First 40: Mentoring matters

Lynn students gain valuable skills during their transition to college life.

Students discover strengths during event in de Hoernle Sports and Cultural Center

College provides all students—whether they come from in state, out of state or out of country—with freedom they typically never had before. In many cases, college is the beginning of adulthood, allowing students the opportunity to grow and experience life independently.

Lynn University’s Center for Student Involvement created a program designed to help them do just that. The First 40 engages students in a six-week (40-day) extracurricular experience that helps incoming students transition into college life—and the decisions that come with it.

Here are the top five lessons students took away from the First 40:

  1. Establish willpower and mental toughness.
    The first step toward making healthy decisions during college is developing personal willpower and mental toughness. Wendi Blum, a prominent author, motivational speaker and life coach, shared her advice for building skills in these areas.

    Activities including Leaders Lunch, Adulting 101 and I Amaze Me also helped students perfect critical thinking that supports healthy, independent decisions.

  2. Discover yourself.
    College provides endless opportunities for students to learn more about themselves. During the program’s Epic Adventure series, students analyzed their personal identities. By sharing strengths and weaknesses, students discovered how they naturally contribute to a diverse and encouraging environment.

  3. Develop a teamwork mentality.
    Total independence can quickly impact a new student’s education, social life and future careers. The First 40 helped students understand time management and discover the importance of collaboration and reliability. These skills help students forge meaningful relationships on a foundation of trust.

    Local musician Bree Gordon demonstrated the principles of teamwork during the Rhythm-Based Accountability event where students learned to rely on one another to perform a successful drum circle.

  4. Take the time to get to know others.
    Relationships matter, especially for students experiencing an entirely new environment. The First 40 included several on-campus activities that helped Lynn students meet, interact and build relationships with peers from around the world. Social activities helped students create everlasting friendships within their first month of school.

    “The First 40 was a really good opportunity to dive deeper in yourself and find what you and others are most passionate about,” said Joshua Keller, a Lynn freshman.

  5. Grow your connections with on-campus employees.
    The First 40 provided opportunities for students to meet employees from 11 campus departments. These connections not only allow students the opportunity to learn campus policies and procedures, but also establish valuable mentorship opportunities that can assist students in continued personal growth.

“For many students, Lynn will resemble a home away from home for years to come,” said Jaclyn Kuwik Buttacavoli, assistant director, student involvement. “We designed this program to welcome students to our family, help them identify resources available to them and generally get a positive start to college life. We met a lot of inspired and inspiring students, and we’re looking forward to helping them grow in the years to come.”

For more information about the First 40 program, contact Kuwik.

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