TO MY MENTEE

Wow. It was one year ago that I sat at my desk racking my brain for the best possible way to reveal myself to you. I didn’t know much about you, other than the fact that you were about to join a crazy family called CMU’s Leadership Institute. Yes I did some stalking and may have contacted your family for answers, but I wanted to know everything I could about you so I could make the reveal very special. I learned your favorite food, candy, bands, songs, weather, shows, movies, sports teams, hobbies, and holidays. I even learned some dislikes (I don’t like country music either). I put together a package with your favorite candy, a mixtape of all your favorite music, two avocados because guacamole is the best thing on this earth, and a long LONG letter spelling out all the reasons I couldn’t wait for you to come to CMU. That package couldn’t arrive any sooner! May 1st you got out of tennis practice and came home to find a mysterious package waiting for you to be opened. I can imagine what was going through your mind once you lifted the lid to see a mess of rotted avocado splattered everywhere. Ok… so that wasn’t my best choice, at least I had good intentions! You must have thought that you were getting punked from some crazy person at CMU. And I can’t believe you waited to tell me until MONTHS after it happened! Here I am thinking I just did the best mentee reveal out of my entire cohort while you’re wiping off brown mush from a CD case. Welcome to CMU!

But seriously, the reason why I couldn’t wait to introduce myself to you was because helping someone through a huge part of their life was something I’ve never had the chance to do. As you know, I’m the youngest of 5 girls. My sisters have helped me through everything – driving a car, starting dance lessons, learning the clarinet, beginning high school. I’ve always wanted to be that “big sister” someone else could look up to. I knew I had so much love, advice, and support to give and I couldn’t wait to give it all to you!

31909099_1785862008118865_3620369092193550336_nI remember first meeting you and your family at your Orientation day. Initial thought in my head: wow she is one short, little human! In a good way of course :). This day meant a lot to me because it was the official start to a new journey and friendship. From there my job was to be the best “big sister”, role model, mentor, taco buddy, friend, whatever you want to call it.

The day before your big move-in date I texted you to see how you were feeling and how packing was going. To my surprise you said you hadn’t barely packed anything! I replied with “aren’t you stressing out right now, you move in tomorrow!” but you were nothing but relaxed and chill. At that point I was beginning to wonder who’s the mentor and who’s the mentee. Even during your first semester of college you seemed like you had everything under control, no questions asked. I have to be honest, at times I wondered if you really even needed me. Something that didn’t click in my mind for a while was knowing the differences in how people react to certain situations. When I was a freshman I would constantly be asking James questions, night or day. I took advantage of him as my mentor and sought out as much help as I could get. But that’s not how everyone operates, especially not you. I soon realized that mentoring isn’t a one-way gig. Being a mentor isn’t just about answering questions. It’s a back and forth exchange, a reciprocal relationship where both of us can learn, both can give advice, and both can be a shoulder to cry on. I love that about us. You are such a powerful and independent woman who has a vision and purpose for your life. I admire how our relationship has grown this first year and I couldn’t even imagine having a better mentee. We have so much fun when we’re together, we both drive each other NUTS, and we sure can talk for hours. Thank you for being the person you are not only for me but for the good of CMU.

And now you’re about to take on your own mentee! I truly can’t believe how fast these things go. All I can say is… if you’re sending a package don’t put avocados in it. You are more than ready to step into that role and I know you will make a wonderful mentor. I’m so excited to see our little family grow, she doesn’t have a clue what she’s getting herself into with us two weirdos.

I love you Kam! ♥

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