Summary of Mentorship Experience
My first-year mentee was Maddy Melzer. She is originally from Cleveland. However, after she came to Ohio State, her family moved down to Florida, which is where she calls home now. Maddy is pursuing a degree in neuroscience with the intent of going to medical school to become a family medicine doctor or an obstetrician-gynecologist. Maddy joined the Advocates for Communities and Education Scholars Program because she actively volunteered all throughout high school, and she wanted to continue volunteering during her college career. She was also interested in being connected with other students who value service as much as she does and organizations that do different forms of advocacy for a wide variety of causes.
Maddy and I connected with each other over our mutual love of Disney, coloring, and volunteering, but we mainly bonded over our passion for baking and cooking. At the ACES Mentorship Speed-Dating event, we talked about all our favorite things to bake and the unique dishes we like to cook. Coming to college and cooking with subpar kitchen appliances in the dorms has not quelled our passion either. At our second semester explore Columbus dinner, we realized that we both were going to voluntarily make big meals for our friend groups on Easter. Most college students I know would not voluntarily make a holiday meal on campus, so Maddy and I must be more similar than we initially realized. We are also connected by the fact that we are both pursuing degrees in STEM fields and are required to take similar prerequisite classes for our majors. The main difference between Maddy and I is our career goals for after we complete our undergraduate degrees, which affects the kinds of involvements we participate in now. Because Maddy wants to go to medical school, her current extracurricular involvements tend to be based in medicine and hard science. I aim to attend graduate school for genetic counseling. My involvements are more service based, so I can learn and practice counseling skills.
Maddy has grown significantly over her first two semesters here at Ohio State. She has figured out how to tailor her study habits to best fit her life as a busy college student. Over the first semester, Maddy identified the study habits and tricks that work best for her. She learned that if she procrastinated studying and waited until a couple days before an exam to cram, she became very anxious and overwhelmed. She used these experiences as examples of what not to do in the future, so she could better establish a prolonged study plan for each of her exams. Maddy has also learned how to budget her time wisely between course work and extracurricular involvements. During her first semester, she tried to be involved in a lot more organizations than she realistically had time for on top of her very heavy first-year neuroscience course load. During her second semester, she cut back on her involvements so she could spend more time participating in what she truly wanted to participate in. Maddy learned to use her club and organization meetings as homework and study breaks, as to maximize her time. She also became more comfortable in her ability to say no to going to club and organization meetings if she was too overwhelmed by her workload.
Being a second-year mentor to a first-year ACES student has taught me many valuable and transferable skills. The main skill I learned was how to listen to another person’s situation and tailor my knowledge and past experiences to help that person in a way that is best for him or her. For example, neuroscience majors and molecular genetics majors are required to take a lot of the same chemistry classes. Because I was year ahead of Maddy in chemistry classes, I was able to give her tips on how the chemistry exams tend to go and recommendations of which professors to get for different classes.
I think the biggest benefit I have received from participating in the ACES Mentorship Program for my capstone project is being given the opportunity to reflect on my freshman year, see how I grew and changed as a person, and use that self-reflection as a way to connect with and help another ACES student who is going through very similar experiences. Having a mentor-mentee relationship also provided me with someone to bounce ideas off of. Maddy and I challenged each other’s views and understandings of the college experience and learned new ways of working together and problem solving.