Welcome to Peer to Peer, the CAS Peer Advising Blog! Check out our posts for FAQs, advising tips, and current events!

Monday, November 28, 2011

General Education Courses

The General Education Program: love it or hate it, all students at AU have to fulfill the program's requirements. As you register for spring courses, you may have a tough time deciding which gen ed courses will be of most interest to you. This week we'll highlight some of our favorite gen ed courses and how the program has affected our undergraduate experience. Email us some of your favorite gen eds and we'll share your suggestions in an upcoming post!
Half a semester into my junior year, I have learned to appreciate very much the Gen Ed program. It has allowed me to explore different academic areas (I am now an Econ student thanks to my ECON 100 Gen Ed class) and learn more about fields that I would have otherwise never been interested in. My freshman year I took Understanding Music, a class that at first I was skeptical about (I am quite tone deaf and have never played an instrument), but it has now become my favorite Gen Ed so far(or at least top 2)! My professor was Dr. Anne Kang. She loved teaching about music (it being her doctorate and all) but most importantly, her passion for it was contagious. I remember her playing the piano for us quite often, talking about Beethoven (and music history in general) as if she was BFFs with him and conveying a genuine interest in music that made my Understanding Music semester a surprisingly interesting and awesome one. This class was pretty cool and it certainly changed my perspective about Gen Eds.
(Also, special shout-out to Western Philosophy; great class for my Area 2)

-Triana Tello Gerez

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Hey, everyone! Can you believe it's already November? That means it's time to start thinking about registration for spring 2012 courses!

CAS requires students to take two steps before registering for courses. The first step is to attend a pre-registration workshop. Here a CAS advisor will go over the basics of registration and will bring some new developments to your attention. The second step is to meet with your CAS advisor so that he or she can clear you for registration. When you come to this meeting your advisor will expect you to bring along your proposed schedule for next semester so that he or she can make sure that you are taking appropriate courses. Both the pre-registration workshop and the one-on-one meeting with your advisor for clearance are mandatory-- you will not be able to register until you have completed both steps. 

The peer advisors are a great resource as you develop your spring schedule. If you need help deciding which courses to take, want tips on how to balance your schedule, or have questions about the registration process itself, please don't hesitate to email or visit us! You can make an appointment at http://www.american.edu/cas/advising/undergraduate.cfm, and you can email us at CASPeerAdvisors@american.edu

Keep an eye out for more information about upcoming registration workshops hosted by the peer advisors!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Stress, Part 4

Thank you to everyone who emailed us their strategies for managing stress! Take a look at what your fellow students had to say:

"I do yoga to manage my stress from all of my academic work. I always plan out and organize when I'll study for specific classes so that I have a schedule and feel like I can manage all of the work I need to get done. I also make sure to take study breaks after a few hours of working and grab something to eat and go hang out with friends in the lounge, and that's how I manage my stress!"

-Kathleen McLaughlin

"I manage my stress by physical activity, listening to music, and hanging out with my friends. I'm on the bhangra dance team and dancing helps relieve my stress because it's a fun activity and I get to laugh and joke around with my other teammates. AU club volleyball is also fun because I enjoy the sport and it keeps me in shape. I find that when I participate in physical activities, it gets my mind off of what's stressing me out. Listening to my favorite songs also is therapeutic for me because they put me in a certain mood where I allow myself to relax. Hanging out with my friends is always great because I enjoy being around people and so much of my time is spent alone doing homework or studying so it's nice to get together after class or on weekends."
-Angelica Posey

"Organizing my sleep schedule and eating healthy helps me deal with stress. I would recommend not multi tasking and taking things one at a time. When doing hw or studying for exam give a subject an interval of 45 minutes and take a break doing some other subject. This also helps me." 

Hope this helps others also,
Oznur Ozturk

Thanks again for all the submissions! We want to hear your thoughts on other issues affecting freshmen and sophomores at AU, so feel free to send us suggestions for another weekly theme!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stress, Part 3

College is all about getting to know yourself, and a big part of self-awareness is recognizing both your potential and your limitations. When it comes to school I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, but after a few semesters (and a lot of all-nighters), I finally realized that pushing myself so hard was actually decreasing my ability to get the most out of my courses and my time here in DC. Even though it’s possible for me to function on 3 hours of sleep, life is much better when I sleep for a full 7 hours! While I still work hard on my coursework, I’ve also learned to take advantage of other opportunities. For example, I realized that taking an hour to go to the gym makes me feel more energized and productive; it’s a nice break to do something physical after spending hours reading and writing. I love history and art so I’ve also made a point of going to more off-campus lectures and events on the National Mall. Embrace the things you love and remember to treat your body right!

-Lindsay Inge