Scholarly Saturdays: Finding Mentors and Asking for Help

September 22, 2018

 

When I was in high school, the one point that was hammered home again and again was to ask for help. The teachers of my online classes were constantly reminding my classmates and me of the fantastic resources available. All we students had to do was leap through any one of the many windows of opportunity placed conveniently in front of us.

 

And leap I did! Well... it took a while to get off the ground. For the first few years, I alternated between feeling too shy to ask my teachers for help and being too disorganized to keep office hour and peer tutor session times in order. Something had to change.

 

By junior year, I had gotten organized. In addition to my extracurricular activities on top of seven AP and university-level classes, I was also applying to five of the most prestigious summer programs in the country in my fields of interest. The combination of needing to ask for help to keep on top of my work and to apply to these programs was when the importance of finding outside guidance and mentorship finally hit home for me.

 

I decided that what I wanted more than anything in the world was to be accepted to and attend the Telluride Association Summer Program, or TASP, the summer after eleventh grade. This was not exactly the most achievable ideal, given that TASP has an acceptance rate of approximately 3%. Thankfully, I had learned how to track down someone who could help, and I found a gem: a previous TASPer, now attending my dream university, Columbia, and offering his email to any prospective applicants to ask questions.

 

I immediately got in touch with him, and was thrilled when he emailed back the next day. Come May 1st, I had my acceptance (to the seminar I had listed as my first choice, at that), and a wonderful new friend and mentor.

 

If there's anything I've learned from high school, it's that it's nearly impossible to perform to the best of your ability without a support network of people who are well-equipped to help you achieve your goals. Every time I've gone out of my way to find the most qualified people to help me, I've performed miles better, and, best of all, had much more fun in the process.

 

My Ivy Education exists to be that crucial support network. We've already done the heavy lifting of learning how to get an academic edge, be it for applying to summer programs and colleges or simply for the love of learning. Now we're here to impart what we've learned and do the same for you. We pull from our own network of connections in practically every industry to provide our students with mentorships and opportunities from the best of the best in their fields. And if a student needs guidance in an area we don't have experience with, we go to the ends of the Earth to track down experts who do.

 

As I learned firsthand, you can't do everything yourself - that's why it's so important to ask for help. At My Ivy Education, we locate and address where our students need help before they even have to ask. We know it can be hard for a child to take advantage of the opportunities available to them, so we're there to be their scaffolding, to allow and encourage them to leap through every possible window without fear of falling.

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