Book cover for Connections Are Everything: A College Student's Guide to Relationship-Rich Education by Peter Felten, Leo M. Lambert, Isis Artze-Vega, and Oscar R. Miranda Tapia. An illustration of a female student in graduation cap and gown is surrounded by illustrations of various people (other students, professors, and many other people) -- all these people are connected by lines, forming a network.
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ISBN: 9781421443126

Johns Hopkins University Press, July 2023

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This chapter focuses on how student can seek out and participate in the kinds of conversations that provide students with a bit of advice, challenge, or support at just the right time. College is brimming with opportunities for these kinds of discussions with faculty, staff, and peers.

How do mentoring conversations work? This chapter outlines five benefits of mentoring conversations, and helps students find ways to engage in these powerful moments of connection.

Ask Yourself...

  1. Can you think of a moment when someone’s comment or action moved you from feeling at the margins to a place of belonging? Could you make a comment or take an action that would do this for one of your peers?
  2. Describe a time when someone passed off some essential knowledge to you to aid in your adjustment to college. Have you done this for others?
  3. When in your life has someone led you to someone or something that made a critical difference? How did they do it?
  4. Describe a mentoring conversation when someone has helped you through a low moment.
  5. Has a mentoring conversation ever left a legacy for you? How so?

Try This!

  1. Choose one of your professors, whether from a class you’re currently taking or one you took in another term, and reach out to request a meeting (see sample email at the end of chapter 5). Bring a couple of questions with you, questions that are not easily answered with a yes or no. You might ask about the professor’s career or for advice on how to be a successful college student.
  2. Practice having a mentoring conversation with one of your peers. Ask “How are you?” or “What’s your favorite class right now? Why?” or “What’s the hardest part of this semester for you?” and take the time to listen.