Mind the gap: how Curtin University students are making a smooth transition between school and uni

It would seem as though 3rd year Arts student, Rubie, is a real-life version of our website. She volunteers her time through the Curtin University Mentoring program, offering advice to first year uni students about the best places to eat, buy books and study, assignments, classes, timetables and even parking. At university, where it is rare for first year students to be met with such helpfulness from their peers, Rubie and fellow mentors reassure new students to continue with university, be there for them during their first semester and check up on them regularly.

I have been mentoring for two semesters now and I’ve showed mentees their classes so they wouldn’t get lost on their first day. I’ve answered questions about their degrees, essays and assignments, and anything else they needed to know. If you’re reading this as a student who’s already at uni, I bet you don’t know where the best showers on campus are, or who to ask if you needed to know. Well, now all of the students I mentor, do. I have given advice on where to look if they needed a job, housing, counselling or any other service on campus. Many students lack the confidence to go and ask their lecturers and tutors about their assignments or difficulties with learning, but as a mentor we try to give students the confidence to feel comfortable asking for help.

The Curtin University Mentoring program is an amazing program for both the mentor and the mentees. New students gain new friends, familiarise themselves with uni and they feel comfortable asking for help even when they are lost. Mentors also get the chance to volunteer around their uni and work schedule, meet new people, and are proud to feel a part of the Curtin community.

It’s a program that any student in their second year of studies onwards can get involved in and it is so rewarding as well. Anyone interested will receive training in a day, and will be informed about how to be a great mentor. Students who volunteer their time to this program will be recognised by the uni at the end of the semester with a certificate – a great addition to your CV. For info on becoming a mentor, visit here.

There are coordinators who make sure that every single first year student gets a mentee in their first semester. Their mentors will contact them either face-to-face on O-Day, or via email to meet up with them and work through the confusing first weeks of uni. If you’re just starting uni, and think that you haven’t been assign a mentor, visit here.