Words for Mentees (1): While at school

The secondary school I went to runs a mentorship programme. Past students from all walks of life mentor current Form 5 students. I have been a mentor for a few years. Owing to my background, I was mostly matched with students who are interested in joining the legal profession. As such, I find myself repeating the same thing every year to different mentees. I have decided to write a series of blogs about what I want to share with them.

For Form 5 students, the immediate goal ought to be getting good DSE results. Not everyone wants to further study, but it’s always good to keep the options open. To get good grades means that you can choose the university and curriculum you want to pursue.

Students are busy with exams, school based assessments and after school tutorials. However, it is important to balance academic work with extracurricular activities. There are many activities that are only available in secondary school. My school has a tradition of drama and each year there is a drama production. Drama, be it on stage as cast or behind the scene as production team, is a great way to practise English, learn to take responsibilities and more importantly, learn to be a team player. These soft skills are essential for future success.

Uniform groups and societies offer opportunities to meet friends outside of your own class. Serving positions in these groups enhance your leadership skill, taking advantage of invaluable teacher guidance which will not be available once you finish secondary school.

Make lasting friendship from school. Very often the best friends come from young school days. Keep in touch with your friends and don’t underestimate the value of alumni. When your schoolmates join different professions, it can form a useful and powerful social network support network.

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