Almost 1,000 students have moved into Humber residence on North campus since mid August. Another 400 took to the Lakeshore campus residences. All of them are experiencing a milestone which can be stressful as well as exciting, according to college staff who work with resident students.
“I think the best way to help ease first-year students into the big transition is letting them know they are not alone,” said Rebeca Mahadeo, the student life co-ordinator of Humber’s First-Year Experience program.
The program, better known as FYE, is designed specifically to help first-year students through their transition into college life. This year it has matched up more than 670 new students with upper year students who are in similar academic programs. These mentors provide support and guidance to help make newcomers feel more comfortable.
“It can be an overwhelming experience for first-year students because they might not know where to go for help or where to even start,” said Mahadaeo. “There is so much support at Humber and the FYE team genuinely wants to help with their transition.”
“We focus on letting students know that they can come to RAs (Residence Assistants) for help,” Humber RA Amy Nyp said.
RAs are mandated to be at the front line as the social convenors of their floor, the counsellors, and facilitators.
And this year Humber residence is taking a more personal approach by introducing a new Transition Support Model that includes regular one-on-one meetings between residents and RAs.
“It’s more about getting to know students on a personal level and to get to know everyone as a family,” Nyp said. “We want to make you feel at home here in residence.”
Residence Life manager Phil Legate says that this less formal, more personal relationship between RAs and residents will allow them to understand each student’s needs.
Legate also recommends that students talk with their RA if they’re experiencing any difficulty.
“RAs are trained to ask the right questions so the student can get a sense of what it is that is hanging them up or bogging them down.”
Humber has also launched a new website initiative called We Got You, which provides links to resources and services such as counselling, residence and financial aid on campus.
Full details of We Got You and FYE can be found at www.humber.ca/student-life and www.humber.ca/first-year-experience.