University is a different environment than high school, complete with its own demands and expectations. To many, the anxiety that comes with moving from high school to a totally new environment with its daunting challenges is visible and sometimes result into mental health issues. There is overwhelming evidence suggesting that most students experience/suffer episodes of anxiety with some even becoming depressed. With the uncertainty and lack of enough knowledge on what courses to pursue, many students end up jumping into courses they have no passion for or their strength is not matching at all. Yet still, scores of student are faced with the fear of what awaits them at the university. Whether life is going to be hard or smooth and easy is the uncertainty that they grapple with everyday.
Mentorship for high school leavers has gained traction in the recent past even as people are becoming increasingly aware of its importance and the pivotal role of such mentorship on students. All over, high school leavers are advised to find a mentor or attend mentorship sessions aimed at unpacking the dynamics of university/college life. Training on how to surmount the inevitable challenges one may experience in pursuit of college/university degree is crucial and any high school leaver must not ignore or wish it away.
In recognition of the aforementioned, Professional Mentors of Africa, where I am a lead mentor, organized mentorship session for students from St. Peters Catholic-Ruai who are transiting to university and college. This was a deliberate and intentional effort to impart the students with life saving skills on how to cope with life at the university/college. The mentorship covered a wide range of topics including:
1. Course selection
2. College Relationships
3. Coping (life) strategies
4. Work-study programmes
5. Interpersonal Relationships
7. Goal Setting among many others
The mentees were taken through a rigorous set of tasks and exercises aimed at imparting practical knowledge on them. These group exercises also helped them bond and instill in them the much needed skills of teamwork. Universities and colleges are known to promote cross-cultural relations and appraise diversity as a way of promoting cohesiveness and peace in a society. As such, arousing the mentees’ interaction skills was aimed at preparing them for what awaits them ahead.
The mentees also had an opportunity listen to success stories and interesting human stories from other mentors who were present during this mentorship. I led the mentors in recounting the story of our (my) life while at the university and the coping strategies we adopted. These life stories helped alleviate fears among the mentees. These stories were also profound inspiration and motivation to the mentees.
If you need a mentor or would want to execute mentorship program at your school, church, community or wherever it is, please reach out. Please see the contact tab for details.