College is a time for navigation — navigating campuses, future career paths, social scenes, and a more independent life. The four-year journey many students take during their undergraduate years will contain some of their most memorable moments. While college is memorable, many decisions need to be made, such as picking a major, deciding on what to do after you graduate, and discovering a possible future occupation. Just as GPS is helpful in driving to an unfamiliar location, mentors can help college students navigate the intricacies of their college years.
Mentors are trusted counselors or guides who can be helpful in so many ways. If you don’t have a mentor yet, you should seriously consider having one.
Here are 4 benefits of having a mentor at your college or university.
1. Be There for You
Mentors are someone that you look up to. They have qualities that you seek in yourself and qualities you hope to develop. Your mentor will likely influence how you approach various situations throughout your college career. Your mentor will be someone who you can talk to, listens to you, and willing to share past experiences with you. Good mentors are caring and considerate, and will want to help you. If your mentor doesn’t make time for you, it is better that you seek a new mentor as mentoring requires communication and participation of both parties.
2. Help You Network
College is not only an educational experience, it is a great networking experience. Mentors who are faculty members at your college or university can introduce you to some of their colleagues, or other people in their network, to bring you closer to your goals. Networking is one of the best ways to get a job. Networking requires you to build a personable relationship with someone in hopes of expanding your professional connections. Your mentor’s network can quickly become a part of your wider network.
3. Give You Post-Graduation Guidance
Four years in college does not mean that you figured out your entire life. Picking a major is only the beginning of your professional career. While you are in college, you should be living in the present while thinking about your future. Mentors can help guide you to a passion-filled future. Sometimes, when others analyze a situation, they can give you a better outlook on the situation. Mentors can help you decide what to do after college, as they will be looking out for your best interest.
4. Support You
College can be a series of highs and lows. As a college student, sometimes you just need someone to talk to about anything. You can talk to your mentor about anything from academic difficulties, to your strengths, your personal life, and your goals for the future. Your mentor is someone you can trust and confide in. Sometimes, that’s all you need — the ability to talk to someone confidentially. The reality is, your mentor may also be able to give you advice that will help you figure out a solution.
Everyone can benefit from having a mentor in college. If you don’t have a mentor in your college or university, you should find someone who can be your mentor so you will have someone who can guide you through the challenges associated with being in college.
Vanessa Sewell is studying Economics and Communications at Boston College. She is from Bronx, NY. Vanessa has worked on topics related to lifestyle, fashion, culture, and education during her time at Boston College. During her free time, she can be found playing piano and guitar or jamming to Spotify.