Current Peer Mentor, Johanna, tells all about how to make the most out of being a Peer Mentor with The SU.
Firstly, it’s very important to be open, enthusiastic, and chatty with your mentees so they feel like they can always talk to you. When I was in my first year and in isolation during Covid, I didn’t have a lot of contact with my Peer Mentor and actually never had a chance to meet them in person. I therefore wanted my mentees to experience the opposite and make the most out of their mentoring experience during first year.
It is best to contact your mentees early before they start university by creating a group chat so that you are already available for your mentees and can answer any questions they might have. You could even write a short list on ‘What to know for starting University’ or ‘What to bring to University’ to help and guide your mentees at the beginning and ease up their settling-in phase.
When you get the chance to meet your mentees with your fellow Peer Mentors for the Welcome Event, be very open-minded, friendly, and honest. Try to start conversations by asking questions or telling some jokes to break the ice as some students might be very shy and unsure. Tell them about your own experience at university so far, especially during first year on campus, and let them know about some Do’s and Don’ts that you have learned throughout.
Introduce them to the different facilities, buildings, and accommodations on campus, but also share your recommendations for good places in town, such as restaurants, cafés, bars, and pubs. Most importantly, be there for your mentees and check on them regularly! Try to contact them every 2-3 weeks and maybe more regularly during the settling-in phase and exam/submission phases. Further to contacting them over social media and email, it’s always great to keep up personal contact and meet your mentees again in person.
So, use this opportunity to get some pizzas together on campus or in town or enjoy a drink in a typical British pub! Make the most of it :)