We thrive through mentorship. We share insights, experience, and practical life lessons through informal, friendly relationships. This unique kind of engagement brings different generations together for mutual growth and improvement. It’s also a lot of fun, of course, and it’s a great way for potential mentors to keep in touch with their own youth. Why should you become a mentor, though? Why would anyone want to be mentored?
Why Become a Mentor?
Mentoring benefits everyone. It builds up strong generations of young people, creating a stronger community for all. Mentoring also offers many personal benefits. Becoming a mentor opens the door to new friendships, a broader understanding of evolving youth culture, and personal connections that can last a lifetime.
There are two key different types of mentors.
- Peer mentors offer their experience and insight to assist individuals going through similar experiences. These are most commonly students helping younger students – such as a senior mentoring an incoming freshman. High school and college peer mentors often enjoy secondary benefits, such as academic or volunteer credit. However, adults may also work as peer mentors. Any job, skill, or experience creates the foundation for a mentoring relationship. This includes everything from advanced writers supporting novices to women with children supporting expectant mothers.
- Youth mentors offer the wisdom of age to kids, teens, and young adults who need it most. Finding your feet in the world can be difficult, and these mentors seek to make critical transitions and development periods easier for the younger people they work with. Keep in mind that you don’t need to be a parent or grandparent to work as a youth mentor. By the time you reach your twenties, you’ve already learned plenty of tips and tricks worth passing on.
Mentoring is, ultimately, about building relationships. These connections span gaps in age, education, and other common barriers in our society. As mentor pairs work together, they also enjoy new experiences. Although mentors have more life experience, they still have plenty of things to learn. Everyone learns and grows together.
Why Seek a Mentor?
Life isn’t always fair, or easy, and it helps to have someone in your corner who has lived through the same things you’re going through. Mentors know what it takes to survive high school, college, and the transition to the adult world. They are not parents or secondary authority figures, either. They are simply new friends with more experience. Mentors work with students, young people, and others to conquer challenges and reach achievements, all while providing a listening ear, ready advice, and everything else you’d expect from a friend.
Friendships should broach age gaps, and simply learning how to interact and share a meaningful relationship with people who are different is an invaluable life skill. Mentors do not assign homework or add to their partners’ burdens. They sit down, share the load, and simply offer themselves. Mentors offer support during tough times, a cheering voice from the stands, and an opportunity to connect.