Mentee vs. Mentor By Olivia Taitt

Let me give you a comparison of first-year Olivia to second-year Olivia. Last year, whenever I woke up at 5am for the Tuesday morning workout, I would be exhausted and think “Ugh, why am I in LDP? It doesn’t let me get any sleep, it messes up my schedule, I don’t even have class until 9:30, etc…” This year, I woke up equally exhausted one morning, and my first thought was, “Ugh, why did I stay up so late and do this to myself?” That moment, I realized “WOW, I just took accountability for being tired instead of blaming LDP.”

I absolutely love my second year in the LDP. The first year was so tough, but I struggled through it because of my friends in the program. However, being a mentor my second year has given me a tremendous purpose. I am constantly trying to improve myself so I can be a better mentor. I love my mentor group, and we have established a great culture and strong respect for one another. As long as my mentees are working hard in school, LDP, and their RSOs, I try not to assign any additional work. Each week however, we have a different challenge. These are things like writing thank you notes, having a personal connection, and writing sugar cubes. I always urge them to find things they don’t like, and we’ll figure out how to improve them, whether that’s in LDP, their RSO, or their personal lives.


The hardest part of mentoring is having set lesson plans. It’s very much like teaching, and planning new topics for each week becomes difficult. Sudd and Dr. DeRuntz have given me great advice to improve my meetings, and over break I plan to create detailed lessons for every future mentor meeting.


My favorite part of the group is watching them succeed, 75% of my group has their ties, and are quickly working towards their portfolios. My mentees include Breanna, Maddie, Bob and John, and they have all blown their projects away and shown massive initiatives within the LDP.  Breanna, Maddie, and Bob are already leaders within their RSOs. John, despite him coming from China just 4 months ago and joining the LDP late, has fearlessly thrown himself into new RSO’s, projects, and social events, and I have seen tremendous growth.


My mentees help me as much as I try to help them, and it has been an amazing experience.

L to R: Jessica Higginbothem, Breanna Whitley, Olivia Taitt, Madeleine Meyer