First Year Ambassador Program helps new Pioneers find their footing in unfamiliar territory

As an incoming first year student, moving to college can be tough transition. The uncertainty of whether you made the right decision or how are you going to make friends is in the thoughts of those going into college. For most, moving to school is the first time they will be away from home.

I know it was for me when I arrived here in Lexington. Luckily, Transylvania University has a new program to combat these uncertainties, the First Year Ambassador Program.

The one-week program gives students a crash course into life here at Transy with 20 of their classmates. Its goal is to provide first year students with the information and tools needed to help their peers when move-in day rolls around in August; hence, the title “first year ambassadors.”

Students spend five days staying in a residence hall learning not only all about Transy, but also about Lexington and their fellow classmates. The ambassadors learn about Transy by meeting with financial aid staff and having lunch with professors.

They also bond with each other though fun activities: canoeing, a scavenger hunt around downtown Lexington, and a high ropes course at the Life Adventure Center. Think of this program as summer camp with more college preparation and less arts and crafts.

I was fortunate enough to be an ambassador in the program’s first year in 2018, and I tagged along last week with the program’s first ambassador class. After experiencing this program not only once, but twice, I can honestly say the introduction does something unique: it gives students a foundation of community for these students’ next four years at Transy.

Think of this program as summer camp with more college preparation and less arts and crafts.

– Taylen Henry ’22

The biggest benefit incoming students receive is making connections with their first year class, with Transy faculty and staff, and current students. Five intense days of activities allow these students to form friendships before they have even moved one box into their residence hall. These students get an inside peek of what a great community Transy has to offer, and turns their nerves into excitement.

The First Year Ambassador Program helps incoming students bond with each other though fun activities and college preparation.

I know that’s what happened for me when I was an ambassador. During my program, I met two people that would become some of my best friends. Last week, I got to forge connections with the incoming class, bridging the divide between first years and older students. These connections are ones I know will last for a long time, and I got to make them through a fun week of activities and eating great food. What can be better than that?

I know the transition from high school to college can be daunting, but I feel the First Year Ambassador Program does a fantastic job in making this jump less scary and more thrilling. I know other classmates of mine who didn’t participate in the program wished they did, as the ambassadors here at Transy truly live up to the name within their first year.

If you are an incoming first year who’s interested in attending one of the upcoming First Year Ambassador Programs, visit bit.ly/TUAmb23 to sign up today. Three sessions remain this summer:June 24-28, July 8-12 and July 22-26.


About the author: Taylen Henry ’22 works in the Transy communications office and will serve as an admissions ambassador beginning in the fall of 2019.