How I Found a Great Mentor in College

Callie Gargano / Schreiner University

Going off to college is one of the most overwhelming times in any young person’s life. You’re meeting so many people from diverse backgrounds, trying to navigate through unfamiliar territory, and struggling to determine what you want your future to look like in such a short time. Having four years to figure out the rest of your life can be super intimidating, and as a soon-to-be senior, I can tell you this time goes by quicker than you think. However, there are some very special people during this time who can help guide you and give you the benefit of their experiences: mentors. I have been lucky enough to have several mentors who have helped me grow as a person and have given me the courage to take advantage of the opportunities that, as a freshman, I would have never thought of doing. I met my first two mentors, Michael and Ricky, during orientation camp. Now, if you have never been to a college freshman orientation camp, it can be very awkward since nobody really knows each other and the “mandatory fun” can be a little intimidating. However, these two made our orientation group feel like a family within the first day. They were incredibly involved on campus and passionate about their majors, and they projected that enthusiasm onto us. My mentors taught me so much about our university, how to get involved, and how to manage my time. I can confidently say it is because of them that I became so involved in groups on campus. They were my first role models at college, and over time we have become friends.

It is also possible to find mentors in the staff at your college, as they are some of the most helpful and insightful people you could ever meet. When I was a freshman, I was looking for a job on campus to gain some experience in my field of study while also being able to become more involved in the culture of Schreiner University. This is how I met our Coordinator of Meaningful Work, Mr. Reast. He is incredibly well connected and knows everything there is to know about networking. It was so incredible to work with him throughout my time at Schreiner. He has set me up with many internships, given me many interview tips, and given me confidence about what I want to do in the future. He is what defines the word mentor: he helped set me up for success and also encouraged me in all of my career goals and endeavors.

So, how do you find your own mentors in college? The best answer is to get involved on campus. There are probably many organizations to join, and this is a fantastic way to meet other students who are driven and enthusiastic about leadership roles. It’s very easy to strike up a conversation about future career goals and ask questions about the campus and advice about how to get through your first year. People are usually very happy to help and chat with you, and before you know it you’re forming a relationship with a new mentor!

I can honestly say I would not be the person I am without my mentors. I have joined so many organizations and gotten so many scholarships because of the confidence they have helped instill in me, and for that I could not be more grateful. Mentors help you not only grow as a student, but also as a person.

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Schreiner University is a private, Presbyterian university that offers a personalized, integrated, and holistic educational experience among the open lands of the Texas Hill Country. Named after Captain Charles Schreiner, the university strives to epitomize its founder’s grit, tenacity, and courage. Both Captain Schreiner and the Presbytery of Western Texas shared an ambitious vision for the education for the people of Texas—one that would inspire them to pursue their passions with a dedicated heart and well-equipped mind.