Office of Student Life

Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program

Letter to a Mentor - Sanjana Chidambaram

May 29, 2020 by Beth Johnson

The second semester of my junior year was a turbulent one. I must have gotten rejected about ten times from both dream internships and dream jobs, was hopping in and out of organizations, and was constantly on-edge. Around this time – I think the beginning of April – I asked Beth – yes, THE BLF Beth – if we could chat about an incident that occurred that left me furious and disappointed by a man in one of my business classes.

When we met up on the second floor of the Ohio Union, Beth and I spent an hour talking about two things: me as me, and me in the system. Beth was one of the few people during this time who pushed me to think about these vague concepts of self-worth and confidence, especially confidence for a woman of color in a society in which loud men in business seemed to rule the world. Beth took the time to talk me through why I valued myself the way I did and how I could change my thoughts to make myself slightly happier. Beth: I never told you this, but the summer after we had that conversation was a turning point for me, a summer where I learned to value myself outside my accomplishments, where I learned to grapple with my existence in a system not built for me, and where I finally found some much-needed peace in a college atmosphere that sometimes seems to encourage the exact opposite. Thank you, Beth, for taking the time to teach me to be a little happier with the person that I am.