Concordia's Welcome Crew is here for new students
Entering his final year at Concordia, Nabeel Chaumun is studying for a bachelor of science in health, kinesiology and applied physiology while specializing in athletic therapy. He has been part of the Welcome Crew since November, 2020, helping students transition smoothly into their first year.
'There is a group of people for everyone at Concordia.'
Take me back to your first semester at Concordia, what do you remember from those first few months?
I was so lost and had no idea what to do at all! Sometimes I felt pretty lonely and that only made things worse. But gradually I started to get the hang of things. I'm a mentor now, which is kind of crazy, but initially it was just a lot of confusion.
Why do you think having student mentors is important?
It's important because it really takes a lot of the guesswork out of things. New students don't have to go through what I did! Instead of going through the same difficulties I endured, they should ask one of us for help; someone who's a few years ahead of them to tell them how they dealt with new situations at Concordia.
At the very least it helps orient them in the right direction so they're better able to figure things out on their own.
As a mentor, in which ways do you usually help students adapt?
I get a lot of questions around the lines of, ‘how did you adapt to this course or with this professor?’ or ‘what are some study tips that you have for this course?’ There are also questions that are more student-life oriented, looking at what to do when not studying. I direct those people to different things happening on campus and different services. I would say that having a mentor is the best first stop you can have.
In addition to the examples you gave, what are some other common questions you get from new students?
There are a lot of questions about registration. We help students go through that process. Since campus is reopening, a lot of the questions are about how to get Opus cards, where to get student ID’s, and how to find classes. For international students, a lot of the questions I get have been about requirements for entering the country and adapting to campus.
A lot of students often struggle with making friends on campus. Do you have any advice?
There's no point in trying to put up a fake image. In a sense, you just have to be true to yourself and attract people who you think will be best for you. I wouldn't stress out too much because I truly believe that there is a group of people for everyone at Concordia. Just be authentic.
What advice would you give to those who will be starting their first semester at Concordia this fall?
Take initiative and try to be as active as possible because we've seen how unpredictable things can be with the pandemic. You really don't know what's going to happen the next day, so make the most of things so that you won’t have any regrets. Also, try to do one thing everyday, as small as it might be, to help improve your life in some way.
Visit the the Welcome Crew website for an in-depth overview of their services.