This month, we are focusing on how mentors can help students make a healthy transition to adulthood. In our culture today, it is not uncommon for students to graduate from high school with little direction (or motivation) to grow into healthy adults. Culturally, we have even created a new name for 18-29 year old’s who fit this description. We call them emerging adults. As mentors, we have a unique opportunity to come alongside our students and help them grow towards becoming a healthy adult. Last week, we talked about the importance of helping them find their purpose.

A second way that we can help students make a healthy transition from high school graduate to healthy adult is to help them in the process of planning for the future. Sometimes what keeps students from making the leap from teenager to thriving adult is a lack of planning and long-term perspective. Without planning and perspective, many students remain stuck in the “in-between” space of high school graduate and fully-independent adult. On the other hand, students who have learned and seen the value of planning from caring adults (like parents, teachers, and mentors) are better able to set priorities and goals that help them achieve their long-term goals. As mentors, we can help our students plan for the future by talking through different options with them, looking for resources that will help them take next steps, and giving them some long-term perspective from our own experience.

-Jason Matthews, BTO Mentor Coach