Having been one of the first cohorts to receive Zero Gravity mentoring, it seems surreal to have now finished my degree in History and Politics at the University of Oxford.
But being a mentee with Zero Gravity isn’t just about helping top students from low-opportunity backgrounds like myself score a place at top universities. It has some incredible long-term impact: building confidence, developing independent learning skills, and preparing you for what university is really like.
Applying for university and transitioning to a new place can be intimidating, but if you’re a mentee, you know that you’re in a good place. You were selected by Zero Gravity, showing that you are exactly the sort of student which universities are looking for. So wherever you end up - don’t forget that you deserve to be there!
Independent Learning Skills
Zero Gravity mentoring encourages you to develop independent learning skills. These skills are particularly helpful in humanities degrees where you may only have a few lectures and classes a week, rather than having a packed timetable of mandatory classes, labs and tasks. You need to be self-motivated, ensuring you turn up when you need to and arriving organised. Preparation for mentoring sessions sets you up for this style of learning, particularly as mentoring on Zero Gravity is driven by the questions you ask, the goals you set, and the challenges you face. Mentoring all starts with self-reflection and knowing your areas for improvement which is exactly how to study at university.
Preparing for University Life
Zero Gravity mentoring gives you handy knowledge about your dream institution, from which papers might be up your street to the best places to socialise! Whatever knowledge you gain from your mentor, it will help to set you up for success at university by allowing you to hit the ground running. Use mentoring as a space to ask all your questions you want to know about what is on offer, to study techniques for staying focused and productivity app recommendations.
University is also all about feedback – completing work, handing it in, receiving feedback, and then implementing those insights so that the next piece of work you do is even better. This style of working is similar to how you work with your mentor when you perfect your personal statement or tackle a potential admissions assessments. In the case of studying at Oxford, teaching is quite similar to Zero Gravity mentoring in the form of weekly tutorials where you go to explain your challenges and ask the questions that have come to you over the week, having completed some necessary tasks like an essay. The entrance interviews for Oxford are designed as simulations of this tutorial style teaching session, as you need to react to new information or challenges rapidly. The style of the Zero Gravity mentoring sessions then set you up perfectly for both interviews and tutorials if you are successful in your application!
If you have any doubts about applying to be mentored on Zero Gravity, my advice is to go for it! You are investing in yourself, allowing you to meet your university goals and develop further skills that will support you for longer-term success. And for students further along in their educational career, I encourage you to reflect on the value of the schemes that went before you, and to get mentoring to pass on those same skills to the next generation!
Keen to get a mentor? Or even become one? Sign-up here - takes five minutes.