I never realized how easy it was to be a mentor. All you have to do is show up and be present for the students. Be present when they may be having the worst day of their life, having an over the top reaction to their silly jokes, listen attentively when they’re telling a story they think no one wants to hear. It’s all about being able to be a support system and a friend, not necessarily an authority figure with rules or guidelines.
When I first enrolled in this class, I was hesitant because I had very high expectations for myself, and I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to meet my own standards. I had the mentality that I had to be some sort of superhero, a WITS Wonder Woman. I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I walked into class on the first day absolutely overwhelmed with what was going to be expected of me.
Now that I have been a mentor in WITS for over a month, I can comfortably say that I would not have changed any of my experiences for the world. And I mean that sincerely. The days where I feel like I have made no progress, or that I am not inspiring a student, are just as crucial to mine and the Broad Ripple High School student’s progress as the days where we write pages and pages of fantasy fiction, or talk about one of their favorite classes. Every day, the students at Broad Ripple teach me something new about myself. I thought that being a mentor was going to be a challenge. A struggle. In reality, it is just a couple of people helping one another be the best version of themselves, and that’s awesome.
Paige Watson is a senior Recording Industry Studies major.