After graduating from high school and moving on to college, I was nervous but also so excited to start a new chapter in my life. As a first-Generation college student, I was totally lost trying to find my way around campus and figuring out which resources would be the best for me. I didn’t know how to make friends, other than talking to random people in my classes or maybe the dining hall? Thankfully, my nerves were soon eased as I attended my university’s New Student Orientation in 2019, and was introduced to a mentorship program called CSUN Mentorship Program. I soon learned this program is a one-year mentorship program for freshman and transfer students that helps them adjust to campus life. I quickly applied to the program knowing that I could use the extra support from a mentor much more knowledgable and connected than myself. I ended up getting matched with an awesome mentor that had the same major as me, Marketing, was really involved on campus, and had a lot of similar interests!
Every 2 weeks I would meet with my mentor to work on my goals, talk to him about how I was doing, and occasionally go to events with my mentor and other mentees. My mentor was a really big help with my transition from high school to college because he was also once in my shoes. He understood my struggles, gave me advice daily on different topics, and was supportive of everything that I was doing. He always applauded me for even the small things that I didn’t think I should be proud of, like being a commuter student, having to travel to and from campus daily while also coordinating with my brother because we shared the car. Having a mentor like him made me realize that even the seemingly small and mundane daily accomplishments should be recognized and celebrated. Even though being a commuter student was tiring and difficult at times, my mentor kept me positive and motivated with constant reminders like these.
After this mentorship program ended, I knew more about my university, I got involved in 3 different clubs, and made friends that were also in the program and others that weren’t! It made me more confident and I wasn’t so scared to talk and make friends in new places outside of my classes. It was an amazing experience that really transformed my freshman year of college for the better.
Two years later, I will now be a mentor this upcoming Fall 2021 semester for the same mentorship program I was a part of. I am so excited to be matched with my mentee and be a mentor that is supportive, thoughtful, and motivational, just like my mentor. I hope to help my mentee get comfortable on campus, improve his or her resume, and apply to internships he or she is interested in!
All of this to say, if your university has a mentorship program, please apply!!! It can be so crucial in shaping your transitional experience and creating a comfortable environment for you to learn and grow over your four years.
To anyone that needs help with their transfer into freshman year or college related, I would love to help and answer any questions.
My email: Kimberlyespinozacruz13@gmail.com
You can follow me on Instagram HERE: https://www.instagram.com/kimberly.cruz_/