Mentoring this year has been an interesting experience. Our mentees were allowed to choose their mentors, so I was honestly surprised when five new GEFs chose me to mentor them, mainly because they were made aware in my bio that I would be abroad in Australia during their first semester at OU. I was super excited to have them though, and I spent the first part of my shortened summer emailing them some basic info about the program and myself and OU, and then exchanging more individual emails with two of them as they were trying to plan ahead for their trips abroad. That was the best part for me, getting to talk with my new mentees. I did two mentoring programs the year before, and among nearly twenty total mentees I had, almost none of them ever contacted me or responded to any of my emails or other attempts to interact with them.
However, as seems to happen with the mentoring programs I’ve done, I largely lost contact with them after the semester started. I can’t say I blame them, I know when I was a freshman I preferred figuring things out for myself, but I liked being a resource whenever they would let me. I got to help one mentee start her search for a study abroad program that was a good fit and another decide whether to stay with the program, as he was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to meet all the requirements while keeping up with his classes and graduating on time. Even if I never hear from those freshmen again it’s cool to have been able to help a little bit with their first year of college.