Back-to-school: the power of creating a community

The back-to-school experience can be intimidating under the best of circumstances, let alone when there’s a pandemic. University, college, or technical school can be a daunting place, especially in your first year. From attending classes to the number of papers due, tests to write, books to read, research to conduct…oh and maybe a glimmer of a social life? It can be a blur. That doesn’t even cover the big question: “what do you want to do for the rest of your life?”

All of these are major factors in the head spin that is post-secondary life. Something that can make it easier is finding the right community; a network that resonates with you and becomes an avenue for support. What’s often the lowest on the priority list for many is actually the most important.

Finding the right connections

Making connections — and we don’t just mean at the local pub — happens in a variety of ways. It could be through shared interests with like-minded people, clubs or athletics, extra-curricular activities, or volunteer opportunities.

All of these relationships go into creating your community, in your new setting where you feel safe and welcomed amongst others. The power of connection and community can never be overstated. It creates confidence to carve your own path, resilience towards life’s tough decisions and pours a strong foundation upon which you will build your future.

Mentorship a powerful tool

One way to create connections is by finding a mentor. A mentor can be many things, but all mentors have one thing in common – a deep desire to give back to the community. Sharing knowledge and insights with someone just starting out is a powerful thing, for both people in the mentoring relationship.  

“Mentorship shouldn’t be an arduous pursuit or relationship. It’s a connection, a scheduled meeting in your calendar or a quick text message to check-in. It doesn’t have to be a deep conversation; it’s simply the act of letting someone know they are not alone,” reflects Colby Delorme, Board Chair with Influence Mentoring.

That simple act is an important tool in developing a community of support and one that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially by students at the very beginning of their journey.

At Influence Mentoring, creating mentoring relationships for Indigenous students is at the heart of what we do. This journey through school and into the work world can be overwhelming. For Indigenous post-secondary students, it’s even more difficult. Supportive mentoring relationships for Indigenous students can make their trek back to school less intimidating. And by harnessing the power of community and creating connections, we hope to help tick that one off the to-do list.

 

To learn more about mentoring at Influence, click here!

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