The Importance of Mentors
When first starting out in the art program at Wayne State, I was very intimidated by other people’s talent. Over time it’s become apparent that this is a very normal experience that many people go through. You see how talented the people around you are, and wonder how you could ever measure up. The beauty in this is that these doubts have the power to put you into perspective. When we’re surrounded by talented people (who are sometimes much, much better at us at what we do) it’s a call to work harder and to push that threshold. The danger of these doubts is that if they become too strong, they can take you to a place where you feel like a phony. It can seem like a reality that you weren’t meant to do what you want to be doing, or that you’re wrong for the job. If you’re going through this, remember that it’s normal. But of course, it’s important to be able to balance our perspective, and that’s why my topic today is on the importance of mentors.
Not only as a student, but just as a human being I believe that having mentors in our lives is extremely important. They’re people you can go to when you need help, guidance, and reassurance. A lot of the time, whatever struggles we’re going through as students, someone else has been through too. In life, if we’re going through something difficult, the likelihood is also that we aren’t alone in going through it. But without knowing people and having mentors in our lives to talk about these things with, we can fall under the illusion that we’re alone in our struggles. Sometimes a good mentor is the difference between growth and stagnation. When things get difficult, and you’re riddled with doubt, they can even be the calming voice that reminds you to trust yourself, and to trust what’s ahead.
So to anyone reading this, my advice to you is to always be seeking out mentors. You can never have too many. Ask people questions, ask their opinions, ask how they do what they do. People respond to genuine curiosity. The guy or girl with tremendous talent that you sit next to in class can be one of your greatest mentors if they’re willing to share and you can be open to what they’ll tell you.
Remember: embrace your mentors and teachers in life. You won’t regret it.