4.15.2011

Soul Stories: on mentors.

Me and one of my old residents, Lindsay-
we were invited to her wedding! 
When I was a freshman at Muhlenberg, I spent much of Thanksgiving day crying. I was totally depressed; I hadn't yet made great friends, I felt like the loser of my hall, I missed my boyfriend (who was across the state at CMU) and I missed High School. Though I was never voted prom queen at YHS, I had a good bunch of friends by senior year and felt genuinely comfortable wandering the school halls with members of the school newspaper staff late at night. At Muhlenberg, I hadn't yet found my niche... and by Thanksgiving break, I was worried that my niche was totally unavailable in Allentown, PA.

By the end of my first year, I was in a better place and was even looking forward to coming back in the fall. So what happened? I got involved with activities, started seeing the opportunities that awaited me as I put my time in on the newspaper and at the Writing Center... and I became an R.A.

It is one of my core truths that helping someone through a difficult situation allows me to get through the very same scenario. One of the ways I felt socially fine with not joining a sorority and getting wasted all the time was by reassuring other new freshmen that there was more to life than sororities! My room became the safe haven of 32 girls (and a whole bunch of dudes from down the hall) and my life at college was so fulfilling. My role was to coach, to cheer up, to mentor... and I absolutely loved it.

Tonight at dinner I told Chris that I would love to one day host a "young superstars" dinner at our place. We'd invite a bunch of the amazing younger people we've come to know throughout our lives, cook them an amazing dinner and let them get to know each other. Providing social opportunities for people to gather is something that's really important to me - because I really value the random meetings that happen when wonderful people converge.

On that note, we started talking about people who were our mentors. "How amazing would it be to each pick three people who have had huge impressions on us and fly them to our house one day for dinner?" I asked. We talked about who we'd pick and shared stories about how these mentors inspired us and got us through difficult moments.

This is the beauty of being 30 years old. I simultaneously know older people who influence and inspire me on a daily basis and younger people who I can help to inspire. I'm here, right in the middle, tucked in amongst people who would make distinguished dinner guests.

I don't know how it could be possible, but I'd love to make this happen someday.

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