Peer Guide program offers affirming space for undergrads to discuss personal well-being

The Center for Student Well-being offer Peer Guide programming
Peer guides provide support and guidance to fellow undergraduate students through individual well-being coaching sessions and group facilitation. (Vanderbilt University)

In addition to the numerous staff-facilitated Student Care Network initiatives, events and resources, the Center for Student Wellbeing offers undergraduate students the opportunity to connect with well-versed peers in a caring, judgment-free space. The Peer Guide program is an excellent fit for undergrads looking to enhance their well-being practices.

Who are peer guides?

Peer guides are Vanderbilt undergraduate well-being coaches and facilitators. Peer guides provide support and guidance to fellow undergraduate students through individual well-being coaching sessions and group facilitation.

“My experience as a peer guide has shown me the impact of being there for someone else,” undergraduate student Kate Spears said. “Students come in for coaching because they want to make a change in their lives, but they also want to feel understood and supported as they figure things out. In that way, being a peer guide isn’t about giving advice—it’s about listening without judgment, providing encouragement and validation, asking meaningful questions, offering fresh perspective, and ultimately just being there for the student.”

How is peer guide coaching different from Center for Student Wellbeing staff coaching?

Peer guides offer collegial guidance, a shared understanding of Vanderbilt and the student experience, and non-judgmental peer support and connection. It can be helpful to converse with someone who has experienced similar situations and feelings. One-on-one coaching includes topics such as emotional well-being, time management, life transitions and social support.

Why meet with a peer guide?

Peer guides can help you enhance stress-relief skills, learn organizational strategies, hone time-management abilities, develop healthy sleep habits and much more.

What programming can peer guides facilitate?

Topics include mindfulness and meditation; an overview of the Student Care Network and Center for Student Wellbeing; stress management and self-care; finding help for yourself or a friend; resilience; academic skills; and other general well-being topics. If you’re interested in a peer guide-facilitated program, please submit the Student Care Network outreach request form.

“I was amazed by the talent of the peer guides when they led a meditation session for students and Ambassa’dores in the Next Steps program,” said Rincon Jagarlamudi, mental well-being chair for the Next Steps Ambassa’dores. “The guides did a wonderful job of constructing a calming and welcoming environment for everyone to relieve stress. Many students and Ambassa’dores were surprised by how relaxed they felt following the meditation session. It was a wonderful experience for our entire group.”

Peer Guide programming is available at the following times:

Mondays: Noon–2:30 p.m.

Wednesdays: 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 4–5 p.m.

Thursdays: 11 a.m.–1 p.m., 1:30–3:30 p.m.

Fridays: 9–11 a.m.

To schedule a peer guide coaching appointment, email or call 615-322-0480. For questions about the Peer Guide program, contact