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.