You Need a Mentor
Even if you’re not shy, sometimes it feels a little awkward to build a relationship with an adult who isn’t a relative. But finding a mentor during high school is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Here are a few quick tips if you need help finding someone you can turn to for advice about school, family, careers – anything!
Who Can My Mentor Be?
Anyone! If there’s a teacher, coach, guidance counselor, religious leader or club organizer you really admire, you can try to build a mentor-mentee relationship with them. Your mentor can even be an upperclassman or a college student – it’s all about finding someone you feel comfortable with and think you can learn from.
What’s My Mentor Supposed to Teach Me?
Your mentor isn’t there to help you memorize algebraic formulas or battle dates (though they could, if you asked them to). The person you choose acts as a sort of role model for you, giving advice when you need it, setting a good example, and helping you grow as a person. It doesn’t sound too flashy, but it’s true – your mentor will help you in ways you may not notice right away, but over time, you’ll realize what a huge role they played in making you a mature, confident, successful adult.
In the short term, your mentor is someone you can go to if you’re having academic or personal problems, someone who can suggest colleges or classes, and someone who can help with the college application process. Your mentor could even tell you about scholarships you've never heard of or write you a college recommendation letter.
It’s Way too Awkward to Ask Someone to be My Mentor
We agree. Unless you’re pretty fearless, approaching a teacher or coach and asking them to mentor you is intimidating. Luckily, there’s another way to find a mentor without feeling weird about it. Start visiting the person you look up to regularly during their office hours. If they’re an older student, ask if you can get together over coffee or lunch to chat. Make it a habit to have one-on-one conversations with these individuals regularly and you’ll soon easily develop a mentor-mentee relationship.
Make it your goal to find at least one person you can call a mentor this year. There are plenty of interesting, accomplished people in your life, but it’s up to you to get out there and build those relationships.