I am excited to say that it is finally that time of year again! The thought of college can be intimidating, especially for our entry level students who adjusting to the very notion of being a college student. As Futures Initiative Mentors, we will work towards encouraging our mentees in distress. We will do this simply by informing them of what to expect for the year, what their resources are on and off campus, and what our mentees themselves can make out of their college experience. With this, we are able to establish a solid ground of security for our mentees.
Here are some examples of how we, as Futures Initiative Mentors, can meet their needs in this informal guide I would like to call, concisely, “College 101”: (please feel free to add more to the list!)
- Planning ahead of time: As soon as our mentees receive their schedule or their syllabus’ it is important to help make them plan and manage their time. We can have our mentees mark exam dates on a calendar or even help them make crucial textbooks purchases ahead of time (when a textbook becomes vital to a course). A great application program I suggest called MyStudyLife would make a wonderful platform for our mentees to have a head start and organize their agenda, digitally. Best of all, the application is free to use.
- Choosing your seat wisely: Entering the classroom is the easy part, but finding a seat is the difficult part. In college, there is no “assigned” seating but there is an “unassigned but assigned by yourself seating” for lack of a better term. Unbelievably, where you sit in a classroom says a lot about you and this can be an interesting topic to discuss with our mentees. For example, sitting in the front of the classrooms suggests one is more willing to learn and wants to be in arms reach of the professor, as for the opposite case of sitting in the back of the room to “avoid” being a part of the classroom. However, this is not always true, one can sit in front of the classroom because they are visually or auditory impaired and one can sit in the back of the classroom because that “was the only empty seat” but it did not change their willingness to learn and succeed.
- Building relationships: It is important to remind our mentees that they are not alone, that there are other students just as confused, just as new, and just like them. Building friendships with other students will only strengthen the whole college experience, but expand our mentees “support system”. For example, they will be able to form study groups, share notes and inputs on a certain lesson, even have someone to hangout with on and off campus, and STILL have their Futures Initiatives Mentors there whenever they need us.
- Staying updated: Always have our mentees check their college email! Make it their daily habit! Checking email can save not only time, but also it is a great way to connect with professors outside the classroom.