If you want to live intentionally and make a difference in people’s lives, you start with one. Take in perspective from Halle Hershberger, a young adult who has been there.
Let’s be honest, the high school years can be a time of growth, but also provide for many awkward and challenging experiences for a student.
When I was heading into my senior year of high school, I remember feeling overwhelmed by the craziness that comes with being a senior. There were sporting events, dances, academics, relationships, and then the most important thing… deciding on which college to attend and then what to major in.
It all seemed daunting, and my parents were great at giving advice, but I just felt like something was missing. I remember listening to my youth pastor talk about the importance of mentoring and how that had played a role in her life. And I thought to myself, well why don’t we give this “mentoring thing” a chance… it can’t hurt right?
I called a family friend, Celeste, and asked if she would be my mentor during my senior year. She agreed, and we decided to meet for weekly coffee dates and share what was happening in our lives.
After a few meetings, Celeste created a judgement-free space where I could be real, vulnerable, cry if needed, and she would listen. Her advice was always cautioned with “you do not have to follow this but…” She never forced her opinion on me and gave me the opportunity to talk about the difficulties of entering adulthood, while figuring out how my faith aligned with the upcoming changes.
Quickly, our relationship grew and I knew I could count on Celeste. She made herself available outside our meetings, so if I needed to chat on the phone or text, we could do that.
For a long time, I struggled with body image, relationships with friends, and boys. Celeste helped me navigate these situations, which in turn helped improve my relationship with my parents.
Mentors do not replace a parent, but have the authority to speak truth into one’s life. Hearing advice from an outside source, who is not directly involved in the situation, made me more open to receiving what Celeste had to say. In return, my relationship with my Mom improved. I realized how often my Mom was right in giving her advice and thoughts about a situation, and she wasn’t just “saying this because she was my Mom.”
Moreover, my self-confidence grew along with my faith. Celeste models the life of a strong, Christian woman. Her example pushed me to grow and figure out my identity in Christ. In return, I became more confident in who I was created to be. I don’t know if I would have reached these conclusions on my own before I entered college.
I can truly say having a mentor was one of the best decisions I have ever made. During my four years at college, Celeste and I remained in contact and she is still my mentor today. It may be months at a time between our conversations, but I know I can always count on her to provide wisdom for every season of life.