My name is Jared, and I am a 3rd year student in the Accounting and Financial Management program at the University of Waterloo. This term I signed up to be an upper-year mentor, and I just thought that I would share my experiences with the role.
I initially signed up to be an upper-year mentor because I had a lot of help from upper years during my transition to university, and I wanted to help the first years with their transition -- especially during this time when they had to transition to in-person classes. It was a big change going into my first year of university and having someone that you can ask any questions to was very comforting.
Meeting with the first year students reminded me of how much time has passed since I first came to the University of Waterloo. It is hard to believe that it has already been two years and that I am considered to be the one with the experience now. It seems like just yesterday that I was thinking about how I was going to spend my last summer term, and I am now in my 3rd year of university with 2 co-op experiences under my belt, answering questions that I might have asked during my first year -- absolutely surreal. I think that it is really important to take a look back to get a perspective on how far you have come and being an upper-year mentor has helped me to realize that. It can be easy to get caught up in what is going on right now and your plans for the future, but sometimes it is nice to look at the things that you have done and how you have learned from your mistakes.
Overall, I found the role very fulfilling as I have always enjoyed helping people, and it is especially nice when the people you are helping are going through the same experiences you have. And in just two short years, these first year students that I have been talking to will be in my position, perhaps trying to help the next batch of students with their transition to university.