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Eukaryon

From Mentee to Mentor

Blakely Drake
Lake Forest College
Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

The student has become the master. A rewarding phrase to hear, for sure, but how often can it be applied to you? Here at Lake Forest College, there are many opportunities for a student to “become the master” or more accurately put, the mentee become the mentor. Whether it be through the arts, humanities, sciences, or some other subject, each of these experiences is unique in their own way, not only by contrasting in the subject covered, but also through the very experience of teaching. 

As a junior at the college, I have now had the opportunity to mentor two different classes, each of which has brought their own value to my life. The first opportunity was to be a peer mentor for BIO 120: Organismal Biology. This experience required me to not only be present for the lab each week, where I was charged with making sure the students were performing the lab properly, but it also meant I had designated tutor sessions each week outside of lab where students could come to ask questions.

I will never forget my tutor session during the week of the first big exam. The professors try to prepare you for how to handle a room full of confused students, but let me tell you, nothing could prepare me for the real deal. Some people may have that natural ability to guide the room and answer everyone’s questions instantly; I am not that person. I remember leaving that tutor session feeling completely defeated. I didn’t feel like I conducted the session as well as I could have, but that is part of the learning curve. The beauty about tutoring is that it not only teaches the students something, but it forces you to learn a little more as well. By taking the opportunity to peer mentor, I was able to solidify my own skills while also building on the skills of others. I even made some really great friends in the process, making this experience an overall success.

My second opportunity at the college has been to mentor a small group of students for FIYS106: Medical Mysteries of the Mind. Since this opportunity is focused on a smaller group of students, there is a lot more responsibility to ensure that they are all doing well. Because that’s the case, I would argue it makes the experience even more rewarding. Every success for them is a success for me, and every failure for them is a failure for me. It has been so enjoyable brainstorming ideas with the mentees so they know how to create the best projects that they possibly can, and it has been so fulfilling to observe all the talents and personalities of each individual as they step up and take on more leadership in their tasks. I can’t express just how fantastic of an opportunity it has been to be a mentor, but if you ever get the chance, seize it.

Disclaimer

Eukaryon is published by students at Lake Forest College, who are solely responsible for its content. The views expressed in Eukaryon do not necessarily reflect those of the College.

Articles published within Eukaryon should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.