Peer mentors give first-year students leg up at BYU

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BYU’s more than 30,000 enrolled students may feel like an overwhelming number to some incoming BYU freshman. 

Every freshman student at BYU is assigned a mentor. These mentors are experienced students that aim to answer questions, give information about BYU resources and talk about student life in general.

First Year Mentors are trained upperclassmen that help guide BYU students through their first fall and winter semesters.

One such first year mentor is BYU sophomore Brenna McBride. McBride currently mentors 45 students.

“I get to help people know that they’re cared for,” McBride said. “Because I do really care for each one of my students. And I get so excited any time I see them.”

McBride said she makes an effort to connect with each of her students as often as possible and be their friend through their new college experiences.

“It’s just really cool getting to be with them and getting to spend time with them and learn from them because I learn from them just as much as I feel like I teach them or mentor them,” McBride said.

First Year Mentors provide students with support in their studies and social life while giving them information about BYU resources.

“I think that one of the coolest things I’ve learned about BYU is how much they care for their students because there are so many resources available,” McBride said.

First Year Mentor Jillian Bunderson explained her peer mentor was highly influential in her first year at BYU.

“To have someone on the outside to just, like, talk to and kind of discuss the problems I was facing was so beneficial for me,” Bunderson said.

Bunderson said she hopes to be the same kind of resource to her students as her mentor was to her.

“I’m not their mom. I don’t have a certain life plan for them,” Bunderson explained. “I just want them to succeed in whatever way they see success to be.”

First year students can find their mentors on the First Year Experience website. Students who wish to become a mentor can also find information on the First Year Experience website.

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