in the department, and investigate the types of careers or internships people complete with specific majors. Some majors are more flexible than others. When you start looking around, you might notice that people apply their undergrad majors to the job market in surprising ways. 
  3. Reflect and be honest. Listen to what you feel and think. Don’t get caught up in prestige or supposed practicality. At the end of the day, your major needs to be something you truly possess a passion for.
  4. While it may seem that everyone has picked their major on the first day of freshmen year, chances are that most of your fellow freshmen have no idea what they will pursue in the future.
  5. Go talk to the professors that teach classes you love. See if their research topics or professional careers match up with your own interests and goals. Every single professor loves to talk about their field and offer advice to interested students.
  6. Try to find upperclassmen in the different areas of study you are interested in. Get in contact with the CAS Peer Affiliates!
  7. Checking out different clubs that focus on a topic you may want to major in can help you explore different options.  Not only do the clubs typically have free food, you also get the chance to talk to students and professors that deal with this major and opportunities to partake in some activities that may help you decide on picking that major.  Some good examples are Eco-sense, Psychology Club and Accounting Club.  
  8. If your friend suggests a class because it is ‘easy’, know that it will be more beneficial to take a course that may push you a bit more–as a senior, the classes that made me think helped me figure out my major a lot faster than the ones that didn’t ask much from me. 
  9. Take it with a grain of salt: Every now and then you might cross someone that is in the profession you’re considering to take on and maybe they haven’t enjoyed that job. Make sure to ask for other people’s opinions because you never know if you just got someone on a bad day. 
  10. Take advantage of this amazing city. If you decided to come to American University I’m sure it’s location factored into the equation when you sent in your deposit. While there is a lot to get involved in on campus, the entire city is out there for you to explore and learn from. With this, notice if there are any patterns in what you like to do in the city and what you get tired of. This could open your eyes to some interests worth exploring.
  11. Develop meaningful connections. Whether it’s a professor, faculty member, academic advisor, friend, etc, there are always opportunities to learn from other people. Some of these relationships can turn into “mentor-ships” that can lead you to discover some things you’re interested in or potential career paths.
  12. Talk to EVERYONE. Really. I have gotten out of having conversations with people at random moments- on bus rides home, sitting in DuPont circle, at coffee shops downtown- over the past few years. Being engaged in conversation and asking questions to get to know others will teach you much more than if you remain silent. People like to tell their story—so sit back and let them tell it!
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Thanks for joining the Peer Advisors at our Breakfast with Champions event!


Big thank you to all who came out to our Breakfast with Champions event! We heard from five incredible leaders on American’s campus: Tessa Guarracino, Panhellenic Council Vice President/ Academic Chair of Phi Mu; Samantha Falewee, American Literary Magazine; Charlotte Goodenow, Career Center Peer Advisor; Gabriela Siem, Career Center Peer Advisor; Emily Teichner, Dime A Dozen Acapella Group Member. They shared great advice and some helpful tips regarding how students can become successful leaders on campus. Pictures from the event can be found in the photo gallery on the bottom right hand side of this page. Be sure to keep your ears open for other Peer Advising events! Also, if you haven’t made an appointment with your peer, be sure to schedule one right away!

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Join your CAS Peer Advisors for our event, Breakfast with Champions!

Interested in being a student leader on campus?

Come join the CAS Peer Advisors for our event, Breakfast with Champions, and have the chance to listen to and mingle with different student leaders here on campus! The event starts at 9pm in Letts Formal Lounge this Thursday, March 27th, where we will be serving pancakes and hash browns. So bring your floor mates and friends to see how fun and easy it is to be a leader!

All are welcome!


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Introducing Your 2014 PEER AFFILIATES!


Have questions about your major? Thinking about exploring different majors/minors? Want to know what opportunities await post-graduation? Ask a Peer Affiliate!

Go to the “2014 Peer Affiliates” tab above to check out their profiles. If you’re interested in meeting up with a Peer Affiliate to talk about majors, minors, or their experiences please email 

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Hidden Gems on Campus!

Looking for a new place to study with no distractions or hangout with friends? Check out this list of spots around campus that are favorites among your CAS Peer Advisors! Enjoy!

The Amphitheatre


 One of my favorite and one of the most enchanting corners of campus has always been the amphitheatre. Sandwiched between Hughes, Leonard and the sports annex, the amphitheatre gave me the great outdoors for a moment whenever I felt stuck in the city. It especially helped when I first transferred to AU from another college on the water. Some days I really missed the outdoorsy feel of my old campus and escaping to the community garden or to the green open space of the amphitheatre really helped me to take a deep breath and think more clearly on stressful and busy days. 

Check it out!  Maybe it will provide the solace you need to get through your own tough days and even if you don’t need a breather it is a great place to eat lunch, read, study or just chat with friends (especially when campus starts to thaw this spring). – Elaina Hundley

Battelle’s Atrium


It can be hard to find a quiet place to study while you eat or even kill time between classes catching up on the latest episodes of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, but I tend to head to Battelle’s atrium.  It’s well lit, spacious and has new furniture making it a great spot to concentrate on even the hardest of readings! Enter Battelle from the quad and walk straight back, it will be on your right, you can’t miss it! – Whitney Livingston

Centennial Hall Nooks


Freshman year I looked far and wide for a quiet and secluded place to study; a place to put my feet up, blast my music into my earphones and get lost in my Anatomy and Physiology textbook. The Centennial Hall Nook, which is located at the two ends of the Centennial Hall (off of Anderson Hall), is definitely worth checking out if you need a place to hit the books and limit distractions.

*Also, quick shout out to the Hatch in Leonard. If you haven’t been, you should definitely check it out. It’s an awesome place to hang out with friends, play board games, and do light reading – - and it’s usually EMPTY! – Emily Cea

Bender Benches


My favorite spot on campus is the group of green metal benches right outside of the entrance to Bender Arena. There really is nothing better than stopping at Megabytes before class in the spring and melting into one of these incredibly comfortable benches to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather.  Plus the gardens behind the amphitheater come to life in the spring which makes my far-too-early morning panini and cup of coffee just that much better. - Marcus Del Rio

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The Major Games


Coming to American University…

“The Major Games: Catching Your Academic Major”

February 26th from 11-2pm in MGC 4-5

District 1: Academic Success
District 2: Campus Life
District 3: Career
District 4: Research
District 5: Study Abroad
District 6: Undergraduate Studies
District 7: Academic Programs

“May the odds of finding your major be ever in your favor!”

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Welcome back from your CAS Peer Advisors!

ImageWelcome back to another exciting semester at AU! The peer advisors are looking forward to working with both new and returning students to catch up how last semester went and how this semester is going so far. We really encourage all CAS freshman to use us as a resource if you’re exploring other majors, interested in getting involved on campus, starting to think about going abroad, etc. Make an appointment today using our 24-hour Appointment Schedulizer by clicking here. Hope to see you soon!

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