What to do when you don’t know what to do (A Mentoring session with my students)

Published by alvinauh on

This post is meant for my students in this lockdown period. It is meant to keep their “eyes on the prize” as they have their movement restricted with a lot of free time on their hands. If you prefer to listen instead of read. Check out the link here.

Hey everyone, it has been over a month since I have last seen all of you and time has flown by so fast. Looking back at our Whatsapp conversations, I deduce that you are all bored, anxious and confused of what the future holds at this point in time.

As much as I want to tell you that things are going to be ok, the future can be very hard to predict. As your lecturer, teacher, tutor and pre-assigned-college-parent to all of you, I feel that it is my duty to address you and speak over your life. So, since this is my little informal mentoring session for all of you, I have named this session…

“What to do when you don’t know what to do”

For this particular mentoring session, I’ll be speaking from a few examples in my life that could help you navigate this time. Since most of you are still relatively fresh to college, I thought I would start there and branch out alter to other relevant examples.

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I obtained a scholarship to enter into a fully-funded overseas program. Naturally, I was happy when I got it, but quickly realize that academically speaking, I was not the best. I even failed at the paper that I am currently teaching you at college (ironic, isn’t it).  While I eventually did pull through with relatively good results, I quickly realize an important lesson that I am now imparting to you.

Grades should never be your sole priority.

I say this not to discourage you from studying but to ask that you place your priority on a longer-term goal, which is your job as a teacher. It may come as a surprise to you, but not all teachers are academically inclined. What we do have is a passion for our students. That passion includes guiding your students well and helping them towards achieving their goals. Also, most importantly, pouring your wisdom, soul and intellect into the students’ lives.

But, here comes the problem. You can’t pour into the students’ lives if you don’t have anything to pour into their lives. Just as it is impossible to pour water from an empty bottle, it is impossible for you to pour life-giving water into your students’ lives if you don’t have it within you. So, what do you do? That really depends on each one of you.

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For me, I started with what I was already good at. I started teaching swimming in college(since I was a state representative), I pursued an instructorship in Taekwondo (since I was a black belt holder) and I joined debate competitions to hone my skills to coach my students for that in the future.

I also had a passion for computer games but acknowledged that students in our generation are addicted to it. Hence, I joined organizations where we helped children speak about gaming addiction.

Conclusion

I think this post is getting a bit too long, so I will end this by asking you this question.

What is already in your hands?

Now, before you say “your smartphone”, hear me out. The question actually asks what talents do you already possess? Everyone is good at something and if you don’t think you have any, you just have not discovered it yet. That’s good news, this means that you get to choose what you want to be good at.

So, do think about what your talents are, think about what is already in your hands and start honing it, building it as much as you can while you are still stuck at home. I know, this has been a long read, but in the next post, I’ll build on how we can further hone your talents during this time.

Now, to the question of what you can do when you don’t know what to do? The answer to that is to start doing something that you are good at!

Till next time guys!