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Simran’s story

Simran’s story

I always wonder whether I’d be thinking or feeling the same about university if there wasn’t a pandemic. I completely lost that in-person interaction and was struggling with the UCAS application because of it. But then, if there hadn’t been the pandemic, I wouldn’t have been able to do the virtual work experience and use the Brightside platform.

I was excited to speak to someone who was from a similar background to me who had the same aspirations. I went to a state school and was the first in my family to go to university.
My mentor was a reassuring voice. I loved that he had taken the steps that I wanted to take and I had the opportunity to hear his words of wisdom. He was particularly helpful when I was writing my personal statement; I’d send a draft and he’d send it back with amendments. He even showed a colleague at the law firm he worked in. We also did a mock interview, which was really helpful.

He’d always tell me he believed in me and that he knew I could do it, which gave me a lot of confidence. The experience made me doubt myself less because he made me see the potential I had. Sometimes it just takes someone else to see what you can’t see yourself. It really helped me overcome my imposter syndrome.
My advice to anyone joining a Brightside mentoring programme would be to take any opportunity that’s thrown at you. There are things that you can’t get from lessons in school. It’s such a flexible process; there are no deadlines, it’s very open and accessible for everyone. Investing in your future is so valuable and sometimes it takes a stranger who you have no relationship with, who can just objectively focus on you, to help you reach your goal.

Want to have a positive impact on young people?

We’re always looking for new mentors. Everyone has a unique perspective to bring!

Mentee stories

Tahmina’s story

If I had to describe my mentor in one word, I’d say amazing. She did the same A Levels as me so she also sent me her notes from Chemistry which were amazing; I’m still using them.

Caitlin’s story

My mentor was lovely; we bonded over our pets and that made me feel more connected to her. She made me feel calmer about applying via UCAS and the interviews process. It was so easy to talk to her because she’s not much older than me.

Rano’s story

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer but I was concerned about the workload. My mentor was a working lawyer, so not only gave me advice about my UCAS application and interview questions, but also reassured me that you don’t need to overwork yourself to be successful. He told me about his personal experience of finding balance and saying no, and reminded me how important enjoying your free time is.

Aliza’s story

Mentoring was so important for me, especially during a lockdown where you only see the people you already know. You get to connect with someone you’d never speak to outside of school and that’s really important because it forces you out of your comfort zone.

Daniel’s story

I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to do after GCSE and I had no idea where to start. I was interested in aviation, zoology and conservation but after that I was lost. I didn’t know if you needed a degree or an apprenticeship and I wasn’t sure which path to choose. Mentoring was a very useful tool to help with this; it gave me a push to start looking at new things.

Khadija’s story

From my perspective, the biggest challenge facing young people today is deciding what career path to go down. Between Year 8 and Year 10 I changed my mine five times; I wanted to be a detective, zoologist, chef, doctor and lawyer.