EMU Blog

Mar 01 2019

An Open Letter from a Mentor

by blogemu

For the students who feel like there’s no hope and nobody to turn to, this letter is for you. I understand what you’re going through. I realize that you may not know that, but I’ve been there before and I understand.

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I have been so poor that I was unsure if I had enough gas in my car to make it home from class. I have watched other people carelessly drive around with jealousy. I have scraped change together just to buy the most basic toiletries. I have foregone food in order to do this, because despite needing food to live, it was more important for me to not be ridiculed by my peers. I have felt like no one was there for me. I understand.

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I have been confused about simple processes that I had to follow in order to do simple things. I have let my license plates expire because the thought of learning that new process seemed overwhelming to me. I have refused to ask for help because I thought I would appear stupid, or weak. I have paid bills late because I didn’t know that I could ask to move my payment date. I have wasted money refusing to ask for help. All it did was make me feel worse about myself. I understand.

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I have been unsure of my sexuality. I have been surrounded by people that wouldn’t speak openly about it. I have argued with my family and not spoken to some of them for years. I have lost friends by being open and honest with them. I have had my feelings hurt by their actions. I have felt like I couldn’t tell them how much they hurt me. I have been single. I have been engaged. I have dated boys and I am currently dating a girl. I understand.

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I have been insanely happy. I have been dangerously sad. Sometimes I blame myself for feeling this way and it makes me not want to reach out to anyone. I get lost in my own head. I overthink things. I have panic attacks. I have been depressed. Sometimes, I don’t sleep for days and other times it’s all I want to do. I understand.

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I have been hurt by my partner. I have left with nothing but the clothes on my back. I fought the battle in court. I got support. I reached out. But most importantly, I left. I moved out of town, then out of state. I started a new life and a new career. I couldn’t have done it without help. I’m here to help you. I understand.

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I am only one person, but I understand. There are more people like me, available for students like you that need someone who understands. We’re called mentors and we’re waiting to meet you. We want to help you.

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EMU has an amazing mentorship program available for students. You can contact any of the available resources listed at the bottom of this article for a number of different services. You can contact all of them if you want. But please, if you have ever felt sad or anxious or if you’re tired of being alone, reach out. We can’t wait to meet you. We’re here to help and we understand.

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EMU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center offers support meetings around campus and an opportunity to connect with a mentor. You can find meeting times and the mentor application here.
There’s an amazing group that specifically assists youths or current EMU students who have been in foster care or experienced homelessness. Mentorship Access Guidance in College (MAGIC) is here to help you be your best and most successful self. Find out more about the assistance they offer here https://www.emich.edu/asp/programs/magic//. 

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The Mentor Collective aims to connect people who need guidance with someone who has a similar background and experiences in order to be matched with a mentor that understands them. Learn more about that program and sign up here https://emich.edu/mentor-collective/.

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Are you struggling with academics? Learn about the program being offered by the Holman Success Center (or sign up to become a peer mentor) here.
Anxious about your future career? The University Advising and Career Development Center is available for all students, even if they’re not currently enrolled. You can find out more about their services here https://www.emich.edu/academic-support-programs/hsc/peer-mentors/index.php.

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If you’re experiencing severe anxiety or depression, don’t wait to reach out. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. You could also chat with them online (https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/) if you don’t feel comfortable about calling them. 


About the writer:

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Hi! I’m Pamela! I am a senior at EMU studying communication technology. When I’m not at school, I’m working at Ann Arbor’s Community TV Network or spending time with my girlfriend. I’m also passionate about cats and wine. When I grow up, I want to be a writer.

 

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