Why did I want to be a mentor?
I wanted to be a mentor for many reasons. One of the most pertinent was because I was once a mentee and found myself to really value the bond I developed with my mentor. As the first person in my family to go to University, applying was a massive step out into the unknown, and it was thus a step that was quite frankly daunting. Having a mentor made the transition so much smoother – my mentor was my role model! Therefore, I jumped at the chance of being able to give to someone else the help and friendship that was given to me a few years ago.
Being a mentor can ultimately change someone else’s path in life for the better, or, at least, make their path an easier one to walk. Sharing knowledge and information with others is vital in my opinion; I believe that lack of understanding should not be a barrier to higher education, particularly for academically able students with so much potential. Knowing that I am helping others to strive and aspire to be the best they can be is extremely rewarding and makes me feel beyond proud to be a mentor.
Whilst the primary focus is about helping your mentees in any areas they feel necessary (be it with revision skills, personal skills, GCSE/A-Level options, University options (the list goes on)), there is also a lot that I gain from being a mentor. The interpersonal skills that I develop on a weekly basis is massively beneficial, particularly considering that I aspire to be a barrister, as a barrister needs to be able to communicate and interact with clients efficiently on a daily basis. These social skills are so vital and are also transferrable, meaning that they are relevant in all aspects of life (win-win if you ask me!).
I love knowing that every week I can make a difference to someone’s day or even their life. Even if I only manage to help one person to develop and reach their full potential, that is still a great achievement – imagine the impact that could be had if everyone did their little bit. It feels good to do good, and that is what mentoring is all about for me.
Therefore, if I had to sum up my experiences of being a mentor in 3 words, they would be: enjoyable, invaluable, but most of all, rewarding.
So I will leave you with this…
‘At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments. It’s about who you’ve lifted up… It’s about what you’ve given back’ – Denzel Washington.
3rd year LLB Law and Criminology