One of the first events you must participate when you enter college is orientation. This is needed for multiple reasons, but the most important is to help new students adjust to their new surroundings. It helps smooth that transition period for many students entering into college.
The New Student Institute (NSI) is a five-day orientation program here at SNU. New students and transfer students are placed into family groups with faculty and student mentors, who participate along with them in the events. These days are packed with fun events for students to experience at SNU.
One of the most important factors in NSI is the student mentors. These students have all experienced NSI and understand how to make the most out of it. They also enjoyed their experience with NSI and want new students to also feel the welcome they felt.
Jana Seymour, a sophomore English major, truly enjoyed her NSI experience and felt it made her first year in college easier.
She confessed, “I loved my NSI mentor, Mady Martin; just her being there and everyone in my group. We got to be close friends, and that was important for my freshman year experience; I wanted to be that influence for other freshman.”
Andrew Griffin, a senior English and Philosophy double major, agrees with the immense impact a student mentor can have.
“I was really thankful for how my NSI mentors welcomed me and helped me acclimate to the campus,” he said. “In a way, I just wanted to give back my senior year, and I did! I’m really glad I did it.”
These mentors are well-equipped with the knowledge to help these students. In their preparation for NSI, mentors learn about the regulations and information about SNU. So, if the students are curious about anything, the mentors will be able to answer them.
Seymour and Griffin both described the training as an informative session with a relaxing atmosphere. It is safe to say that it wasn’t a difficult task to complete.
In the end, it is the impact these mentors have on the new students that matter the most to them. While reflecting on her time as a mentor, Seymour hoped students were and are able to “claim the school (SNU) as their own as soon as they get here, because they have this group of people they can identify with and get to know better.”
Griffin’s end goal was two different things. He stated, “[I wanted] to make the first couple of weeks easier than they would have been without it (NSI), because on just a productivity level or a scholastic level it’s really overwhelming trying to acclimate yourself to a whole new campus environment. And then on a relational level, it was my hope that I made conversations between people a little easier.”
Do you have a story about an NSI mentor that impacted your life? Let us know in the comments.