In this article:
- For some students —including second and even third years — this will be their first time on campus and attending in person lectures
- A peer-to-peer mentorship program that connects a new student to campus with an mentor can bring a wealth of knowledge, easing the transition into on-campus living
- Peer-to-peer mentorship programs can also create connections that will reignite the campus community.
Happy February, and to many of our readers, welcome back to your school campus!
For some students — including second and even third years — this will be their first time on campus attending in-person lectures, which can be a daunting prospect. Many will also be leaving home and moving into their own apartments for the first time, having missed the transitory experience of residence life.
With so many new faces to campus, how can faculty and administration staff — themselves re-adjusting to working on campus as well as to a host of protocols to keep everyone safe — support this transition?
A peer-to-peer mentorship program that matches student mentors with those who are new to campus can help students adjust to campus life and foster student-to-student connections that will reignite the campus community.
A peer-to-peer mentor can ease the transition to living on-campus
As students move for school, many of them will first move into residence. This is the perfect sweet spot of autonomy and support, as new students figure out the ins and outs of living on their own while also creating a support network of friends and advisors that will be there for the rest of their program.
With lockdown restrictions ending for many campuses, however, there are far more students who have never lived on their own than there are spots in residence. This is resulting in many students moving into their own places without developed connections to campus. There will also be an influx of students new to the campus traditions and way of life.
Peer mentors are a great way to support this transition, easing what will no doubt be an unprecedented need for administrative support. Activities that a peer mentor can engage in include showing the newer students around campus, taking them to useful resources (ie. getting a gym pass, where to find the printers at the library) and otherwise being there to support the students as they get used to in-person classes again.
Peer mentors can also benefit students who are living off campus for the first time, able to help the students figure out the public transport schedule, showing the best place to get groceries or do your laundry, and where to go/what to do if they ever feel unsafe in their apartments.
Create connections to reignite the campus community
A peer mentorship program also has the added benefit of connecting students.
While students did have the opportunity to connect during virtual learning, there’s just no replacement for making friends in person. Coupled with suddenly living on their own after months of living in close quarters with family, there are going to be a lot of students who may feel lonely or isolated the first few months back on campus. Peer-to-peer programs can really help get the ball rolling and help the students feel like they’re home.
Even just having a student mentor to talk to can make a very big transition feel less arduous – key as students have already gone through so much these past two years.
The Nimbus learning platform can help matching mentors on various criteria, which can help ensure students get the most out of the program. Our partner support team can also help with recruitment, training, and program set up.
While reuniting on campus is something students and teachers alike have been looking forwards to for years, there will ne doubt be an adjustment that has to be addressed. Connecting students on campus through a mentorship program will go a long way to easing that transition and creating connections on campus that will reinvigorate the campus community.