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How mentoring gave me the confidence to apply to university

How mentoring gave me the confidence to apply to university

Our Youth Board member Chloe shares her experience of mentoring.

I was the first in my family to apply to university so I knew very little about the process, but the mentoring I have received during my time at college made me confident enough to apply to university this year, and I have since received five offers.

As a mentee with the Social Mobility Foundation (SMF), my wonderful mentor Matt informed me about the application process and gave me inspiration, as this was the first time I’d spoken to someone about university. At first I was doubtful about applying but Matt and the SMF gave me confidence through workshops and personalised advice, which made me realise the skills I had.

This was useful for me as they believed in me and made me feel like I could fit into a university environment, as my perception of university students was previously that almost everyone was middle class.

Mentoring also gave me the chance to interact with other people my age who were applying to university, as they offered in-person sessions to build my skill set. This was inspirational as I could get ideas about other opportunities available to me, such as the Cambridge Sixth Form Law Conference I attended in March 2023.

I would recommend mentoring for people who want to find other people with similar interests to themselves, as it can be very motivating to know that there are many people around you who are experiencing the same struggles. 

Mentors can give you advice on personal statements, university life, finances etc, but it is important to remember that mentors can also be used for advice on their experience as a professional.

With the SMF, I also benefited from learning about Matt’s life as a solicitor and what this entails. While I did eventually decide that I did not want to go into law, I found it inspiring to hear from someone who had become successful after university, as it is disheartening to hear so often about graduates struggling to find jobs. So, even if you do not follow your intended career path, you can become motivated by their success and take advice from it.

For anyone considering becoming a mentee, I would completely recommend it as you will gain so much valuable knowledge and experience, and it made my university application process far easier to manage. Thank you to the Social Mobility Foundation for helping me, and while I was not aware of Brightside when I was starting college, I would also recommend them to anyone!

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