New Students: Countdown to BioLaunch
Put yourself in the shoes of a new UC Davis student. It's your first day; you've just arrived on campus, excited and eager to start your Aggie experience. But where do you even begin? How do you find your place among nearly 6,000 other College of Biological Sciences undergraduates?
The BioLaunch Mentor Collective helps make the transition to the UC Davis campus easier for freshmen and transfer students. New students are paired with a returning UC Davis student, who can offer them advice and support across many areas of campus life.
"Since I transferred from a small community college, I was worried about the size of the campus and Davis, and I didn't really know where my classes were or where I would go for resources, and the whole size was very daunting," said Jannerfer An, who joined BioLaunch as a mentee.
An, a biological sciences student, was paired with evolution, ecology and biodiversity student Lauren Watson. The two exchanged messages online, Watson answering any questions An asked about UC Davis. Eventually, the two met and a friendship formed. Not only did Watson answer questions from An, but An answered questions from Watson.
"I've actually learned a lot from my mentee," says Watson. "She's taken some courses that I haven't taken yet and I've taken courses that she hasn't taken yet, so there's like a great reciprocity between the two of us."
An had such a great experience with the program that she's returning as a mentor this year.
"I decided to become a mentor because I received so much help from Lauren that I just want to pass it on," she says.