Student Writing Mentors

Writer: Shelly Payne


It’s mid-semester, and assignments are piling up. You can always tell when those due dates are close by with the amount of students who fill every corner of the library, making it impossible to find a place to sit. This time is stressful for all students; writing essay after essay is exhausting and it requires a lot of perseverance and organisation. At the Writing Space in the library, Student Writing Mentors (SWM) are here to help you improve your writing. SWM are students just like you, typically in their second, third, or fourth year and can relate to all those stressful, confusing and frustrating moments.

This semester I have had the pleasure of being a Student Writing Mentor and I have chatted with many students about their study struggles and strategies. When I started working in this program, my expectation was that I was only going to help other students improve their writing, but as time went on, I learnt that a significant part of the program is about connecting with my peers. Human beings are social creatures, for the most part, who learn from one another. One of the ways we gain knowledge is through social interaction and sharing stories about our study strategies.

What I’ve come to realise is that many students don’t know what the space is all about. The Writing Space is a place for students to talk with other students who can help improve their writing skills. You can ask for help for something as specific as referencing or something as general as grammar. Like any skill, we are all at different levels and all need different help.

In one of our development workshops, our program manager explained that one of the main reasons for students dropping out of university is that they felt like they didn’t belong. In response to this, Victoria University (VU) created the program for students to feel supported by their peers. The program was built with the aim to create a space where students could come and talk to a student just like themselves. For many students asking for help from a lecturer can be daunting; the Writing Space creates a more relaxed vibe.

One of the most rewarding aspects of working in this program is when a student leaves the Writing Space feeling a little more relaxed and connected to their studies. I encourage anyone who is interested in improving their writing or feels like they can’t talk to their lecturer to visit us in the Writing Space.

For Writing Space locations and times, or if you are interested in any mentoring positions at VU, please visit the link below:

Shelly is studying a Bachelor of Professional and Creative Writing at Victoria University.

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