My mentee looked amazed when I told her I was four times her age….but at fifteen most adults are ancient.
For my part I have been amazed at how much I’m getting from being a mentor. I had thought I would get some satisfaction from supporting a young person but I really underestimated how much more I would gain from our relationship. And that’s exactly what my mentee and I have; a really close and warm relationship, we’ve become friends who enjoy each others company, like exploring places together and have some really good chats. Since we met in late February we’ve seen each other weekly. Right from our first walk, when we both agreed that what we were doing was a bit odd, we’ve hit it off.
She’s enabled me to see the world through a teenager’s eyes, remember how I felt at that age, and realise that the world is very different now. It’s been fun finding out what we like to do together; flat walks are fine, but uphill, is a bit tough, if you’re not used to walking lots. Nature and animals are a big love for both of us so exploring the outdoors has been great, and ideal during lockdowns. And we like art so enjoy anything visually interesting.
I’ve developed a real appreciation of how Covid 19 has disrupted young people’s education and how so many have had to cope with tremendous pressures at a key time in their learning. For my mentee, who feels anxious about attending school, it’s added another layer of complexity to her life.
It’s exciting too, playing a part in helping a young person at an important time, to make decisions and steer their way through the hurdles of exams and next steps. Knowing the potential my mentee has and the significance of this time in setting her on a positive track for her life feels like a real privilege. I hope I can draw on my experience and share it in a way that really adds value to her life.
If anyone is wondering about becoming a mentor please try it out. I’m finding it interesting, challenging, and fun.
Published: 23rd Nov 2022