South Africa: Motivating Mondays and Flourishing Fridays Keep Students On Track

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) students’ Residence Mentor Council and the Academic Representative Council (ARC) have teamed up for the first time to promote student well-being and success within the residence sector, encapsulated in the Motivating Mondays and Flourishing Fridays online series.

Recognising that students need a range of support to succeed academically, the councils have launched two programmes: Motivating Mondays and Flourishing Fridays. These free weekly 30-minute online sessions equip students with tools and strategies to manage student life.

The initiative will offer students the opportunity to connect with residence coaches, mentors, and tutors to discuss academic strategies, tips and tried and tested methods to keep them focused, committed and resilient.

Motivating Mondays encourage students in their drive for academic success. Flourishing Fridays offer inclusive and nurturing conversations to help students flourish and achieve well-being. These sessions will be held every Monday and Friday from 13:00 to 13:30.

Mentorship is key

“These initiatives are based on empirically derived, researched learning outcomes that inform an emerging Res Life co-curriculum,” said Frank Karigambe, the coordinator of Governance and Programme Support (first tier) at UCT’s Residence Life Division.

“With this collaboration and expansion of our network with the ARC, students can benefit from having multiple mentors.”

“The outcomes include increased capacity for positivity, engagement, life-enhancing connections, meaning, a sense of accomplishment, and vitality. Students are also equipped to handle setbacks, remain interested in academic projects over longer periods, commit more effort to their academics, and to stick to their academic goals.”

The role of mentorship to this initiative is key, said Joy Irakoze of the Residence Mentor Council.

“A mentor-mentee relationship is a unique one,” said Irakoze. “As they say, it takes a village to raise a child to be successful. So, it is with mentorship. Mentors at the university give students the crucial personal help they need as they adjust to the academic, social and residential aspects of university life.

“With this collaboration and expansion of our network with the ARC, students can benefit from having multiple mentors, each offering unique skills and experiences that promote success in each of their lives.”

Adding to this, Surprise Mphofu and Luke Davis of the ARC said, “Don’t be a Jack of all trades but a master of nothing. Strive to be excellent in everything you do. When it becomes difficult, do remember that academics are a system created by humans so it’s nothing beyond what is possible and nothing beyond your ability.”

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