Meet the CC Peer Advisers!

Carlos Garcia

School and Year: CC 2014
Major: Economics, with a concentration in Computer Science
Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

Clubs/ Activities: Columbia Catholic Ministry (Co-President), Columbia Economics Review, Columbia Ballroom, Columbia Spectator, Musical Mentors

Favorite NYC spots: St. Patrick's Cathedral, The Met, The High Line

Top 3 CU traditions:

  1. Primal Scream
  2. Glass House Rocks
  3. Varsity Show

What you wish you knew as a first year student:|

  1. Get as involved as possible in clubs and activities -- you will find yourself experiencing the best of what Columbia has to offer: its amazing individuals. 
  2. Don't be afraid to change majors, even those you came into college 'knowing' you were going to complete. College is a great time to discover and explore talents; there is great flexibility at Columbia to explore options and then choose whatever fits you best. I came into Columbia as a Film Major and now I am studying Economics and Computer Science -- can't get more drastic change than that! 
  3. Thinking critically is all about finding the Truth. Columbia exposes you to amazing varieties of philosophies and currents of thought -- seek the Truth above the grade and the grade will follow. 

Zhaoqi LiZhaoqi Li

School and Year: CC 2015
Majors: Biochemistry and Mathematics (Pre-med)
Hometown: Brentwood, TN

Clubs/ Activities: Peer Health Exchange, Columbia Student Health Outreach, Undergraduate Researcher at Canman Lab (CUMC), Private Tutor

Favorite NYC spots: Hells Kitchen/Midtown, The Met, Canal Street

Top 3 CU traditions:

  1. Choosing between attending Orgo Night or studying for your Orgo final
  2. Invariably noticing bits of the Core in your everyday life but withholding your urge to tell someone about it for fear of being a weirdo.
  3. Going to Milano Market and getting an H17 to reward yourself after a good day and to comfort yourself after a bad one.

What you wish you knew as a first year student:

  1. Call your parents often! You have no idea how much they miss you.
  2. There is more to New York than just Manhattan (or Morningside Heights). 
  3. There's a maple syrup stand at the Sunday Farmer's Market on Broadway. They sells maple cotton candy. 

Amanda Suarez

School and Year: CC 2014
Majors: Political Science and Hispanic Studies
Hometown: Fairfax, VA

Clubs/ Activities: Columbia Catholic Ministry (Co-President), Columbia International Relations Council & Association (CIRCA), Model U.N., Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program (CUSP)

Favorite NYC spots: Chelsea Market, the Cloisters, the Church of Notre Dame on 114th and Morningside, Riverside Park

Top 3 CU traditions:

  1. Tree lighting ceremony
  2. Primal scream
  3. PrezBo’s annual Fun Run in September

What you wish you knew as a first year student:

  1. Be your own self-advocate. Visit your advising dean, chat with professors at office hours, and ask questions about anything on your mind! Resource networks on campus are here to help you, so take advantage of them.
  2. Broadway student rush tickets are the best mid-finals stress reliever.
  3. Talk to librarians when writing your research papers—they love to help out and are absolute gems at finding obscure sources and helping to navigate the overwhelming web of databases available.
  4. Organize your life with to-do lists and Google calendar will become one of your new best friends!

Jiawen Tang

School and Year: CC 2015
Majors: Economics-Political Science
Hometown: Providence, RI

Clubs/ Activities: Columbia International Relations Council and Association (CIRCA), Asian American Alliance (AAA), East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) Conference

Favorite NYC spots: High Line, St. Mark's Place (Union Square), Central Park

Top 3 CU traditions:

  1. Tree lighting
  2. Bollinger's Fun Run
  3. Varsity Show

What you wish you knew as a first year student:

  1. Never sacrifice my health or wellbeing for a grade 
  2. Go to more of my professors' office hours
  3. Take more chances: build connections with those around you, go to events that sound interesting, and join collaborative groups working on projects - a lot of the opportunities that have opened up to me are from unexpected sources. 

Rachel Wangler

School and Year: CC 2015
Major: English and American Studies
Hometown: Norman, OK

Clubs/ Activities: One-to-One tutor, Residential Advisor, Alpha Chi Omega 

Favorite NYC spots: Strand Bookstore, High Line, Central Park

Top 3 CU traditions:

1. Studying on the steps/lawns

2. Bacchanal 

3. Varsity Show

What you wish you knew as a first year student:

1. Always ask for help. You have moved out of the house, but going to office hours, emailing your TA, talking to your advisor, and even calling your parents can make life a whole lot easier. 

2. Make more time to go past 110th street to relax and explore the city. 

3. Don't drink Blue Java. It's like being punished for a crime you never committed. Oren's will save your life. 

Center for Student Advising


403 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-6378

Fax: (212) 854-2562

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Walk-in Hours
3:00 p.m.4:30 p.m.