This entry is part of a blog series. Student academic peer coaches were encouraged to write about their experiences working as an academic peer coach. Junior peer coach Saylor VanLith is the guest author of this post.

When I started peer coaching I had no clue what I was doing and that made me uncomfortable. I don’t like being in unfamiliar situations, and I was nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to coach someone because I wouldn’t know how to help them. However, the actual part of coaching someone went a lot better than I expected. Once we went over how to ask them questions and work with them I felt a lot more comfortable being with a stranger. I felt more confident that I would be able to help them.

The highlight of my peer coaching experience included participating in some service learning with the residents of Parkview Nursing home.  I just loved how we got to talk with the elderly and eat lunch with them. I loved listening to their conversations and hearing about their lives.

Image may contain: 3 people, people eating, people sitting, food and indoor

One unique part of peer coaching to me was how we worked in the library. I didn’t know that we would be helping out around the library. Something I learned through peer coaching was that you can always ask someone for help if you need it. Everyone in the library is friendly and easy to approach which makes asking for help a lot better. I am grateful for is being able to build relationships with the other peer coaches and library staff. Without the other peer coaches this experience wouldn’t have been half as good as it has been.

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