Beginning or being an older student can raise questions of loneliness and anxiety in college. The environment in which you study, socialise and succeed is peppered with obstacles you had avoided until now. Pounding up staircases and engaging in packed lecture theatres can induce a lot of weird feelings. This is the season for students to grapple with their first assignments or sit perplexed over the bones of their senior dissertation. So what can help to blot these feelings and make sense of a very confusing time as a student?
Niteline is something many students have possibly heard of, but don’t necessarily understand what they do. It is a student organisation that exists entirely due to the passionate volunteers who man our computers and telephones seven nights a week during term. We are the only student listening service in Ireland which operates instant messaging for those who wish to type instead of talk over the phone. But we keep both options available for our audience.
It is a safe place where students can talk to a fellow peer volunteer in confidence. It has a very special motivation in its twenty three year old existence- to listen. A word so filled with connotations that it has become meaningless in wider society. To really be listened to at a time of great anxiety and isolation is invaluable. To be listened to without judgement is a very important part of our organisation. Niteline was originally formed in Essex University in 1973 with the intention to help alleviate student suicide. Back then it was one of the only resources for overwhelmed and isolated students. Now in 2015 in Trinity College Dublin, National College of Art and Design, Royal College of Surgeons and Maynooth University we aim to listen to a diverse range of students after hours. We don’t judge, give advice or interrupt your thoughts with our own. We wish for every caller to find safety and reflection in talking to us. Whatever you’re feeling in the encroaching night, remember our number 1800 793 793 and our website www.niteline.ie are places of safety for students we serve.
Don’t be nervous about getting in touch. Remember, the people on the other end of the line are there because they want to be there for others. They are real people, and they are waiting to talk if you want.