Finding a Place- January 2020
Hi everyone! It has been a while… my apologies. That won’t happen again. New year, new me, right? So, if you’re on this page, chances are there’s a reason for it. Either you’re interested in calling us, of maybe you’re even interested in becoming an Ear. Or, maybe, someone posted about Ears on your class Facebook page and you’re here because you clicked on the post that led you to our own Facebook page and then you completely fell down a rabbit hole. Either way, you’re here, and that is great news! Ears is a wonderful community, and as mentioned in my last post, for the next couple of months, we’re going to be hearing from other ears on why they enjoy being on the line. There are a lot of people on the line and so many have been willing to share their story. No two experiences have been the same, but there have been some general trends. After doing a very thorough analysis of these quotations, it appeared to me that many people enjoyed working with Ears because it gave them a sense of belonging. Whether it was through finding a community in the club itself, or through realizing that they are not alone in their emotions by talking to people who call or text, many of our Ears have found a place either through the line or feel that their community has been strengthened once joining the line. One way or another, Ears brings people together. Here are their thoughts! “Ears gave me the biggest sense of belonging on campus. The community was so genuine and heartfelt – I always felt seen. And it was also incredible hearing stories (happy, sad, and everything in between) from all over campus. I loved not knowing who’s experience I got to be a part of and hoping that my listening helped in whatever way they needed. Knowing other people’s stories also made me feel less alone in my own experience on campus.” “Ears has provided me with a space of understanding individuals that are nicer than any group I’ve been a part of. Also, it gives me the opportunity to continually give back to the Tufts community and feel like I am making an impact. I love listening to people and I love meeting new people, and Ears has allowed me to do both of those in many capacities. Thank you Ears.” “Ears for Peers have made such an impact in my life because not only did it bring me friendship within the club, I grew as a person. I am really proud of what we do and I am happy that I am a part of Ears. It is so important for people to be heard and being there for people who need someone to talk to is a rewarding experience.” “Ears has brought me such an amazing community of other tufts students who are passionate about listening to others and helping out. When I’m having a bad day, working on the line can be so rewarding because it pulls me away from my own struggles and helps me focus on others. Since we’re run by tufts students, it’s nice to be able to really empathize with the student experience and talk to a stranger about their life. There’s no feeling like talking to someone for a while and knowing that, even in sometimes very subtle ways, you’re making their day just a little bit brighter.” “Ears has been a huge part of my time at Tufts. The people in this club are the most caring and supportive people and Ears has been a really great community to get to know. Working on the line is so fulfilling and I cannot imagine my tufts experience without it.” “One of the nicest things about Ears as a club is that you can pretty much count on everyone who’s a part of it being an incredible, kind-hearted, thoughtful, and trustworthy person, simply because of the nature of the work the club demands. You might wind up telling your whole life story to the person on shift with you, even if it’s your very first shift together. You will definitely meet people you’ll never forget here.” “Ears has allowed me to anonymously help people. In high school, I strived to create welcoming communities. I wanted to allow people to be welcomed and accepted for who they are and to freely talk about their experiences. Now, at Tufts, Ears has given me the ability to continue this passion for people. It is humbling to work so hard for no recognition, knowing I want to be part of a whole group with a common goal rather than an individual.” Real talk: as we enter college, I feel like a lot of us realize it can be harder to achieve a sense of belonging than previously thought. College means starting over, and that’s tough. For anyone. Even after settling into college, it still can be so easy to slip into feelings of isolation and loneliness. Maybe you’ve found your niche, but don’t feel solidified in it. Or maybe you haven’t and are still awaiting the day you do. Either way, it’s so easy to forget that you are not alone in what you are feeling. I hope that reading this can serve as a little reminder of that. And if it doesn’t, give us a text or a call. Everyone on the line genuinely wants to hear from you.