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How to Find a Mentor in College (and Why You Should)

Nowadays, many students often go through their college years without seeking guidance from mentors. For some, there may be hesitation to ask for help because of intimidation or fear of disapproval. For others, there’s a need to accomplish goals and tackle hurdles alone. However, having help along your college career is perfectly ok, and it’s pretty easy to get right on campus. Mentors bring a lot of benefits to their mentees that can have a lasting impact well beyond graduation.

Adjust to College Life

The transition from high school to college is no joke. From an uptick in assignments and tests to meeting new people, learning new ideas, or potentially living on your own for the first time, it’s a lot for anyone to take in. So many changes happening all at once can be overwhelming. It’s perfectly ok to want or need someone in your corner to help you navigate this new chapter so you can take the best steps forward. Mentors can fill that role for you while you adjust.

Gain a Support System

Academic, career, and emotional support are important for college students. You have to keep up your grades, build your resume, and apply for jobs or internships all at the same time. That comes with a whole wave of potential successes, challenges, and emotions. Mentors can be there to guide you through these struggles. They’ve been through these same situations before. Mentors have plenty of advice on how to prepare for obstacles and overcome them, supporting you the entire way.

Establish and Track Goals

Chances are that you’ve thought about what you want your post-college future to look like. However, you might be uncertain about how to actually achieve those dreams. This is a great reason to find a mentor. After all, mentors are generally those who you look up to in some way, whether they have success in their field or you admire them for their leadership. Mentors can help you define clear, achievable goals. They’ll also keep you accountable to those goals and offer support as you work toward them. Ultimately, that could give you a greater chance of being successful in the long run.

Explore New Opportunities

As we talked about, students that look for mentors are usually reaching out to people they admire in a field or position. Working with a mentor who has lots of experience, resources, and connections only benefits you. Mentors go out of their way to help their mentees, often helping them locate and take advantage of opportunities like seminars and events that could, in turn, develop into potential internships or even job offers.

Where to Find a Mentor on Campus

Finding a mentor may seem like a challenge, but it’s actually a lot easier than you might think. At Villa Maria College, we make it a point to link students to mentors through our mentorship program, especially during the first year of college. The mentors in this program are made up of more than 35 staff and administrators who volunteer to work with mentees. Their focus is to help answer questions, be a social support net, and guide students through personal and professional growth for a successful academic career.

It’s also normal to ask professors to be your mentor, too. After all, teachers are already there on campus to help you learn and thrive. Professors can be great mentors if you’re looking for a leader with experience in a role or occupation you want to enter in the future.

Just remember that working with a mentor is a time and work commitment on your end and theirs. So, before you ask someone you look up to to be your mentor, have a plan in mind. Think about how often you would want to work with them and what kind of advice you ultimately want to gain from the experience. Have all of this thought out before you ask them to consider a mentorship, and be prepared to follow through. If you sincerely ask for mentorship, you’ll be surprised by how many people on campus will say yes.