Find a Mentor in Anyone - Including yourself!

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Amanda Smith
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A mentor is defined as “a trusted counselor or guide” (Merriam-Webster). Throughout my life, I have looked for a mentor in all that I do, and have always tried to reciprocate it. Mentors come in all kinds of forms, whether they are defined as a mentor or not. My first mentors were my parents and my grandparents. Family often shapes morals, values, actions, mentalities, and much more from a young age. My family enforced the idea of working hard while always finding time for the important parts of life. As I began school, teachers and friends became mentors. Seeing how my teachers cared for myself and my peers enforced the importance of compassion in my life. Throughout high school and now in college, my friends have become my mentors and my mentors have become my friends.

As I have gotten older, I have realized that mentors are not always 20 years older who are assigned the role of guidance. My roommates have acted as mentors in classes that we are taking, or decisions about internships and the professional process, or even just building habits such as eating healthy and exercising. Besides being the same age, mentors can be younger as well. I have met various people this year at school who are younger than myself and have such a drive and passion for life that they have inspired me to continue to work towards my goals.

With each day passing, I look for an opportunity to work in someone else’s life as a mentor, even if it is just in the smallest way.  This semester I have had the opportunity to be the Vice President of Pledge Education for my business fraternity as I have led 17 students through the pledging process preparing to be an active member. My goal for this role was to develop them professionally and personally as much as possible. At first, I found difficulty in this as I have not had as many experiences due to my young age. Throughout this whole process, I learned that there is nothing wrong in asking for help. I have greatly utilized older members of our chapter for various professional events that I planned, because the more well-rounded an event is, the more useful it is for the pledges. Even acting as a mentor this semester, I have had various mentors and learned more about leadership than what I ever could have imagined.

Throughout the rest of my life, I will utilize the lessons I have learned from my mentors for the past, but always search for more mentors in all that I do. Everyone has a story, and each story has a lesson from it, good or bad. If you are in search of guidance, a mentor is always there to help, even if they do not come across as that right away.