Each month, we’ll take a look at some students who started their journey in Exploratory Studies. All of these students have found their perfect major at Purdue. Be sure to check out our blog each week for a new post that will feature a different student and their new major at Purdue.
Let’s meet Aaron.
Name: Aaron Campbell
Current year: Sophomore
Major: Planetary Science
“How long were you in EXPL?
Why did you start in EXPL?
I remember distinctly looking at my application and struggling with the option of what major I wanted to apply to. Whenever I thought I had decided, something changed my mind and I had second thoughts. I put off turning in my application until the last day it was due because of my struggle with choosing a major. Since the time to apply had come, I talked to my parents and we all agreed that Exploratory Studies was my best option.
Why did you choose your current major?
My advisor had given our class a list of classes she thought were interesting, different, had awesome professors, etc. I looked at this list near the end of my first semester when I was registering for classes and decided to take the ASTR 264 class that was on that list. I loved it. The first day I couldn’t wait to do my homework. That is when I knew I was on to something. I met with my advisor (Mary Beth Lencke) and we talked about the different paths into Astronomy. That’s when she told me about the Planetary Science major here at Purdue. I looked into it, read about the different research being done, took a couple classes required for the major, talked to a professor in the major and I knew it was what I wanted straight away. The day I received my CODO acceptance e-mail is one of the best of my life!
What kind of person would be good for this major?
Planetary Science requires patience, creativity, and a true passion for the scientific process. Some skills that are valuable are logical analysis of data, ability to work in groups, and the ability to convey complex ideas in simple ways.
Favorite thing about EXPL?
The people I’ve been able to meet throughout my years here. I have met a lot of people in my time in Exploratory Studies, all with different interests, abilities, personalities, and motivations. That variety is what keeps me coming back as a Peer Mentor. Everyone from fellow peer mentors, advisors in EXPL, Ambassadors, students etc. have been incredibly kind and helpful.
Do you feel Exploratory Studies was helpful to you during your first semester(s) at Purdue?
Absolutely. It gave me the skills necessary to find and research a major that I knew will be a good fit for me. More than that, it led me to learn an extremely valuable lesson. I realized that life’s uncertainty never goes away, and the best thing I can do for myself is to accept it and not let the fear of failure stop me from achieving my goals.
Favorite thing about Purdue?
There is a lot I love about Purdue. If I had to choose one, it would be that I’m proud that Purdue has a reputation for being a tough, academically focused school. People know the Purdue name world wide because of the work and success of past and current Boilermakers.”
Interview conducted and written by Emily R., junior.