Students’ blog initiative provides insight for future students on transition to university life, online learning
Third-year students Lucy Poole and Amy Thompson know a thing or two about connections. The pair met in Mount Allison’s Campbell Hall residence in their first year and have been friends ever since. They are now partnering on a new project aimed to help prospective and current students navigate university life.
“We’ve both worked as campus ambassadors with the admissions office since last year,” explains Poole, an Economics and French student from Halifax, NS. “A big part of that job is giving campus tours to high school students and their families. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, we began brainstorming different ways to reach out to future students.”
Poole and Thompson are part of Mounties in the Making, a new blog series launched this academic year, written by current Mount Allison students for prospective students. Through the Welcome to College platform, Mounties in the Making has 15 students writing pieces regularly on a variety of topics about the University experience, everything from academics to dining hall hacks. Students drive the blog content in partnership with admissions staff who contribute their most asked questions from prospective students and families.
“It’s important to have multiple perspectives represented to help answer questions, students need to hear from other students as well the University,” says Thompson, who is majoring in psychology and with a biology minor and came to Mount Allison from Cornwall, PEI. “The Mounties in the Making blog includes students from all years of study from around the world.“
With the absence of in-person campus tours, the pair feels this medium is a good way for future students to learn more about university life. In addition to regular posts, the blog also features Mountie Chat, a live-chat option for future students to connect with current students directly to answer questions.
“We hope that the blog posts, and Mountie Chat, can help bridge the gap for future students since in person campus tours aren’t yet feasible,” says Poole. “As a campus ambassador, I found there were a lot of opportunities for conversations with future students and their families during tours. We’re working to find a way to make this information available to students through the blog.”
Thompson says learning about university life and how to navigate academics from upper-year students when she was starting university, and throughout her studies, has been invaluable.
“Hearing from upper-year students about academics and campus life is so helpful,” says Thompson. “Mounties in the Making features students from across disciplines and from different regions, both in residence and off-campus on topics such as online learning, life in Sackville, and the transition to university life and studies from high school. Coming soon to the blog will be posts about surviving winter in Sackville, a student’s experience transferring to MtA, and a day in the life of a residence student!”
With Mount Allison’s Virtual Open House scheduled for February 25-27, Poole and Thompson says future students can anticipate new posts on the blog relating to this event.
“Readers can expect to see new content about Open House, how to make the best of their experience here, even virtually, as well as tips on applying,” says Poole. “Even though classes and events look different this year, students should still take the opportunity to learn more about university life and ask questions. Our hope is that the Mounties in the Making blog will help answer some of these easily.”
Photo caption: Mounties in the Making bloggers and roommates Lucy Poole and Amy Thompson