As a Sophomore Leader Advancement Scholar, I was so excited to go on our annual retreat with the freshman class to Eagle Village. Going in as a mentor (vs. a mentee last year) I anticipated a fresh perspective on learning and leadership. This also meant more bonding time with my mentee Molly, so sweet and fun-loving, as well as the rest of her cohort.
Molly and I get along very well because of our similar interests. We both love Jesus, singing, and spending time with others. On the bus ride to retreat I got to learn even more about her interests, family, and favorites. The first day together we conquered the high ropes course. Molly was so fearless and continued to encourage me to step out of my comfort zone. As much as it is important for me to be a mentor, I know that throughout this process I’m going to learn just as much from my mentee. I’ve been through a year of college but having a relationship with someone can reap good outcomes in more ways than one.
Day 2 of the retreat we went through a number of team building activities with our small group and as mentor/mentee pairs. One of Molly and I’s favorites was being led by each other while being blindfolded. It gave both of us the chance to be vulnerable and trust each other. I knew that Molly wouldn’t let me be unsafe and would take very good care of me. I even played basketball blindfolded (which made me wonder why I stopped playing in Junior High) which made me feel like I was on top of the world.
Finishing the first day of the retreat, all 97 of us gathered around the campfire to reflect on the day. The relationships we share, and overwhelming gratitude to the LAS program, Eagle Village, and each other. I can’t even form a sentence to describe how contrasting last year (as a freshman and mentee) feels to this year (a sophomore and a mentor). My cohort has grown so much as individuals by finding their home on campus, continuing to astound me with how wonderful they all are. Spending time with my cohort and reflecting on all of our memories together made me realize how much I miss them. This year we all live in different places, but when we do get the chance to see each other it’s one of the happiest things, and my heart is so full for the rest of the day. Becoming mentors isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but I know that my class is going to put our best foot forward in guiding CMU’s next generation of leaders.