Written by Kristy-Lee Garland
Firstly, I would like to introduce myself, my name is Kristy-Lee, and I am a fourth-year student. I started my university adventure by completing the Diploma of General Studies in 2019. This gave me an incredible insight into students who use bridging courses to enter university life. Since completing my Diploma, I have been studying a Bachelor of Criminal Justice. This is my third and final year of the degree.
This year I joined the Uni Foundations online mentoring program as a student mentor offering support to new students who started study in Session 1. Having the opportunity to become a mentor gave me a chance to be a role model for the first-year students – which I value greatly. Through this, I feel that I was able to become a source of positivity and support as both mentor and mentee venture down this journey of learning and exploring exciting new challenges and experiences. As a team both the mentors and mentees were able to share our individual experiences in university but also in day-to-day life which has helped us to develop a better understanding of how things could be better organised or managed – whether it be a university assignment coming up that might clash with a holiday or a family medical emergency interrupting university life in general. There is always something to be learned from each other no matter the age of the student or the year level of study there is something new to be learnt each day.
I was so impressed by the students’ efforts to learn new and exciting things whilst also being so committed to their studies. I know personally how hard it is to find time, with study, having a job and anything extra that may arise. But the mentees truly went above and beyond each week. Even if there were interruptions to the sessions, I felt that they were still able to take something away from each session. It was comforting to be able to talk about feelings towards university along with the stress and anxiety that contributes to being a university student. It gave me the ability to recognise that not one person held more power or control over anyone else as we were all on the same level regardless of age, culture or level of study.
All in all, I feel that becoming a mentor for the first year students this year, has been a formative experience and one that I will carry with me into any work and life experiences that come my way. This program also gave me the opportunities to widen my social circle as I met new people and was able to help and support others.