Ways to Encourage Your Mentors and College-Age Students This Week
While some of us are more words-oriented than others, we could all use a word of encouragement from time to time. That said, we wanted to make it really, really easy (really) for you to encourage either (or both) your mentors and students this week. Here are threeâokay, I couldnât stop at threeâsix ways to encourage them.
- Reiterate that you like them. I know it sounds cheesy, but knowing weâre âlikedâ can sometimes be even more poignant than knowing weâre loved. While God commands us to âlove our neighbor,â telling someone you genuinely like them communicates that you have an affection for this person beyond your so-called âduty.â (And if you genuinely donât like the person, maybe you should resort to one of the other six bullet points.)
- Tell them two reasons why youâre uniquely interested in their life. Maybe itâs their ambition, or homemade scones, or the way they talk about God. Weâre all designed uniquely, but too often we forget this and need to be reminded.
- Follow-up. Maybe they shared something with you recently that was clearly important to them (a divorce in their family, a grandparentâs illness, a job lead, etc.). A mere, âHowâs ___ going?â can mean a world of difference.
- Remind them that itâs okay to struggle. This one obviously wonât be timely for everyone, but if you know one whoâs struggling, it can be refreshing to simply remember that trials are a part of life and never go without reaping some good.
- Tell them some words of God. Often I find myself texting, âPraying for you.â This obviously isnât bad, but the strength behind sending direct verses from Scripture is priceless.
- Pray. Ask how you can pray for them during the next few minutes.
Note: These arenât just privy to mentors and college-age adults. Feel free to spread the encouragement to those around you as wellâyour spouse, mom, co-workers, mailman, roommate, Starbucks barista, etc., too.
XP3 College offers Conversation Guides for mentors and small group leaders to connect older adults with 18- to 25-year-olds. XP3 College also offers a transition piece, called XP3 Next, for high school seniors and an ongoing connection piece for the first semester away. For more information on available conversation guides, visit our online store.
Abbie Smith is the co-author of The Slow Fade, and a writer and partner support for XP3 College. Abbieâs latest book, Celibate Sex: Musings on Being Loved, Single, Twisted, and Holy, is now available at most online retailers.