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Wednesday 17 September 2014

The Weekly Read: Why this is the best secret society you can join in college

Published 04/09/2014 | 14:32

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'I joined Niteline last September, at the beginning of my second year of college'

An anonymous volunteer for Niteline, a completely student-run phone and instant messaging support service for students, tells us why Niteline is just about the best secret society you'll ever get to be a part of...

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I joined Niteline last September, at the beginning of my second year of college. 

I didn’t know much about Niteline, but I had a few reasons for wanting to apply. First and foremost, the nature of Niteline really appealed to me. It seemed like a really interesting and unique volunteer opportunity. In addition to that, I was keen to meet new people. As an international student in a relatively small school, it can be hard to branch out and get to know new people, but Niteline gave me the opportunity to do just that.

Coming in as an outsider, I had no idea how much of a social aspect there is to our service. 

However, looking back, I think IT makes perfect sense. 

We’re a group of very different people, but our common denominator is Niteline. 

There are times when we deal with difficult issues, but we’re always there to support one another when the going gets tough, and there are a lot of great moments to make up for the hard ones. We don’t always know the people we’re on the phones with, but it’s amazing how quickly strangers can become friends when they spend a few hours together in the Niteline room.

Another thing that I love about Niteline is the dedication of the volunteers. With our service, you truly get as much as you give, and this explains the enthusiasm that keeps Niteline running. Niteline is completely student-run, and we all take our responsibilities very seriously, including our duty to remain confidential and anonymous. As a result, a lot of us, myself included, have had to make up rather sketchy excuses on multiple occasions to explain why we’re so tired, or where we were the other night. But we don’t mind the white lies, because we love what we do.

Of course, I can’t forget to mention the volunteering itself. A common question new volunteers have is, “what are the calls like?” 

But after volunteering myself, I understand that this question truly can’t be answered. Each call is so different and unpredictable. A call could last anywhere from thirty seconds to two hours, and there are literally an infinite number of reasons why someone may call us. I always get an adrenaline rush when the phone rings during a shift because I have no idea what’s waiting for me on the other end – it could be a light chat, or a very serious, prolonged conversation, or anything in between. 

But no matter what the call is like, I love feeling that I did my best and hopefully brightened someone’s night a bit.

I could go on and on about what it’s like to be a Niteline volunteer, but you really only understand if you’re going through it yourself. 

So, I ask everyone reading this to head over here to take a look at our volunteer application.

If you think you have it in you to join our volunteer family, submit an application to us before September 26th. 

Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter, and keep an eye out for us throughout the year around your campus. 

If you a student at Trinity College, DCU, UCD, NUI Maynooth, NCAD or RCSI and need a chat with a Niteline volunteers, call or instant message them between 9.00pm and 2.30am any night of the week during term time at 1800 793 793. If you would like to get involved in Niteline, click here to apply.

With thanks to campus.ie

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