Growing up we’ve all faced our fair share of trying times and moments where we desperately needed guidance but couldn’t find it. For myself that time was transitioning out of high school and into college, while becoming a teen mom. I got accepted into a highly regarded and competitive college and quickly found myself sinking, with nobody willing to throw me a life vest. I visited a handful of college offices, advisement, student life and even the counseling center but all they could offer me was a withdrawal slip from my courses. I ultimately did end up dropping out of college and not returning until my mid-twenties.
When I arrived at CityTech I was amazed, even shocked, at how friendly and accommodating the offices and the faculty were and I knew I had found a home here. So in fall 2015 when a good friend brought me along to the end of semester bash for First Year Learning Communities I knew I wanted to join. The First Year Learning Communities are a set of classes that students all have together and that share an overarching theme. For example, this semester I mentor a community that connects English to Psychology with the shared theme of emotions and navigating the challenges of college life.
The Professors, Jennifer Sears and Barbara Chutroo, are amazing and while I’ve only visited students during the English component it is evident the Professors work together for the benefit of the students. That in itself was huge to me because during my freshman year not one professor had the time or the interest in talking to me let alone helping me navigate college life. In addition to the educational value in this program it also provides a very necessary social value, it helps students form communities and channels of support in one another that they otherwise may not be able to create.
In my first two semester of college I made not one friend, not because I was anti-social or terrified of meeting people but because every class was different, everyone’s schedule was different and nobody had the time. In a program like FYLC you get the opportunity to share courses, assignments and experiences with the same group of people and that takes the stigma and fear of saying hello.
I joined the Peer Mentor program not only because I believe in the program’s mission but because I wish I had this resource when I was a freshman. I wish I had someone to email about the little things or for advice on dealing with a professor or precarious situation. I joined this program because I want to be the person I needed when I was a freshman and I want to make a difference. I thoroughly enjoy working with the FYLC and plan to continue until I graduate. I have learned during my long academic career that there is nothing like a strong network, and that’s what I want to help new students build and be apart of.