This is College: Thoughts of a Peer academic Advisor vol. 5.2

Peer Academic Advisor: Ruth Bahgi
Major: Psychology (BS)
Class: Sophomore
CAART Open House – Fall 2018

The Center for Academic Advising, Retention, and Transitions, also known as CAART, hosted an Open House event on September 5th, 2018 welcoming back new and returning undeclared students to explore what CAART is and what we do here on campus. The event gave students a chance to learn more about the services CAART has to offer. The event was amazing! I mean of course it was – free pizza, snacks, and drinks, as well as the chance to enroll in our raffle featuring awesome prizes including a fit bit, shower speakers and Mason swag.

There was an amazing outcome of about fifty students and ten raffle drawings! I helped out right in front of the office with a graduate student, and met wonderful Mason students, advisors, Peer Advisors, and other graduate students helping out at the event. We helped scan Mason ID’s, greeted students, and informed them about the event (which entailed getting awesome free goodies!). We also guided them through the process of finishing the survey by encouraging the students to talk with the advisors and staff inside to learn about CAART, answer any questions they had regarding the surveys or any of the services CAART fulfills. The event was coordinated to have the students interact and get to know advisors and staff and their role in helping students who are undeclared, or want to explore other majors and minors, services or different paths, at Mason. CAART has got your back! I also got the chance to interact with one student who was interested in becoming a Peer Academic Advisor and told her more about the position and our role at CAART. One main reasons I wanted to become a Peer Academic Advisor was because I wanted to help students who are undeclared or who want to explore different options. Like them, I was in those same shoes and would love to be there to help and relate on an empathetic level. I also really love organizing as well as working with schedules and lists.  In addition to this, I hope to one day become a college professor and since working in the CAART office, I want to become an advisor as well.

I saw a lot of students interacting with each other as they stayed for the results of the raffles. Ultimately, it was such great energy to be around because everyone was so nice. People were talking to students who were at the event, and asking questions about the different positions we held. At the end of the event, those students who stayed ended up getting some freebies, including the workers! I managed to get myself a free T-shirt!

Do not be discouraged if you did not make it to this event, because other resources on campus will have events coming up! Their links and brief descriptions can be found on the Mason Resource List found on the CAART website. Check out this website for useful things like degree worksheets, four-year graduation plans, upcoming CAART events and more, located at advising.gmu.edu. I hope learning about the CAART Open House event through my eyes has inspired you to attend more events on campus and to become engaged with the Mason community. Whether you are undeclared or want to explore different major and minor options, we are here for you, so come on by! To make an appointment you can call, go through the SSC campus, or come to walk-in advising hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1-4pm.