4 year Bachelor of Arts
Psychology Major with Business Minor
Why did you decide to become a UFV Peer Mentor?
If I'm honest, the reason I initially applied for the position was for the benefits that it could offer me. These include the further development of leadership, organization, and interpersonal skills, experience in a helping-type role that I can include in my graduate school applications, the potential for positive references for graduate school and future employment, and the much-needed finances to help fund my degree. I hope to achieve each of these aspects but I also hope that I can have a positive impact on each of my students in their academic pursuits. I hope that my meetings and interactions with these students will be mutually beneficial and we can all come out of this program as more well-rounded students and individuals.
What is the most rewarding part so far of being a Peer Mentor?
The rewards of being a Peer Mentor are two-fold. Firstly, it's encouraging to see students taking initiative and really putting in effort to develop, learn, and grow. Secondly, the processes and strategies involved push me to develop and grow myself as well. No one can be a perfect mentor, but actively being involved with this program helps me to be more self-reflective of my effectiveness in being supportive and helpful. The experiences of the Peer Mentor program help to chisel away my downfalls and build up my strengths. That, in itself, can act as a challenge as well. The path of character-building is certainly not without hurdles.
Is there something in particular about the program that students should know or might find interesting?
I think students who give this program a shot will be surprised at how beneficial it can be. I think there's a misconception that it's a huge time commitment and really overwhelming but it really isn't. I meet with my students every two weeks for a 30 minute session and they're free to contact me via email in between. It's such a beneficial resource to have someone who has been through three or four years of university whocan directly answer your questions and work alongside you to develop strategies to tackle the challenges of university. Thinking back to my first year, I know I would have loved to have someone to talk to about credits and majors and minors and how to study and take notes and manage my time. It's not a power relationship by any means we're students just like everyone else and we love to help in any way we can to see our fellow students succeed.
Do you have any advice for first year students adapting to University? Tips?
My first piece of advice would be to seriously consider Peer Mentoring. I've already touched on how beneficial it is to have someone to chat with who knows their way around campus and its multitude of services and resources.
My second piece of advice is not to shy away from meeting with professors outside of class time. Take some time to visit them during their office hours anytime you have questions or concerns or just want to chat. They're not monsters - they applied for their job because they love teaching and seeing students succeed. Lastly, have a balance; the all-or-none mentality doesn't fly well at university. Balance out your schedule to include spending time with friends, playing sports, having fun, volunteering or just relaxing, in addition to your time spent on homework and studying. Spending all your time studying will suck the fun out of life, but spending no time studying will result in an unpleasant meeting with your program advisor. Balance is the key.