Sophomore tutors experience FYE in-person for first time

Tutors face unique challenges after taking FYE online in 2020

This year’s sophomore First-Year Experience (FYE) tutors are facing new challenges as they navigate the transition from online learning to in-person tutoring.

FYE peer tutors are students that have taken the class before and return to help other first-years through the experience. That includes helping the professor runs the class and providing students with guidance on their assignments, as Sarah Theuret, sophomore and peer tutor for the Nightmares We Create FYE, explains.

“I have office hours twice a week. It’s like three hours of office hours. They come and give me drafts, and I talk to them about their paper. Then I go to class and do attendance. Also, whenever they turn in their papers, I look over them and provide commentary,” Theuret said.

However, the fact that the peer tutors took the course online during their semester made the class a wholly different experience for them, and it has made being a peer tutor for in-person classes more difficult, as Tucker Craft, sophomore and peer tutor for the Inventing Mexico FYE, explains.

“The first time, I took it online and that was all well and good, but going through it in person, I feel like I’m learning alongside the students because there are things that I’m making up that just weren’t able to be conveyed online … So I genuinely feel that I’m learning and recently applying a lot of the concepts that I was introduced to,” Craft said.

In addition to not getting the in-person classroom experience, current sophomore peer tutors didn’t get to experience in-person office hours with their peer tutors.

“I didn’t know how I was supposed to interact during class. I didn’t know what office hours really looked like because I only went a couple of times and they were on Zoom … I never really had a role model because classes were online,” Theuret said.

And, as we have probably all experienced, talking in person is a lot different than talking on Zoom, so in-person office hours foster a much more in-depth conversation than what the sophomore peer tutors had during their semester.

“I never had in-person office hours online, so I’ve never done in-person office hours. So now offering in-person office hours, it’s such a drastically different experience because you have to be present in a space specifically. You have to stay in that space for that certain amount of time … it’s easier to just pop into online office hours, but in-person office hours, it’s often deeper or like interrogatory sessions, because it’s like, while I’m here I might as well get the most of it,” Craft said.

As students who have experienced the same class in two drastically different circumstances, FYE peer tutors are a unique example of how the pandemic has drastically altered students’ college experiences.