A Shift in Paradigm -By Zachariah Warhus

Merriam-Webster defines paradigm shift as “an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.” Before my second year in LDP, the closest that I came to a paradigm shift was when I discovered that the food in the dining hall was unlimited. However, the biggest paradigm shift that I have experienced has been transiting from being a first-year ‘mentee’ to a second-year ‘mentor’. As a first-year member of the LDP, I was focused on achieving various goals such as earning my red tie and meeting my desired GPA. I was helped along by my second-year mentors: Roberto and Nick. With their help I was able to complete all my projects and earn my tie.

All of that changed after the first day of Team Week. Instead of worrying about my personal lack of sleep or how I would tackle the different projects and challenges that I ran into, I was focused on the first-year members. The other senior members and I were all focused on how we could best help the first-year members. We constantly were thinking things like: ‘Who was struggling with that last challenge?’ ‘Who looks like they’re near the point of quitting?’ ‘How are we going to communicate this lesson in a constructive way?’.

As the year has progressed and I have begun to help my mentor group achieve their goals and work on their projects, I have watched us grow closer and more effective as a unit. The system of mentor groups gives an even deeper sense of community within the team. Each of us knows that whatever we need, someone in our group will be ready and willing to step in and help. With all the lessons and opportunities that I have become privy to as a member of the LDP the most beneficial part has been my experience as a mentor.

L to R: Faisal A., Chiderah O., Zachariah W., and Gannon D.