Coming into this program as a non-English major, I had little expectation for how well I would excel as a mentor in a writing program. But stepping into the Broad Ripple environment on the first day was an eye-opening experience both as a student and as a human being. The diverse minds of the students continues to amaze and impress me, and there is always somebody new joining the group each session. With each student that walks through the door, a new thought and a new sense of expression is brought into the classroom.

Not only do these kids impress me with their intellect, but they also impress me with their understanding of the world and the people around them. Some days, I completely forget that these students were all born after the new millennia. Their maturity is so astounding, and yet they still mess around like kids. I remember being in middle school and having very little knowledge of pop culture or anything that didn’t have to do with any of the activities I was involved in. But these kids bring in the real-world, which is then poured into their writing.

These students humble me beyond belief. Some thought I was as young as 16, others thought I was hitting 30 (I’m 20, and that comment panged me). A couple of them even asked if I was married with kids (I hope I’m not). They keep me grounded in ways that I have never experienced, and they continue to bring in new life with every piece of work they create. Creativity at their age has reached its peak, and it’s so refreshing to see kids their age create stories and poetry out of the cluttered minds of a middle schooler. The amount of enthusiasm they hold with their writing is truly inspiring, and it always makes me feel accomplished when I get the chance to read their creations.

As the semester comes to a close, I hope that I end on an inspirational note, not dissimilar to the level of insight they granted me. With their young, sugar-fueled minds, I know they are capable of reaching goals I could never achieve, and I truly hope they keep this experience burrowed within their deep minds for the rest of their lives. I sure know I will.

Fuxiao Saper is a junior Digital Media major.