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.
In the last three Mentoring Minutes, we talked about the importance of helping students find their purpose, plan for their future, and learn how to adapt.
A fourth way that we can help students make a healthy transition from high school graduate to healthy adult is to encourage optimism. Sometimes, students don’t make a healthy transition to adulthood because they can’t envision a positive future for themselves. Encouraging optimism in our students does not mean that we give them false hope for the future or place unrealistic expectations on them. It does mean that we talk with them about the realities of adulthood and the power that optimism has to help them persevere through some of the inevitable frustrations and uncertainties they will face. As mentors, we can do that by sharing from our own life experience, encouraging our students to choose a positive attitude in the midst of current obstacles, and being an advocate and cheerleader for them as they start planning for their future.
Check back next month for more ways that you can learn and grow as a mentor!
-Jason Matthews, BTO Mentor Coach
Jason Matthews is a youth pastor in Washington State, where he’s been serving students for over 20 years. When he doesn’t have to be in the office, he loves to be outside with his family, hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest. He also loves to network with other youth workers.