Ask Madelaine: Response to Anonymous

This Ask Madelaine submission touches on the pressure one can feel to be a good role model for others.


May Taing

Illustration design courtesy of May Taing.

By Madelaine Vikse, Editor-in-Chief

I’ve recently befriended an underclassman who seems to look up to me a lot and asks me for advice often. I feel a little bit of self pressure to be a good role model for this university student, but they’re also my friend. How do I not mess this up?


You obviously mean well and want to give them good advice, which is important to note.

It’s difficult to feel like a good role model. We all have different obstacles and issues that we must deal with and we may not deal with them in the best way. The important thing to remember is that no one is perfect and no one is going to give “perfect” advice. 

If this individual is reaching out to you for advice, then you must be doing something right. They wouldn’t be reaching out and looking up to you if they didn’t trust you to give them good advice.

It may be a good idea to also consider the fact that this is a good learning opportunity for you as well. You’re gaining leadership skills, such as decision making and problem solving, that can help you in the future. If someone is looking to you for advice, it’s a compliment to you and your accomplishments.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect. Instead, when your friend reaches out to you for advice, consider what would be the most beneficial to them and think about how you can help them get there.

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