My Cool Mom Era
In the three-plus years I've been at Dartmouth, I've been really privileged to participate in so many forms of mentorship, at first as a mentee and now as a wise old person (aka senior)! I think the most fulfilling form of mentorship I've done so far, though, is getting to be an undergraduate advisor, or UGA, this academic year. During students' time at Dartmouth, they will live with UGAs who serve as resources for them and help build community wherever they're living on campus. I'm a First-Year UGA, which is an extra-special role: I'm tasked with living with 26 first-years and helping them transition into Dartmouth through weekly floor meetings and one-on-one interactions. As a School House First-Year UGA, this term I live in the Choates cluster of dorms, which is always a first-year cluster. In fact, I lived in another building in this cluster my freshman year, so it's good to be back!
I make sure my residents are able to reach out to me with questions about literally anything — roommate or facilities issues, trouble with choosing classes, what the good restaurants in town are, or just to gossip about our lives. I also get to plan formal and impromptu events for my residents, so that I can get quality time with them and they can get to know their fellow floormates, as well as the rest of School House. So far, that's included course selection office hours, a dinner at Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, apple picking, and lots of Domino's pizza!
Even in a mentorship position like this one, I'm still learning so much from my team of fellow first-year and upperclassmen UGAs in School House. We spent two weeks together in training before the start of fall term, and we finish off our weekly meetings by giving kudos to each other. These kudos can be for specific ways they've influenced us, favors they've done, celebrating their accomplishments, or for just being amazing... so I tend to give out a LOT of kudos. Being a UGA isn't always easy, but I'm so thankful to have my team as a community and a support base.
I love being a "cool mom" to my residents because they know they can rely on me this first year. Even if it's cringey, I wouldn't have it any other way!