Young adults encounter many novel experiences as college students. There’s that first time living away from home, the first opportunity to manage personal finances, and even the first time being sick by themselves without mom and dad waiting in the wings to swoop in and make everything better. When these milestones are coupled with the academic demands of college life, things can seem more than a little overwhelming.

How can so many pressures be navigated smoothly, without conflict and void of stress? No one knows more about negotiating the pressures of college than someone who has been there and done that. Mentors can enrich the life of a college student by serving as both a personal and professional guide, making those complicated college years a little less daunting and a lot more rewarding.

Personal Benefits of Finding A Mentor

College years are ripe with new challenges and choices that are tough to navigate. It’s natural for students to turn to their peers for advice, but that advice may be limiting. According to Forbes, turning to peers may be “… a good perspective to have, but the power of a mentor who can provide a different perspective, relate different leadership experiences, and ask a different set of questions is critically important.” You may have great friends who can give quality advice, but sometimes it’s better to talk to someone with more experience.

A true mentor/mentee relationship develops over time, resulting in a trusting partnership that helps the mentee begin to see the road that lies ahead a little more clearly. Many mentors continue to serve as faithful sounding boards throughout college and beyond offering solid personal advice that results in true, long-term friendships. Having the advice of a mentor can help make major decisions easier to make because you’re able to talk to a neutral person.

Professional Benefits of Finding A Mentor

In addition to the personal benefits, finding a mentor aligned to a particular field of study can serve as an invaluable role model for college students hoping to gain practical career advice for life after graduation. According to Fortune, “Seeking out advice from the people who hold the very positions that millennials one day hope to attain, or even supersede, can be extremely beneficial.” You never know what kind of knowledge or experience your mentor has and how that could help you out professionally.

Mentors lay the foundation for networking, internships, and even job offers prior to graduation, which makes that next step in life a little less intimidating. Finding a mentor in college makes good sense and leads to empowerment, confidence, and a brighter future for all.