4 Mistakes in Mentoring for College Students


Among many benefits of mentoring for college students, sharing your experience and empowering the younger generation are probably most satisfying. A mentor could be described as an advisor with more experience and know-how. It should be a person that shows a mentee how and where to look for answers, but never tell them what the answer is.

Mentoring is a positive and motivating experience for all involved. It not only helps a mentee learn and grow, but also offers the mentor insight into his own mind. When you become a mentor, you are self-evaluating just as much as you evaluate someone else. In addition, it can help you perform better in your field because you want to be a good example. A large portion of successful mentorship occurs by leading through example.

Mentoring is all about giving encouragement, guidance, and help for the mentee to see what he wants, needs, and the way to accomplish goals.

Mentoring is not something to take lightly, and building a relationship is at the core of the mentoring process. There are many possible pitfalls along the way, and there are four mistakes student mentor can fall into.

Four mistakes in mentoring to avoid

College students miss out on an excellent opportunity to have or to become a mentor. How does someone become a mentor? When you make great accomplishments in academics, sports, or other fields, and gather enough experience, you can become a suitable mentor. A great mentor has excellent communication skills, and is willing to invest time and effort. As this is a significant role, you can save time and ask for help studyclerk essay or scholarship writers to focus on the mentoring process. Among the most critical mentoring tips are the mistakes you need to avoid.

Choosing the wrong role model

If you are a student mentor, in a way, you also become a role model for the mentee. When you are trying to transfer your experience and provide guidance, the best approach is to be true to yourself. The worst thing you can do is choose the wrong role model who can either set a bad example or is too different from you. Being genuine is the best way to build a relationship with a mentee and to guide him.

It is also important to assess whether you and the mentee will get along. The mentoring process is a long one – often lasting for weeks or months at a time. If you and your mentee don’t get along, you are both wasting your time. You are also less likely to enjoy the mentoring process if you and your mentee don’t gel. So, when choosing a mentee, make sure it is someone you can get along with for an extended amount of time.


Speed mentoring doesn’t work

The concept of speed mentoring is similar to speed dating. While true mentoring is all about the relationship, speed mentoring is about quick sessions with lots of more experienced “mentors.” Knowing the mentee, his background, ideas, and visions are things a long term mentorship will take into account. Speed mentoring could be viewed as networking or consulting, and some of the advice could be useful, but it’s still not true mentoring.

In the same breath, it is not useful to rush mentoring sessions. You and your mentee both have busy schedules, so it is important to set aside time each week to meet. Regardless of how busy either of you are, stick to this time and don’t try finish too early. Nothing valuable is gained when there is a rush. You should also learn to be patient, as some mentees might take longer to understand and implement what you are telling them. It is important to believe in their ability and not give up or lose hope.

Don’t be afraid of sharing your experience

One of the common mistakes the mentors make is to consider themselves above mentee. Yes, they have specific knowledge, skills, and know-how which a mentee could find useful, but it’s still no reason to patronize. You won’t ruin the mentoring process if you share your experience with the mentee. Sharing experiences will give another perspective and let the students draw conclusions and help them create directions.

However, through sharing your experiences it is important that you don’t tell too many stories or get sidetracked. The experiences you share should directly relate to the mentee’s current situation. While you may want to share a success story of how you overcame a barrier the mentee doesn’t have, it is important to keep this story for when it is relevant or when there is extra time.

When you share your experience allow time for input from your mentee. Through conversation and questioning your reasoning becomes clear to them and they understand how your experience relates to their situation. You should also make sure that every experience you share is inspirational and not patronizing.

Fearing failure

Don’t be held by fear of failure. As a mentor, you must realize that not all that happens with the mentee is a result of your relationship. Mentoring can show light on the process, help students ask the right questions, and find their own way, but the responsibility is on the mentee. Without putting up serious work from the student side, the best mentors will not help. The upside of assisting with your experience and advice is much more significant than possible failure.

It is also essential to remember that you are not going to be able to fix all your mentee’s flaws. Whether his flaws are real or perceived, it is only important to try correct issues that will be damaging. Helping your mentee avoid serious mistakes will be a helpful learning experience for them. However, trying to rectify every single issue makes them too reliant on you and unable to deal with their own problems. It is important for your mentee to make mistakes and learn from them, just as you probably did. It is only through making mistakes that people are able to learn to deal with the issues they bring.


College student mentors can help freshman get acclimated to college life. Even freshmen can be mentors to high school seniors when they go through the college application process. Mentoring students have numerous ways they could help mentee, and the whole process is valuable experience for both sides.

Remember that you are not better than your mentee, and you also have many things to learn. What is important is to show a mentee how to find the answers they seek, but never answer for them. Answering for them eliminates the process of learning and detracts value from the mentoring process.

As long as you stay genuine, help with the view on the processes and problems you encountered and mentee needs to tackle, and offer guidance that can help younger students find answers, you will be a valuable mentor.