After about two weeks, I can finally say I am adjusted to “college life.” The campus doesn’t seem as huge as it used to appear, and I have more trouble finding rooms as opposed to buildings for class- an improvement. I know where to catch a bus, what “LX” means, and the best (and the worst) times to get on. I’m not afraid to talk to my peers in any setting and likewise I am not embarrassed to be alone. I figured out how to make time for relationships, work, and clubs as well. The entire process seemed so intimidating, even scary and sometimes impossible, but my transition was actually very smooth. I owe it all to my mentor.
As a member of the Honors College, I was given the opportunity to take part in the HC Ally Program. This is a mentor-mentee program in which freshmen, the mentees, are assigned an upperclassman, the mentor, to guide them through their college experience. My mentor was personalized in a sense that we both attend the Honors College and have similar career goals. Over the summer, she emailed me and made me feel welcome before even stepping into the university. I was able to ask her questions about what to pack for my dorm, who to speak to about certain needs, and what to expect over my first couple of days. She helped and will continue to help me in selecting classes and adjusting my schedule. She taught me integral information such as how the bus system works and how to use Rutgers sites (Course Schedule Planner, WebReg, Degree Navigator, CAS Forum, etc.). Also, she encouraged me to open up, take the classes that were best for me, and to take a breath when stress arose.
The greatest thing, however, has nothing to do with college; my mentor made it clear that I could talk to her about anything. From our first email exchange, I felt that she became a very good friend, my first new friend here at Rutgers. I eventually opened up to her completely, and I’m glad I can confide in someone who is willing to help me in any way- with school and with life. Overall, she helped me get comfortable with this new setting and now serves as a source of inspiration. Becoming part of the HC Ally Program was probably the best thing I did for my transition into Rutgers.
There are many mentor-mentee programs taking place in Rutgers, and I highly encourage underclassmen, specifically freshmen, to take part in them. The programs help with the transition into a new setting, as I’ve said, and also build bonds between people that may bring out the best in them.
Nonetheless, to freshmen who are still struggling to adjust and to the future incoming freshmen: everything with be okay. I entered Rutgers having absolutely no idea what I was doing. My future is still cloudy, but I at least know how to get around, learn, and have fun in the university. I know I can always go to my mentor when I need help. I accredit my smooth transition and answered questions to my mentor, my HC Ally, and my same-name buddy Kimberly Nguyen.