Mentoring can be one of the most rewarding things you can do in high school. It teaches you how to communicate and help people while also changing someone else’s life. Out of everyone in high school, freshmen probably need a mentor the most. They’re the ones stepping into a whole new environment and the ones who don’t know how the new system works. Schools usually have a freshman mentoring club or program you can join. Being part of this club means that you will help with orientation, help new students understand how things work, and be their buddy over the next year. Being a part of one of these clubs can not only make a difference in others’ lives, but in your own as well.
Spending your year mentoring freshmen may not seem like the most rad thing to do, but it can actually be tons of fun. To start, most schools have lots of events planned for freshmen–making this club amazing for people who have great planning skills. It is also a way to be social and get to know the majority of the school. I’ve met some awesome people who are also mentors through this club. The people who you mentor with tend to have the same sort of spirit and enthusiasm as you, and are awesome to hang out with. Also, if you take part in you freshman mentoring club for three years, come senior year, you know practically everyone. It makes high school feel more like a community than just tons of people doing the same things.
Freshmen are pretty much a blank slate when they enter high school. They are faced with a whole new structure of learning. By being their mentor, you are given the task of teaching them things that they will use for the next four years. You teach them things such as how the schedule works, how to balance classes, and how to survive the next four years of their life. Since you’re a teenager just like them, you get to be completely honest. It’s not your job to tell them that everything is going to be great and that it isn’t going to be that hard. Your job is to give them the truth, as crappy as it may be, and make them realizes that they can get through it and will be a better person in the end.
I’m currently a senior and in my third year participating in my school’s freshmen mentoring program. One of the coolest things I’ve experienced is mentoring a student one year and then working with them as a fellow mentor the next year. It is amazing to listen to them talk to a group of freshmen about the same things you did the year before. It shows you that what you’ve been teaching is not only true, but actually worked for them. Working with the students you used to mentor is one of the biggest learning experiences. It shows you the things that do and don’t work. It also helps you create new ideas to share with the upcoming class.
Mentoring is something that has honestly changed my life and that makes me truly happy because I constantly get the satisfaction of helping others. Though it has been my job for the last three years to teach freshmen, I have learned so much. From communicating to teaching, I have gained an array of skills. I’ve also been able to teach people and have an impact on their high school experience. Not only have I taught them information that they can use as freshmen, but information that they can use for their entire high school career. I realize that it may seem a bit lame or boring to spend the year helping freshmen, but it is such a rewarding experience. Remember that you were in their shoes at one point and that you can help them make their first year of high school amazing.