Meet Evelyn, a third-year Innisian and co-chair of the InSIGHT peer mentorship program!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What year are you in and what are you studying?
Hey Innis, what’s up? My name is Evelyn and I’m a third-year student studying psychology and creative writing. These two things are definitely my main passions in life: being able to understand other people, and writing about worlds that are entirely my own.
What’s your favourite thing about Innis?
I love the people at Innis most of all. They are what truly made me happy to be part of this college. Also, Innis is a cool sounding name. And we have a cool coat of arms.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
Honestly, I’d like to be someplace where it’s always cold! If I could take a long walk in the snow and trees right now, that would be wonderful. This September heat is just unbearable.
Favourite course you’ve taken so far?
That’s a tricky one, but I’d have to say that personality psychology was a very inspiring class. It covered a lot of topics that tend to be difficult to talk about, and I really learned a lot about myself. The readings, however, were abysmal and took me 1000 years to finish, so I can’t recommend that part of the course…
Best study spot around campus?
For sure EJ Pratt Library. It’s surrounded by nature and it has great lightning; I’m pretty much there every day! Graham Library is also lovely, since it has fireplaces and comfy chairs.
What are you involved in outside of the classroom?
Aside from mentorship, you can find me at the AC, reading up on climate change, or volunteering at Caffiends, Victoria College’s student run coffee shop!
What is your role with InSIGHT?
This year, I have the honour of being one of the leaders of InSIGHT, and I could not be more excited! As co-chair, I get to help plan and coordinate all of our awesome events and make sure that we’re fostering the best mentor-mentee relationships as possible.
What has your experience with InSIGHT or any other mentorship program at Innis been like?
My experiences with UofT mentorship have been very positive. During my first year I was in a philosophy FLC, and it was like being a part of a small family on campus. Then, in my second year, I was a mentor for InSIGHT. I got to guide a first-year student during her transition into university and help her feel more connected and cared for. It was really worthwhile to be able to do that.
How do you think mentorship helps not just first-years, but students? Why is it important?
I think mentorship is a fantastic way to make a difference in someone’s life. For first years, someone decides to take a compassionate interest in your journey here at U of T, and so much confidence and inspiration can be brought out because of that. And for mentors, it’s a way to better understand ourselves and develop as leaders. Sometimes we don’t realize how much we’ve changed as students till we stop and reflect on our experiences, and so mentorship lets us do that in a way that also positively impacts another person’s life. How amazing is that?
Do you have a mentor?
Right now, I technically don’t, but I’d like to consider all of the students in my life who take the time to share their experiences and encouragement with me as my “unofficial mentors.”
Any advice for first-year Evelyn?
My advice is to not be afraid to open up to other people. Once you have the courage to do that, a whole world of possibility awaits! I don’t think I could have made it this far at U of T if I kept bottling myself up, so I really encourage you to talk to other people and try new things. It can be terrifying at first, but the results are so worthwhile.