Feeling Left Out? Find A Mentor (Or Become One)
High school students:
Did you ever experience a serious sense of envy – the kind that turns your eyes three shades of green? It can happen when your friends make cool plans for the summer, but you’re left floundering like a fish out of water.
Now is the time to take that feeling, and flip it.
No matter what they’re doing, be glad for them, and move on. (C’mon, you know you can.)
There’s a simple way to do it: Put the FOCUS back on YOU.
Maybe you put things off until the internship application deadline passed. Or you didn’t get around to applying for that job, or you thought about volunteering for the animal shelter but … life happens.
No matter what roadblock prevented you from planning your summer, there is time to turn it around.
Mentors are people who provide trusted influence, guidance, or direction. At school, they can be teachers, counselors and coaches. You can meet them at camps, community centers, libraries and non-profits.
Before school ends, reach out to a trusted someone and let them know what’s on your mind. If you’re shy, or just plain introverted, now is the time to take a gentle leap forward. It’s an opportunity to work on your communication skills. Whether you send an email or talk in person, tell them what you’re interested in pursuing, and ask for their advice.
Just today, I met with an amazing person who coordinates youth programming here in Los Angeles. She shared a wealth of information about teens and summer opportunities. And all I had to do was stop by and introduce myself. Easy!
Mentoring relationships are win-win situations. Each person finds value in sharing their commitment to a greater purpose.
Have you thought of becoming a mentor? Consider areas of interest, such as sports, academics, the arts, and civic engagement. If you have a burning desire to make a difference in your community, hone in on the issues that spark your imagination.
Mentors are leaders. And colleges value leadership skills. Chances are you'll be writing application essays that ask you to describe this highly valued trait. Hint: You don't have to be an extrovert to be a leader. But you do have to get your fins wet.