For most, their introduction college was very stressful. It would behoove for us to seek a mentor right? It’s a completely different culture, and it comes with a whole new set of responsibilities. For many freshmen, college is their gateway to new experiences, like parties, various drugs, and alcohol. Unfortunately, when maneuvering through these spaces alone, us novices are open to getting caught up. We get so caught up in salacious activity and having fun, that we tend to fall victim to getting distracted from our responsibilities.

Other students may be so overwhelmed by the anxiety of being in a foreign environment, that they’re burnt out by their second year. To steer clear of these possibilities, I feel it would be wise to find someone you can trust that can pose as somewhat of a mentor. They’ll be able to keep you on track and focused. They can also provide you with tips to help you manage your stress and anxiety,  and they’ll help you prepare for what’s to come. There’s no shame in confiding in someone who’s more experienced than you, college can be a mental and emotional ordeal. 

Coming into college I was hit with a gust of overwhelming foreboding. The sheer size of the interior was enough of a burden. But the school of students, wrestling with the rambunctious traffic that flooded each crevice of each corner, caused my anxiety to boil over. As I walked through the school, I felt alone despite simultaneously being swallowed into a crowd of people. As I dodged elbows and pushed passed shoulders I finally made it to my first class. It didn’t help that the course was mandatory, so I spent most of my time disinterested, only as engaged as I needed to be to retain the information. In between classes, walking across campus, I found myself nervously fidgeting with my clothes. My attention immediately would be drawn to the sweat pouring out the pores of my palms and the abrupt shift in my body’s temperature.

After cycling through this internal battle every week, an upperclassman in one of my last classes of the day took notice of me. I took classes to get college credits in high school for this particular subject. She’s in her second year and plans to transfer her credits soon, but she noticed I was struggling and took me under her wing. 

I immediately reaped the benefits of her gracious extension of knowledge and wisdom. She deconstructed all my fears and concerns and infused them with rationality. She was able to expertly dissect my emotions because she remembered feeling the same way when she’d started her first year. She also explained to me how she managed to get through her mandatory classes. I took note of her. She was very good at whatever skills the classes required of her. She would study extra and do the work on the front end. It made life easier, and she’s able to relax much more. Because a lot of the things her professor goes over in class parallels her own studies, she’s always one step ahead. And When it comes to how I feel around others, she always reminds me that they’re either currently sharing my same shoes or they have in the past. Our connection has grown far beyond a guide and follower. She has become one of my closest friends and I appreciate how much she’s been there for me, even off campus.  

Having a mentor could really make your first year of  college and your college experience as a whole much easier.  They’ll be able to bring clarity to a lot of different things you’ll likely experience. And they’ll give you reassurance and comfort. You may even get a genuine friendship out of seeking advice from those more qualified than you. Do you currently or did you have someone in your corner for your first year of college?

Zada Luby is a first-year student at Gwinnett Technical college, she’s a nursing major who loves art, nature, and helping her community grow. Follow her interests and more here