Mentoring is a term that is often used in the college arena. “Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.”(1) There is great value in college mentors. But what kinds of college mentors are most beneficial to your college needs?
College Mentors: College Life
Many colleges are aware of the need for incoming freshman to be connected with an existing student for the purpose of adjusting to college life. This mentoring relationship provides a vital support for new college students. As the University of Texas Dallas mentoring program explains, “The mentors in the program are successful undergraduates prepared to engage freshmen in campus activities and refer them to resources that can help them achieve their academic and personal goals.” The needs of every student is different, so by having an individual college mentor you are setting yourself up for success.
College Mentors: Academic
We sometimes think of academic college mentors as tutors. But that limits the true value of an academic mentor. Tutors are mentors, in that they guide the student in a specific subject. However, an academic mentor is more wholistic in their approach. They offer advice about class scheduling, particular professors, general study habits, etc. While a student may need specific academic mentors, they may also need someone to help them adjust to college life. Many colleges try to meet this need through freshman orientations and student services. Don’t be afraid to use these services, as they may lead to greater success in your college endeavors.
College Mentors: Sports
Sports mentors have many different names. These mentors are coaches, fitness trainers, personal trainers and other team members. But their goals remain the same as any other college mentor. Their purpose is to help the student athlete perform in peak effectiveness. For the student athlete, much of their student life revolves around practice, training and athletic events. Without the help of a sports mentor, many find themselves unable to balance their academic and sports schedule.
College Mentors: Financial
One of the most overlooked areas of college mentoring is the area of finances. These mentors offer advice on a variety of subjects such as college budgeting, scholarship management, and debt counseling. For many students, college is the first time they really need to manage their own finances. They may have very little money skills, which can lead to improper management and increased debt load. Developing a college spending plan (a budget) and evaluating that plan from time to time can be very beneficial. This is one of the many services that we provide families who partner with us for college planning.
As you can see, college mentors play a vital role in success during the college years. However, many students do not know or choose not to use the resources available to them. Make sure you connect with and utilize these services. For more information about financial mentoring, contact our offices today.