Ask a Mustang is a pop-up Q&A table hosted by the Office of Student Success and Retention, with volunteer support from staff and students. It’s located at popular student spots and serves as an informal platform for students to ask questions about all aspects of student life. Sessions are held at key points during the term, including the beginning of the semester, enrollment periods, and finals preparation.
Our first Ask a Mustang session this fall featured the SMU Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) and took place on September 5th and 6th in the morning hours at Fondren Library, near Starbucks. During this two-day event, we invited students to ask questions to SSR and the PALs, as well as share their SMU experiences.
We had a total of 44 student participants (6 first-year students, 10 sophomores, 8 juniors, 18 seniors, and 2 graduate students), many of whom shared insights on our question board: ‘What do you wish you knew before coming to SMU?’ and ‘What advice would you offer to new students?’ Here are some notes left by students:”
- “Study hard! You are not alone, reach out if you need help!”
- “Find out about SMU’s resources, they have everything!”
- “Don’t miss classes. Prioritize mental health. Have a balance.”
- “A-LEC provides tutoring and (professor) office hours are helpful too!”
- “Keep your priorities straight and focus on school and make good relationships with professors.”
- “Don’t wait until the last minute to start studying.”
We’ll have our second Ask a Mustang session during the enrollment period and the final round during the preparation for finals. We look forward to seeing you there!
p.s. Lesson learned – sometimes giving someone something free is not as attractive as asking for help. We attracted 10X students with the question, “Would you be willing to help new students” vs. “Would you like a free cookie? ”