Learning to Get Back on Track with the Support from COACH Program

The COACH program (Creating Options and Conquering Hurdles) is offered through the UC Irvine Counseling Center in order to help students in need of organization and assistance with life goals.

I was definitely a student in need, completely lost and unmotivated about my future. While crossing the humanities bridge for yet another day of dreary classes, I stumbled upon a purple flyer that caught my eye: “Want to achieve your goals? Need a friend? Need some help? Sign up for a COACH mentor, completely free!”

I was intrigued. There was something out there that could help me. I called the number that day and was glad to talk to a receptionist that paired me up with a COACH mentor.

I was nervous about meeting my COACH mentor at Starbucks the next day. Elizabeth Jordan was a confident fifth-year who was going to help me get my life back on track.

I was embarrassed at first; letting a stranger know your personal goals can be awkward and scary. She created a strategic plan with deadlines, goals, a plethora of resources and, most importantly, support.

“I’m going to be your little cheerleader!” she told me when we met. For the first time since being at UCI, I felt like I had stability in my life.

Elizabeth met all of my expectations and helped me bring my grades up during winter quarter. She encouraged me to invest in myself and showed me that I could achieve anything if I put my mind to it.

Having the support was great, especially when I was dealing with tough times. Even if she didn’t always have the answer, or I didn’t always achieve my goals, she showed me there was a reason to keep going. I finally felt my life coming together. It was as if she was my secret weapon.

But there was one thing that caught me by surprise. In the middle of my spring quarter, when my life was finally settling down, I began to wonder about Elizabeth’s personal life. Although Elizabeth had revealed some aspects of her life to me before, she never focused on herself.

We made the transition from mentor-mentee to friends. It was at that moment that I knew I had gained something truly important.

It’s been a year now since I started the COACH program. I ended the program at the end of last spring but have continued to message Elizabeth every once in a while about graduate school or update her on my life.

The COACH program gave me a positive outlook on my life and strategies that I can use in every field that I would like to pursue. I can proudly say that I’m beginning to create a name for myself and individualize my opportunities, and I thank the COACH program for that.

You can request a life coach at (949) 824-6457 or visit the Counseling Center located across from Starbucks on campus. For more information, visit: http://www.counseling.uci.edu/students/COACHProgram.aspx