The Importance of Mentorships for Students
By Ada Taylor
Meter Staff Writer
At one point or another, every single one of us has had to learn from those who came before us. After all, wisdom comes with experience, so we look to those who have had the experiences. This isn’t only true for fathers who can teach you how to play ball, but also for juniors, seniors, and graduates who have been where you are now. No matter what point you are in life, having a mentor can be nothing but beneficial.
As a freshman or sophomore, an upperclassman can help you navigate your way through college. They get it; it’s hard to juggle classes, a job, a social life and all of the things you’re involved with on campus. Mentors are people you can talk these things through with, get tips from, and maybe even a hook-up or two. After all, college isn’t just about the degree; it’s about the networking opportunities. This is why it’s smart to get a mentor with the same major as you, as they can typically introduce you to the same people who have helped them out along the way.
However, mentors aren’t only for underclassmen, and juniors and seniors could use one for many of the same reasons. The only difference is that these people tend to already work in the industry that the mentee wants to go into. These relationships are helpful for obvious reasons, but they are also helpful for the not-so-obvious ones too, like being a shoulder to lean on in a time of need.
Alexis Sommers is one person who knows this from experience.
“Someone close to me passed away, and I was a wreck. I wasn’t eating or going to class, and I was considering dropping out of school,” she says. “It was actually my mentor who was constantly checking on me, forcing me to do my homework, and who eventually convinced me to stay. I’ll always be grateful for that.”
It isn’t just the mentees who are grateful for the experience, but the mentors as well. One mentor, Mrs. Patricia Roads, says it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her adult life.
“I met Cynthia when she was a sophomore in high school, and I have had the pleasure of mentoring her for the past six years. I recently got to see her graduate college, and I have never been more proud.”
Mrs. Roads says she would recommend being a mentor to everyone, because “everyone has a story, and you never know who could benefit from hearing yours. Mentors change lives.”