Young people’s minds are growing and taking shape in the midst of pandemic concerns, social unrest and quarantining. Regardless of the immediate circumstances, adults have the opportunity to imbue young people with the values and skills that will shape their lives. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Adolescence is an ideal time in a person’s life to gain and maintain new skills. In addition, an adolescent’s thinking and decision-making processes may vary from day to day. By keeping these issues in mind, adults can provide the support adolescents need as their brains develop.”
While quarantining may be difficult for parents and students, it is an unprecedented opportunity for adults to share their views and challenges with their teens. Often missed in a world where we are all on the go and sound bites count as contact, this is a unique time in life where we can “walk the walk” and thoughtfully share the best that we have to offer.
To help these growing minds navigate their education and take their first steps in their career, Cambium Networks started bi-weekly mentoring sessions. These online meetings are for all high school and college students of Cambium team members as well as all young adults in their family who have already graduated and are seeking mentorship. I open each session presenting ideas, and we open the conversation to all attendees for discussion.
Young people want to discuss how to select a career, the importance of money and the impact politics has on their lives: significant topics that will shape their lives. Currently, there are 30 young people participating in the sessions, and they are fully engaged in the conversation. Here are some notes from the meeting that were taken by the daughter of one of our technical product managers:
1. Find your passion: Everyone has a talent. It will no doubt require listening and patience. Work because you love the activity and not because it offers more money.
2. Find your rhythm: Since each one of us is at home, it is important to have a routine so that we are prepared when everything gets back to normal. Mental and physical health is very important especially in quarantine when there is a lot of unstructured time.
3. Interpersonal skills: High grades in school may provide some advantage in classes, but interpersonal skills will take you further in life and lead to faster career growth. Be humble and confident.
Learning cannot be quarantined. Young people are continuously growing and seeking people to trust as they grapple with important questions in an uncertain world. Share the best that you have in the moments that you are given. It will improve the life of someone close to you and ripple through the lives of everyone they contact.