Caitlin’s story

Caitlin’s story

My mentor was lovely; we bonded over our pets and that made me feel more connected to her. She made me feel calmer about applying via UCAS and the interviews process. It was so easy to talk to her because she’s not much older than me.

She could give me accurate advice on what uni is like today, during covid, and what to do about accommodation. I felt like she was a friend or an older sister; I felt like I’d known her for a long time rather than just through an online programme.

The online aspect of the Brightside programme suited me because I’m quite an awkward person. When I’m talking to someone online, I’ll never have to see them again. I think you can forge really strong relationships online, so long as it’s safe.

Brightside put lots of things in place to make it safe, like you can’t share your social media details or agree to meet in person, and all the mentors are DBS checked. It also meant that I could go back to our chat and reread the research tips my mentor sent. It’s much easier to forget important bits of information when you’re talking in person because there’s so much else going on.

My experience with mentoring didn’t change my mind about what I wanted to do, but it helped me solidify my ideas and helped me be more confident in my decisions. It’s so nice to speak to someone who isn’t too much older than you, who has been through it all recently, and during a pandemic. It’s been an invaluable opportunity to get real-time perspective.

Want to have a positive impact on young people?’

We’re always looking for new mentors as everyone brings their unique perspective and and experience

Mentee stories

Daniel’s story

I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to do after GCSE and I had no idea where to start. I was interested in aviation, zoology and conservation but after that I was lost. I didn’t know if you needed a degree or an apprenticeship and I wasn’t sure which path to choose. Mentoring was a very useful tool to help with this; it gave me a push to start looking at new things.

Aliza’s story

Mentoring was so important for me, especially during a lockdown where you only see the people you already know. You get to connect with someone you’d never speak to outside of school and that’s really important because it forces you out of your comfort zone.

Caitlin’s story

My mentor was lovely; we bonded over our pets and that made me feel more connected to her. She made me feel calmer about applying via UCAS and the interviews process. It was so easy to talk to her because she’s not much older than me.

Simran’s story

I always wonder whether I’d be thinking or feeling the same about university if there wasn’t a pandemic. I completely lost that in-person interaction and was struggling with the UCAS application because of it. But then, if there hadn’t been the pandemic, I wouldn’t have been able to do the virtual work experience and use the Brightside platform.

Tahmina’s story

If I had to describe my mentor in one word, I’d say amazing. She did the same A Levels as me so she also sent me her notes from Chemistry which were amazing; I’m still using them.

Rano’s story

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer but I was concerned about the workload. My mentor was a working lawyer, so not only gave me advice about my UCAS application and interview questions, but also reassured me that you don’t need to overwork yourself to be successful. He told me about his personal experience of finding balance and saying no, and reminded me how important enjoying your free time is.