This semester, I am a peer mentor for a freshman seminar class. That means I have fourteen wonderful first-years who I get the privilege of working with, advising, and guiding through their first semesters at college. As a peer mentor, I have some materials I am responsible for knowing in order to help my mentees when they need it, but I am also given the opportunity of sharing this information with them in whatever way works for me and the professor of the seminar. Because my seminar professor chose to use all the class time for class (which makes sense), I turned to creating a set of guides in order to get out the information I found most necessary for survival of freshman year. Some of these are specific to Skidmore, but others are just for freshman year or college in general. I adore each and every one of my mentees, so this is the best way I could think to help them through the trials of freshman year (I’m also pretty sure being a peer mentor might be my calling in life, so there’s that. Big dreams, folks, big dreams). I hope you enjoy them as much as my mentees seem to!
1. Breathe. Take a minute, close your eyes, go to your happy place, and take some deep breaths.
2. Don’t be afraid to take a break. Go for a walk, listen to music, watch a movie, eat ice cream.
3. Use campus resources: Health Services, Counseling Center, Student Academic Services, First Year Experience Office, Center for Sex and Gender, Peer Health Educators, ResLife (RA’s, HR’s, etc.), Writing Center, Campo, and ME!
4. Talk it out. Talk to friends, parents, professors, etc. Don’t keep things bottled up inside – you’ll explode at the worst possible time (i.e. in class, at dhall, at a party).
If you get overwhelmed, CALL ME.
(I’ll probably instruct you to do any/all of the following: bake cookies, cry, watch Disney movies, eat ice cream, play violent video games, punch a pillow, give me a hug)