Being a Peer Mentor

 

I didn’t know I would’ve become a peer mentor so fast. I didn't expect I would get it, but I am forever grateful for it.

During this year in September of 2018, Seawolf living take over Tuesday posted a video on their story from a peer mentor who was saying they were looking for someone to become a peer mentor as soon as possible. When I watch this, I was thinking if I should do it since I was taking a difficult class. I did Summer Orientation and helped incoming freshmen transition over the summer and I thought to give it a go. I emailed saying I was interested and the next thing I know, I had an interview Friday, got the job Monday, and started Wednesday. It happened so fast. I was nervous, worried, and excited at the same time.  I had no training, but only Summer Orientation workshop.

        When I walked in a minute before class started, they all welcomed me. It was my first time meeting with the professor and she welcomed me open-heartily. We all sat in a circle, even though they all knew each other well enough, they still talked about themselves to understand each other better. Everyone asked me questions such as what I wanting to be, why am I peer mentor, etc. I watched them have discussions and saw how they were not afraid to express themselves in the class. I was amazed to see how they felt safe in the class to not afraid to speak their mind on my first day. After class, some went up to me and told me welcome to the class and how they were excited to get to know me. After class, the professor was excited for me to start and got to know each other and what our standards are.

        Since then, the class and I have gotten close to the point they are not afraid to tell me how they feel throughout the semester. I did one on ones. If you were or are freshmen, it may be annoying because you are taking time out of your day to see someone out of class. When I was a freshman, I was nervous and scared because I thought my peer mentor would be strict, but at the end, she helped me throughout my freshmen year and understood what I went through. When  I met my students, they all told me how they felt and it felt great because I wanted them to make sure what expectations they had for me since I started late, but also knowing them so I know in the future. It was great because one I asked a question that connected to them, we talked for a long time to the point we forget about the other questions or running out of time.

When I met with my other peer mentors for Freshmen Year Experience, they welcomed me. They understood problems I went through, but I also understood their problems when they expressed theirs. Even though I started in the beginning, it already feels like a family because we express open-mindedly because it is a safe place.

I have experienced situations that I did not expect would happen. I feel happy when I walk in the class and some of them ask me how am I doing as well as one of my students always fist bumping me or a high five which always makes my day. People say becoming a peer mentor is low pay and no benefits. In my opinion, I am experiencing connections, leadership, friendship, MENTORING, and helping students through situations is worth it at the end. Even though I have been working for only 3 months so far, I am experiencing things that I would never think that would happen. I recommend applying to become a peer mentor because it is a great leadership skill, but also a great support team.