How to Choose a Mentor

By: James Garcia

Okay, so for all you upcoming seniors, you guys are going to have to make a big decision this week. CHOOSING A MENTOR! Now, this may not seem to be a big deal, but your mentor plays one of the biggest roles in you crossing that stage and graduating next year. Some people’s first thoughts tend to be picking one of their humanities teachers, because they are comfortable and have been their student for a long time. But trust me when I say this: HUMANITIES TEACHERS WILL TEAR YOUR PAPER UP. Let me give you an example of one of my friends that choose a humanities teacher.


(Photos courtesy of Maria Feeney)
As you can see there are a multitude of comments on this paper. It’s gotten to the point where this student will have hours of work to do.
(Photo courtesy of James Garcia)
Here you can see in this senior exhibition paper there are clearly less comments. The only changes this student had to fix were minor grammar errors.

What would you like to do?

In the end though, it really depends how hard you want to work on this project. Keep in mind that you may have many other things going on this year, and YOU WILL HAVE SENIORITIS! This is the year that everyone gets tired of being at school. Everyone. No exceptions.

On the other hand, having a mentor who makes a lot of comments isn’t always a bad thing. Mentor comments can make your paper 100 times better and also will help you have a better presentation. When a mentor makes many comments on your paper it doesn’t mean they hate you, they just want to see you succeed and push you in this project.

Another factor to keep in mind when picking a mentor is the relationship you have with them. You want someone you feel comfortable with because you will spend a lot of time with this person. Your humanities teachers will show you a list of all the mentors. If there is someone on there that you feel can help you, but you don’t know them, go and introduce yourself and have a conversation to see if they would be a good fit.

Think very carefully when choosing a mentor, write a very thoughtful letter, and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get your first choice.

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