My first year mentee’s name is Madi Hart. She is an Integrated Language Arts Education major. Madi is one of the most hardworking, mature, and dedicated students that I have met at Ohio State, but she also loves to have a little fun. I saw Madi out at football games and tailgates and I was so happy to see that she was jumping into the social life at Ohio State right away! Not only football festivities, but she also dove head first into getting involved in Student Orgs on campus like the Guiding Eyes for the Blind and Pen Pals. Her journey at Ohio State has been a really great one so far, one that I believe where she has learned a lot about herself and the people around her and where she has learned what she needs to do in order to give herself the best chance of success whether it be in school, relationships, or just for her own happiness.
I believe Madi and I have a lot in common. We are both, if I do say so myself, very reasonable thinkers. I think this will get us far in life because we are able to look at a situation that may be complicated in someone else’s eyes and pick out the main details, what’s truly important, what the whole situation is really about. That allows us to be good decision makers (except when it comes to picking a place to go out to dinner because we both like basically all types of food; another similarity!). Along with this, we are both able to be level headed thinkers and therefore can recognize when it’s time to work and when we it is time to go out and have some fun. When we work, we give it 110% and that has gotten us both a great deal to where we are now! I am from New York while Madi is from Ohio so seeing that two people with almost entirely different upbringings can be so similar and get along so well was really interesting to see. I would also say that Madi is more organized than I am in the present sense and in the sense that she has to a good extent the idea of what she wants to do in the coming years. I really don’t know. She is also more mature than I was at her age and I commend her for that. And from these differences, she has become my teacher in the sense that she has taught me so much through this mentor/mentee journey.
My mentee truly did make major changes from first semester to second. She get even more involved on campus and she made changes in her social life that in the end made her much happier, and I was so happy to see that because that is something I, too, and I’m sure a large percentage of freshman on Ohio State’s campus had to do freshman year. All of the changes she made were for the better I believe.
I grew as a mentor and a leader through this year. I really took control of my studies and buckled down. The classes I am taking at the moment might not be my exact passion, but this semester I realized that I need to do my absolute best in them because they will lead me to a really great place where I can ultimately get a job. There is time outside class to explore my passions and eventually everything will come together and I need to put the work in now in order to get there. So I am really proud that I became a leader in my personal studies this year. From being a second year mentor, I learned that there are so many amazing people around me at all times on Ohio State’s campus. It doesn’t matter what year they are, where they are from, or what major they are. Almost everyone who is admitted to this campus is an interesting, intelligent, and genuinely nice person! The mentoring experience helped me with my leadership development because for the first time on campus, I was the person that another student was looking up to. It really helped with my confidence and sense of purpose on campus! I came to care about Madi so much so I wanted to do everything that I could to help her do well, whether it was just reflecting on my past experiences or discussing how to time manage and pick and choose which things to give her attention to.
There are endless benefits to mentorship programs, for both parties involved. I have had many mentors at Ohio State, like Breanne Butters in the ACCAD building and Animation Club and Sarah Ryherd in Association of Computing Machinery Women’s division. Even in just reaching out to these two people alone, my college experience has improved ten fold. As freshman on campus, and even into sophomore year, it can be extremely confusing for students like me to know what needs to be done to get the most out of the college experience. It can be very overwhelming. If you have a mentor to look up to that is one, two, or even three (like me) years older than you, they give you such great insight because, in your eyes, you are walking down this scary and ominous path, not knowing what is going to happen two inches in front of your nose but for them, they know that path like the back of their hand because they just walked down it. And from the mentor’s eyes, since I just was one, I can honestly say that knowing how difficult freshman year can be and being able to make it a little bit easier for someone else really is an amazing feeling. And to see them succeed is even better. I really did have an amazing experience in the ACES mentoring program and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!