You know that feeling, when you go to the circus and there are so many acts that your heart just bubbles up with exhilaration and wonder and sheer happiness, simply due to the abundance of opportunities you’re presented with to see something spectacular, and at the same time you’re overwhelmed because you want to see every single act be successful. Yeah? Now take that amazing muddle of feelings and just let it fill you to the very brim, until your face becomes too small a palette for the smile that will inevitably begin to travel from cheek to cheek. That’s how I feel when I think about the fact that I have the privilege of acting as a mentor for an incoming CMU freshman next year. Eeeeekkk! I’m bursting with so many different ideas, scenarios, and emotions, but I feel as if I cannot articulate them well enough to be effectively understood.
However, I can pinpoint a few of the causes of these emotions! I’m very excited to introduce “my mentee”, whose name is Danielle, to Central Michigan University! I have found over the course of the last year that CMU’s campus, atmosphere, and all of the people that are a part of it, create such a beautiful place to live and thrive; I cannot wait to cordially invite Danielle to be a part of that! On top of that, I’m excited to represent L.A.S and exemplify for my mentee what it means to be a Leader Advancement Scholar. I want to show her all of the joy, love and support that comes with being a member of the L.A.S family because I had zero clue what that concept really entailed when I joined my cohort as a freshman, but my mentor, Mike, has certainly played a key role in helping me to reach a solid understanding.
Keeping in mind that, while it sometimes may seem like it, college is not all fun and games, the work aspect is important as well and realizing that leaves me eager to help Danielle through her studies. I wish to be a person she can feel comfortable turning to when a class has her feeling less than confident in her academic abilities. I want to give her the tools to ace her exams and turn in kick-ass term papers as well as instill in her a confidence and joy to learn as much as she can from her classes! These are just a fraction of the ways I want to help my mentee when she comes to college and in all the days that follow.
To prepare myself for the herculean task of being the best mentor I can be, I have started a box of items to give my mentee along with reminders to myself of things Danielle may need at certain times during the year. For example, I have included the reminder that at that certain point in the year, generally around October-November, everyone will be getting sick, so an “illness emergency kit” may be a fun and helpful care package to send her way. I know I would have appreciated an extra box of Puff’s Plus tissues or perhaps a mug of piping hot tea this past winter.
I have also kept many of my flashcards and study sheets from the L.A.S required classes I took this year. I plan on handing these items down to Danielle if she is interested in using them to study. Another step I’ve taken, solely to keep myself in check, is to write down the strategies and specific action steps that my cohort agreed are necessary to be successful mentors. I plan on making this list an active document that I can refer to often and use to continually increase my mentor skills.
I know that these preparatory steps seem insignificant considering my task is to assist an already amazing young leader to success in the college environment. I understand that all of the things I have built up in my head could be completely false and unnecessary, but that’s what I love the most about this stage of the mentee/mentor relationship. There are an infinite number of possible interactions as well as opportunities that remain to be seen. An abundance of experiences are just patiently waiting to be explored and enjoyed; I haven’t a clue what they may be, but I’m nothing less than anxious, excited, happy, eager, incredibly blessed to share them with my mentee!