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12 March 2021

Four reasons why you should chat to a peer mentor today

If you’ve ever received help from a peer mentor, you’ll know how important these programs and relationships can be. A peer mentor may mean the difference between you passing and failing a subject, getting through a rough patch, or simply navigating something new and different that you’ve encountered at uni.

If you haven’t met with a peer mentor at Deakin yet, it might be difficult to know how a mentoring program can help you and which one is suitable for your needs. Whether you’re new to university or you’re in need of some advice in relation to a tricky unit or assignment, there’s many ways in which a peer mentor could benefit you. 

I’m new to university this trimester and I want to learn about how to make a great start to my blended studies. 

‘The platform [DeakinSync] can feel like a lot when you first get started,’ said Larissa Wright, a Cloud Campus student and Success Coach.

‘I recommend finding time before the trimester starts to browse DeakinSync, and give yourself time to look around the unit sites for your subjects before your first week starts. I create a document with a combined list of my class times, assignment due dates, and any other important notes for all my subjects, so I can access all that info in one place.’

Deakin hosts a range of programs to guide your transition into uni life, led by peer mentors like Larissa. 

See the Students Helping Students Hub for more information about Deakin’s various peer mentor opportunities.

I want to talk to someone about a subject I’m doing – I’m struggling to understand the content and my first assignment is looming! 

For help with a specific unit of study, join a PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) group led by a student who has previously completed the unit with high marks. It’s also a good opportunity for you to chat about your work with other students outside of a formal class setting, and ask any questions you like.

‘PASS sessions will allow you to talk through any problems you’re having and connect with other students undertaking that unit,’ said student and PASS Leader Liz Mulvany.

‘We don’t just go over the unit content, we cover so much more: How do you reference properly? How do I unpack difficult problems? What are good ways to note take? Where can I find extra support if I need it? How do I get the most out of my online resources?’

During T1, all PASS sessions will take place online. You can check to see if your unit has PASS sessions now by accessing the T1 PASS timetable.

I don’t understand how to reference my assignment. 

‘It is important to remember that independent learning does not mean being unsupported,’ said Jess Hay, a Bachelor of Forensic Science (Hons) student and one of Deakin’s Writing Mentors.

‘Reach out for assistance, even if it is just getting someone to listen to your ideas or bounce ideas off.’

Writing Mentors are all-rounders who can help you with unpacking assignment questions, researching, academic writing, referencing and time management. You can drop in at specified times for Writing Mentors sessions this trimester.

I’m studying maths/science and I want to chat to someone about equations. 

‘The most common problems students have are confidence issues,’ Maths Mentor and chemistry student Daniel Coomber said recently.

‘A lot of students … will have a very good idea of what they are meant to be doing, but they will just mess up one step in a question because they are not confident about their answer. Then solving the whole problem goes wrong.’

Maths Mentors will help you build your confidence to complete maths assignments and can refer you to helpful resources that will strengthen your skills. Attend a Maths Mentors drop-in session this trimester.

Want more information? Visit the Current Students website for more information about Deakin’s Students Helping Students programs.

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