weCONNECTu is a program that is run by the Applied Health Sciences (AHS) faculty to facilitate relationships and mentorship between first-year and upper-year AHS students. It is a one-to-one mentorship program that provides both personal and academic support to individuals in their first-year, as well as refers them to services and resources available on campus.
The main goal of weCONNECTu is to connect students with mentors who can aid them in developing skills such as studying, as well as meeting more students within AHS by attending faculty run workshops and events together.
The program has had exceptional success in making the transition into first year easier for a plethora of students. In order to learn a little bit more about the program and the impact it has on the first-year community, I caught up with Alyssa Ruby. Alyssa is a first-year student in the Kinesiology co-op program who got involved with the weCONNECTu program as a mentee at the beginning of her first year.
1. What motivated you to join the weCONNECTu program?
I wanted to get more connected with upper-year students. I hoped they would be able to advise me and provide me with helpful tips for first year and university life in general.
2.What have you gained academically from the mentee experience?
Through this experience, I have been able to attend the extra help sessions that are provided just for first year AHS students. Those have definitely helped to give me more practice with subjects like chemistry and physics. My mentor has also been able to share a lot of studying tips with me that I have found very useful, especially during exam season!
3.Did you make a connection with your mentor? What did you find most valuable about the one on one partnership?
Yes! I definitely did make a connection with my mentor. Whenever I have questions related not only to academics, but also university life, I ask her! She has been, and continues to be, great guidance for me. What I found most valuable was that she was not only able to give me advice, but shared personal stories about her first year experiences with me as well. I also really valued that she was always open to answering whatever questions I had about university.
4.What is a highlight for you from your weCONNECTu experience?
The first time that I met my mentor, Cindy. Just from going out for coffee together for an hour already made me feel so much more connected to my faculty and other students. She also shared with me many resources that I was unaware of beforehand, like the tutoring sessions for example.
5.What do you feel has been your biggest victory or sign of success as a result of this program?
I feel that my biggest sign of success has been the improvement in my grades. This program and my mentor have really helped me to learn what studying methods work best for me.
6.What advice or words of encouragement do you have for someone debating joining the weCONNECTu program?
I would say to definitely join! There’s no obligation to be apart of the program the whole semester and all the mentors are very approachable and knowledgeable. There is definitely a lot to gain from this experience!
There is a wide variety of peer mentorship programs available for students in all years and programs at UWaterloo. Check out the full list of programs and apply to be a mentor or mentee in your next term.