It’s my first day of post-secondary! The birds are chirping, the streetcar is honking, and the sun is shin—wait a second, I’m late to my 8 a.m. class!
That’s how most mornings went while starting my first year of college. Between mixing up my class schedule, getting lost on campus, and at times, feeling lonely, my first year wasn’t exactly how the movies made it out to be.
What I soon came to realize, however, is that we don’t have to go through our first year alone.
Every student has things they wish they knew going into their first year. Some students choose to lend their wisdom and walk us through our first year in a new, and sometimes scary, environment—these unsung heroes are called mentors.
Mentorship impacted my first year in many ways. From financial guidance to friendship, here’s how having a peer mentor helped to shape my first year of school:
First connection on campus
Coming from Alberta, I didn’t have many connections on campus—no recognizable faces wandering through the halls, friends to reconnect with from high school, or ex’s to be fearful of running into. This fresh start was both refreshing and terrifying.
Thankfully, I was matched with a mentor through First Year Experience (FYE). Come the first day of classes, I had a welcome from my mentor and a brain to pick about my questions and concerns for the semester. The best part? My mentor was a senior in my program, so they had first-hand knowledge of what I was entering into.
Having a connection on campus was comforting. If all else failed, I always had someone I could turn to for guidance—which leads me to my next point:
Need some fool-proof study tips? Looking to find cheap textbooks? Trying to get the inside scoop on the best spots to eat on campus? Your mentor has you covered.
More than lunch suggestions, my mentor gave me a space to vent my frustrations and stressors. Not only did I feel better after doing this, but they also provided me with countless resources on campus to help solve any of my problems.
Now, when I’m faced with a roadblock, whether its troubles with an essay or panicking about tuition, I know what resources are available to me. Because of this, I gained…
Confidence to become a leader
Having learned a thing or two about my program, the supports available on campus, and what to expect in the following years from my mentor, I felt empowered to share these insights with my classmates.
Quickly, I gained friends and confidence. I began sharing my own learnings from both the wins and the losses throughout the year. By second semester, I felt comfortable on campus and had my own unique perspective to share.
Whether you choose to lead or prefer to be led, mentorship is SO beneficial to help you adjust into your first year. To find a mentor on campus, Humber students can sign up for First Year Experience to get matched to a mentor. For Guelph-Humber students, check out the student-alumni mentorship program.
Have a burning question specific to your program at Guelph-Humber? Contact your academic program reps (APR) here!