Odyssey Peer Mentoring
KENNESAW, Ga. (Dec 7, 2018) — At Kennesaw State, supporting new students is a top priority. We understand that starting college is big transition, and no one comes into it knowing exactly what to do. That is why Kennesaw State has the Odyssey Peer Mentoring program. This program provides first and second year students the opportunity to meet other like-minded peers to help them transition into KSU.
The peer mentor program is meant to help students prepare and adjust to both academics and social life on campus. For some mentors and mentees, the relationship can blossom into a real friendship. This is what happened to Kate and her mentor Lorena. We talked to them about how they became fast friends and how the Odyssey program has impacted both of their lives at KSU!
Where are you originally from? How did you hear about KSU?
Kate (Mentee): I’m originally from Brunswick, Georgia and went to Brookwood High School. I heard about KSU through one of my neighbor’s daughter who attends the college, she said she really liked it!
Lorena (Mentor): I was born in Puerto Ricco. I researched KSU and saw that it was one of the top nursing schools in Georgia. I wasn’t too sure about attending until I visited campus and toured the nursing building. I absolutely loved it and knew then I wanted to attend here.
What year are you and what is your current major?
Kate (Mentee): I am a freshman, declaring as a nursing major.
Lorena (Mentor): I’m a sophomore and I am declaring for nursing in my junior year.
Before arriving to KSU, what were your concerns?
Kate (Mentee): Mainly getting my work done without my mom having to tell me! Also, just staying motivated and being able to find my classes.
Lorena (Mentor): I was nervous about finding out who my roommates were going to be. I was also nervous about just having adult responsibilities like cleaning, cooking and laundry.
How did you find out about the Peer Mentoring program?
Kate (Mentee): I found out about the program at orientation, where they had a booth set up. I was a peer leader in high school and found it really interesting. I thought it could really help to find someone who could guide me with what classes I should take.
Lorena (Mentor): I got an email about the program. I have always loved helping people and have always been pretty organized so I thought I could use those skills to help someone else!
How does the peer mentor program work?
Kate (Mentee): You get paired up with another student who has the same major, hobbies and interests as you do.
Lorena (Mentor): We got paired up since we are both nursing majors but are also both very organized and love to plan things out!
Kate, is there anything specific about why you wanted to have a peer mentor?
Kate (Mentee): For me, I really wanted someone to guide me through the process of college. Whether it was recommending professors or even giving the insight scoop into what each class was like.
What was your first impressions of each other?
Kate (Mentee): I was really nervous because I just didn’t know what to expect. Unfortunately, I first got paired up with someone I couldn’t really relate to, but I decided to try again for a new mentor and that’s when I got paired up with Lorena. I’m really glad that I decided to do it again!
Lorena (Mentor): I was nervous too. But only because I thought Kate didn’t like me because she was super quiet! I went into the first meeting wanting to basically attack her with advice! Our second meeting went really awesome though, because we ended up talking for hours!
Is there a moment you guys really bonded with each other?
Kate (Mentee): Our second meeting is when we really bonded. We talked for hours.
How would you guys describe your friendship now?
Lorena (Mentor): It’s a healthy mix of both friendship and mentoring. I can still give her advice, but we also hang out as just friends too.
What are some of the ways Lorena’s mentoring has helped you or impacted you the most?
Kate (Mentee): Registering for classes! When I got assigned my time ticket, I was in class and having trouble registering for two classes that kept giving me error messages. I texted Lorena that I needed help registering and she immediately looked up the correct classes. It was a huge help! She has also given me so many great recommendations for classes and professors.
How has the peer program met your expectations?
Kate (Mentee): In the program, you are supposed to meet at least once a month. But we meet up way more than that. We don’t see it as a requirement because we actually want to hang out together.
Lorena (Mentor): It has become really fun because it went from a mentorship to a friendship. We have such a natural friendship that it doesn’t really feel like we are part of a program, it’s just like we are hanging out as friends.
What advice would both of you give to upcoming freshman who are interested in getting involved in the peer program?
Kate (Mentee): Do It! As a freshman, it’s scary to come to a new place. I didn’t really understand how hard the classes can be and how registration can sometimes be confusing. Lorena really helped me with all of that. We have some of the same teachers and she gives me great advice on how to deal with those classes.
Lorena (Mentor): Listen to the mentors. I made a lot of mistakes when first attending college, especially with my major since it can be really stressful. Mentors can really help with registering for classes but also with the actual coursework that you will be doing. The mentors have really been through it all and have learned how to deal with it.
If you are interested in being a Peer Mentor or Mentee visit the Odyssey Peer Mentoring Program website at http://peermentoring.kennesaw.edu/