Student Survivors: Most Common Challenges

September 3, 2015 - Chelsey Thorpe

Yay! Our first Student Survivors piece comes from our very own PLFs!

(Click HERE for more info on our re-occurring blog topics.)

Pre-Semester Training for our Peer Learning Facilitators (PLFs) takes place on the Friday before each new academic semester. A portion of this semester’s training was devoted to introducing the Student Survivors blog series to the PLFs. It is important for our PLFs to be involved in this blog series because, first and foremost, they are student survivors themselves. Although not all of the PLF’s are STEM majors, they are hired as subject experts in STEM courses as a result of their exceptional performance when they took the serviced course.

In small groups, the PLFs brainstormed obstacles they have faced in pursuing their degrees. These were the most common challenges faced by our student employees:PLFtraining

  1. Financial struggle
  2. Community building
  3. College preparedness
  4. Stress management
  5. Time management
  6. Imposter syndrome

It was important to discuss these subjects as a group for two reasons. First, in sharing with their peers, the PLFs realized that they had a great deal in common with one another. This is important because it builds a sense of community and belonging, a key aspect of success. Second, the PLFs will go forward into the semester with the understanding that the students in the courses they are serving are also struggling to survive university life. You never know what obstacle a student is trying to overcome and a little compassion and understanding can go a long way. This idea will inform the PLF’s interactions with students both in the classroom during office hours.

The Student Survivors blog series will be looking at these and other obstacles students face in more detail in the coming weeks. So, stay tuned!