How Do I Tell My Mentee To Go To Bed When I Usually Don’t?

When I first heard that, as a part of LAS protocol, I would be getting a mentee, my first thought was, “I can barely take care of myself; how can I be expected to help take care of someone else?” I was nervous for other reasons too. What if they didn’t like me? What if we just didn’t connect? Freaking out, I tried not to think about it too much as the year went on. As it was, I didn’t really have to worry about picking a mentee until the latter half of second semester.

As much as I (and the rest of my cohort, for that matter) did not have to worry about picking a mentee for quite some time, I definitely did. It was a topic of conversation among the whole cohort for much of the year; who would they be, how awesome they were going to be, who was going to get who, etc. I didn’t contribute to much of the conversation, but I certainly thought about it a lot.

The week before our class got to pick our mentee, the TA’s and Jesi (our teacher) put on a ‘Mentee Workshop,’ where we all got to sit around and talk about what it meant to be a mentor. This definitely eased my stresses a little bit. I learned that being a mentor is not all about being the coolest person possible, its about being what your mentee wants. Everything I am going to do as a mentor is going to be based on what my mentee wants out of me. If they want to go out to lunch once a week and talk about things, then I will be sure to be there for those lunch dates. If they want to be best friends, then I am all for that as well. If, for some reason, they either want nothing to do with me or do not find me to be a good resource for them, then I will just have to deal with it; I may not be what is best for them, but I can point them in the direction of a person (maybe another mentor) who will be the best for them. Sure, I may be a little hurt, but this is experience is all about the mentees, and not myself.

My current LAS family, with my mentor Nate to my left. Photo credits to Lauren Sobecki

Regardless of how they may feel about me, I am SO excited to be a mentor. I am excited to be a part of my mentees life, and play an important part in their new life here at CMU. I had so many questions when I first got here; I am assuming my mentee will as well, and I hope to be able to give them some answers. Also, after looking at my mentee’s bio sheet, I saw that she has no idea what she wants her major to be. I, too, have no idea, so I am excited to go on this journey with her and maybe even figure out our lives together.

In preparing myself to be a mentor, I already know a few things that I should NOT do; to start off, I should stop preparing for the worst possible scenario. I need to tell myself that she WILL like me (sure, it may be awkward at first, but that’s really not the worst thing in the world). Secondly, I have to know, that while I may help her in figuring out her life, I am not her mother. It is not my job to ‘take care’ of her. She is an adult, doing adult things in an adult place; she knows how to take care of herself. However, I am will be here whenever she needs me. Luckily, I will only be living half a block away, and I can be there anytime-day or night (as I really don’t sleep all that often).

I am SO excited to be a mentor. It’s going to be a great experience for both myself, and (best case scenario) my mentee as well. Soon, she will call Central her home, and I am excited to share in that experience with her.


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