Rising above adversity
would be the first to admit that her own undergraduate career did not get off
to the greatest start. When she first arrived at Northern Arizona University
her sophomore year as a transfer student, Lydon found acclimating to life on
campus more difficult than she had expected.
start as a freshman, it’s easier to meet new people and make connections,”
Lydon says. “When I came in, that excitement had dwindled a bit. I was unaware of the resources available to me, and didn't make many
connections on campus.”
turning point came when Lydon formed relationships with two of her professors. Darby
Winterhalter Lofstrand, a lecturer in theatre performance, and Amy Criddle, a
lecturer in accounting, helped Lydon to realize that she had a strong,
motivational support base right here on campus.
really helped me feel like I could succeed,” Lydon says. “They were happy to be
in the classroom, which made me feel a lot more excited and comfortable to be there.”
A perfect fit
experiences inspired Lydon to become a mentor herself. After receiving an
e-mail detailing a new Peer Mentoring Program designed solely for transfer students, Lydon dedicated herself to
using her own experiences and lessons learned to aid transfer students in
similar positions as she was.
pretty excited after hearing about the mentor opportunity,” Lydon says. “I knew
my transition wasn’t the smoothest, so I was excited to help someone with
selected along with 13 other individuals to comprise the initial class of
transfer peer mentors. In her role, it is Lydon’s responsibility to meet with
students every two weeks and monitor their transition. Lydon stresses that
while she is there to offer advice on academics, she also makes it a priority
to establish meaningful social connections.
here is not just about school and education; that’s important, but there’s so
much more to it,” Lydon says. “The social part and finding ways to get
connected weighs on them. It’s about asking them how they’re getting connected,
whether they need help, and what I can do.”
having no prior mentoring experience, Lydon says she acclimated to the position
quickly, and that she thrives on assisting students to avoid the pitfalls that
plagued her first semester.
it was a little intimidating, but more than anything, it was really exciting,”
Lydon says. “I try to give advice or ask questions related to my experience.
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to get involved and make connections.”
experience to the next level
Lydon is already figuring out ways to
implement her experience into her marketing degree. Regardless of job title, Lydon’s goal is to
give back to the community.
could mentor in my job, that would be great,” Lydon says. “If I can’t implement
the mentoring and what I’ve learned, I would love to use it volunteering or
working with students.”
end, Lydon credits Northern Arizona University for helping her overcome these
issues and broaden her horizons while she continues to pursue her dreams.
say the university is helping me not only get to my goals, but always helping
me find new ones,” Lydon says. “Even though my transfer semester wasn’t really
smooth, I’ve learned so much more than I think I would learn anywhere else, and
I’m really grateful for that.”