Emma Bronnenberg – Humans of TAMS

What are some interesting things about you?

I used to be a competitive swimmer. I like art and flowers. Everything in my room is flowers. I especially like peonies because of the nature part of it; I like growing plants. I have a sister who is 6 years old and a brother who is 16, so I am the oldest. Because my sister is 12 years younger than I am, taking care of her when my mom was busy, for example, has been a big part of my life. It was also pretty natural for me to come into the position of senior mentor where I could help other people.

What are your feelings on being a senior mentor?

You get to see a different part of TAMS. You always see your perspective, but now I get to see little snippets of how my life was last year. I get to provide a little bit of wisdom to tell them [the juniors], even though I felt at one stressful moment, it was the end of the world, that something bad was going to come out it, that is really not the case. You can get through it. The only bad thing was that I had to schedule my classes a little differently, because I knew I would be up doing room checks. I just took classes a little later to accommodate that.

What characteristics make a good senior mentor?

I think your character can really be seen in what you do outside of academics: your volunteering, involvement in clubs and especially what your peers think of you. Peers can tell you a lot about your personality and whether your a trustworthy person. In the end, people are unpredictable. There is only so much you can do. You just have to put your hope, trust and faith in people to have integrity to do what is right.

How would you describe your support system as a senior mentor?

Even though we are in leadership positions, it may be our first time. We may not know what to do all the time. It is important to have shared accountability in a person you can talk to, whether a hall director, RA holds you accountable as well. It’s really helpful to have a roommate who you can talk to. I’ve known my roommate for about 5 years and she’s great. We are able to talk to each other and make sure we keep each other on track. We are a really awesome RA, Nyemoi, who is really great about making sure we are giving enough time to studying. I

What inspired you to be a senior mentor?

I think it’s really important that when juniors come in, they have good senior mentors they can look up to and find a role model in. The fact that we have these positions is pretty cool; it’s pretty cool to have this person who is your older brother/sister to be there and talk to you. There isn’t as much of an age gap as an RA who has to implement the rules. I wanted to be a person who the juniors could talk to and trust, but also I love the idea because of my senior mentors last year. They helped us get through our junior year at TAMS.

What are your thoughts on the future of senior mentors?

I think it’s important that senior mentors are maintained in the TAMS community. It’s a big part of who we are as senior mentors. It’s a big part of everyday to be there for juniors in and outside of your wing. I don’t know if my experience as a junior and a senior would be the same without senior mentoring. You create relationships with people that you wouldn’t have otherwise. I wouldn’t have known as many juniors’ lives and personalities. You never know what can happen in the future so why try to control it?

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