My Favorite Memories at FUS: AMx2

"Every great achiever is inspired by a great mentor" -Lailah Gifty Akita, Ghanaian Author. 
Welcome back or welcome to Adventures at Franklin! This post is the last of a 3 part series where I reflect on my favorite memories at FUS. Feel free to check out part 1 on Orientation, and part 2 on Academic Travel, in case you want to read about my other favorite memories :)
My time at FUS is almost over. I have 2 weeks left! One of the best things I have done at FUS is be an Academic Mentor (AM). In fact, the first time was so good, I had to do it twice! (No in reality I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do it twice 😂). AMs helps new students transition to university life. AMs are a part of the First Year Seminar program, which is designed to introduce new students to the demands of university academics. AMs also help with orientation as student leaders, and will always be happy to support new students. Here are some of my favorite memories from my experiences.

Training Week/The AM Team: 
Training week occurs the week before orientation starts. One main purpose is to prepare the mentors for situations which may arise in the semester. We did workshops on course registration advising, library and research, editing and reviewing papers etc. The other main purpose is to create a team dynamic among mentors. I was lucky to work with a great AM team for both years. We ate together, shared stories, and played games together. 

Orientation: 
I already wrote relatively extensively about my experience as an AM during orientation in my orientation post. Here is a short excerpt about my thoughts: 
"I enjoyed being a mentor more than being a new student. Although the experience as a new student is fun, it is very hectic and new students are stuffed with so much information about classes and life at FUS in such a little time. As a mentor, we already know how things at FUS work, so I could instead focus on helping out wherever I was needed. Furthermore as an AM, my schedule was relatively flexible. I did need to be somewhere every now and now (AMs are in charge of the placement tests, giving tours to parents, helping with course registration and FYS meetings), but for the most part I was able to float around, help out where I was needed, and meet new people."

Helping/getting to know new students:
I really enjoy helping new students, as being a freshmen is a daunting task. I remember it took my a long time before I figured out the little tips and tricks to surviving at university, and I wanted to share them with others so that their path may be easier than mine. One thing I found surprising was that it was not just my mentees who I would help. I let all the new students I met know that they can ask me if they ever needed help, and I would try to help them. Some of my neighbors asked me for help with things, such as how to work the laundry machine and where we throw our cardboard for recycling. Others asked me about course registration/selection, budgeting meal plans, places to shop at, study spots etc. I really feel like I made an impact in a lot of people's lives which of course makes me proud. 
FUS also attracts people from all different walks of life, and so I love hearing their stories. Many of my closest friends I've met have come as a direct result of my experience as an AM. 

Planning Class Activities/Final Showcase: 
One of the biggest benefits when planning for a class activity or the final showcase, is that I am also a student so I can really gage for what may and may not work. For any activities that I led, I always tried to make them interactive and engaging. As a result, the end product was always something that I was proud of because it was fun, and my mentees and I had fun doing the activities. 
I enjoy creating plans, and seeing them being executed brings me a lot of joy. My first year, virtually all my ideas came to fruition in the way I envisioned them. My second year, many of my ideas ended up being very different from how I first wanted them, but it was still a fun process. 

Final Thoughts: 
Overall, the Academic Mentor experience was extremely rewarding. The experience provided me with so many great memories, so many opportunities, and so many friends. I recommend this position and any other student mentor positions to anyone interested in helping new students, working with a professor, and or challenging themselves to work beyond the classroom. 

Come back to Adventures at Franklin this time next week for another post! For that, I'll be covering why I chose to study at FUS. It's a fitting topic as I'll be entering my final week as an FUS student ;) 

Until then, take care and stay healthy.

A presto,
Asa

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