Viewpoint: Student leaders help new students where Baylor faculty, staff fall short

By Linda Nguyen

Baylor has a great new student program. From orientation though one’s first year, Baylor offers students plenty of opportunities to acclimate to the university. One of these resources is student leaders.

Student leaders are sometimes easily overlooked.

As a former Welcome Week leader and Peer Leader, but also an impressionable freshman, I like to think I can understand both sides.

One the one hand, it’s intimidating enough and overwhelming enough as a freshman to acclimate to a new environment with new people, living away from home.

Resources are sort of thrown at you and you don’t really know what to do with it all, but on the other hand, as a Welcome Week leader and especially a Peer Leader, I understand having a desire to serve the freshman class but then feeling like I’m not really doing anything.
Student leaders are easier to approach than faculty members who may be intimidating.

Student leaders also have a more recent view of the constant pressures of being a college student. Many times they can give advice about managing a difficult course load, work and extracurricular activities.

Freshmen, however, rarely ever seek out our perspective on anything. As student leaders, we’re there to help, but we can’t help if we don’t know.

It doesn’t stop with Peer Leaders and Welcome Week leaders either. Club officers don’t say they’re constantly available just for the heck of it. They really are here to help.

As an upperclassman, I love talking to freshman, giving my perspective and getting to know them. I know almost all my peers are the same way.

As freshmen, you don’t have to isolate yourselves with other freshmen. Utilize the resources afforded to you by older students and older student leaders.

No one’s perfect, but at the very least, they can offer you some crazy stories about things during their freshman year.

Linda Nguyen is a junior neuroscience major from Missouri City. She is the copy desk chief for the Lariat.