One of the most important prerequisites for successful learning of freshmen is their timely adaptation to the studying in higher education institution. The first year can be a fulcrum for a student, and can lead to various changes in behaviour, communication and learning, because during the first year of studying the attitude of a young person to learning, future profession, self-realization develops. In order for yesterday’s pupils to successfully pass adaptation was implemented at I. Horbachevsky Ternopil National Medical University, the project “Mentors”.
Senior students, mentors, with a sincere desire to help, explain the wards the lifestyle and university rules, talk about creative and volunteer projects, support and answer questions.
Ivanna Rehalova is a project mentor, 5th year student of the Faculty of Pharmacy. She helps to set the right goals based on the desires of freshmen and achieve them in the best way, encourages active living inside and outside the university.
Life credo: “Thoughts are material, so if you haven’t got something yet, it only means that you don’t want it badly”
– Ivanna, what do you like the most about your chosen profession?
– Health is the greatest value of a person; medicines and drugs are the way to recovery. I really like the knowledge and understanding of how to get, what to do and how to use the substance or a combination thereof. I think it’s just really valuable and something that gives strength and advantage.
– What motivated you to be a mentor?
– This project is a very interesting experience; every time I remember myself as a freshman, so I tell students how to respond during classes, analyse, discuss, express their point of view, defend it. And when I had an opportunity to become a friend and a mentor to a first-year student, of course, the answer was “Yes”. I’m glad when I have something to convey and share.
– What do you share with students? What do you tell and teach the freshmen?
– I remember the information the first-year students lack, which was not clear at the beginning of my studies, so I have a work plan. Our conversations are not limited to questions: “What to learn for a class?”. As a large team, there are plenty of common interests: hobbies, to life views and other issues. Of course, there was a lot of talk about how to prepare for classes, seminars, and how to understand and remember a lot of information at once.
I developed a list of textbooks and Internet resources that were useful to me, talked about new opportunities for their implementation and development at the university: volunteering, research and social activities.
– What problems do students share with you and do you always manage to help them?
– There were only minor student problems with the inability to join the class, the algorithm for rework for the missed classes and the need to explain again how to use ASU. Each issue has a plan for its solution, and there were no very challenging situations.
– What are your expectations from the project? Were there any fears and worries?
– There was a fear that my knowledge and experience would not be enough to help freshmen, as well as the feeling that I will not be able to make friends with them, fortunately, the fears were just fears. And it’s very pleasing!
I wanted to try myself in such a new role as “Aunt Owl”, and it’s very exciting to share experience, information and knowledge, advise and support. This inspires me to continue working and studying.
– How do you communicate with the wards during quarantine?
– Last year, all communication was online that allows being always in a chat. This year we are happy to learn offline, work on the projects face to face, and finally see each other and work together.
– What would you advise to the students involved in the project?
– Not to be afraid of problems and difficulties, because they make you stronger.
Solomiia Hnatyshyn, TNMU Journalist