We are a trained listening service, and unlike most friends and family, we are contactable at 7pm-7am, every night during term time.
Although we don’t solve problems for you, the process enables a caller to look at their life from an angle they might not have considered before.And, as the saying goes, ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’. During my time volunteering with the service I have come to find a refuge from the Cambridge buzz and to feel part of a large family.But if no one is calling or messaging, you’re snuggled up in the volunteer beds in the office.In the morning you get up at 7am to disconnect the lines, and might either cycle home to shower and go to lectures or have a lie-in at the office and then shower there.Cycling in the dark to go on shift is a very special feeling, especially in a place where it is so easy to get caught up in the stresses of the never-ending daily work.
Arriving to my shift always feels like a relief, a chance to hide away from this routine.
While I acknowledge that there are many ways to deal with both everyday and extraordinary emotions, and that Nightline should not be the default source of help, it is nevertheless a fantastic resource. Being a listening service, Nightline does not advise.
As difficult as it is to imagine a conversation in which no advice is given to a suffering student, it surprisingly works.
Being part of Nightline is a fulfilling experience.
Unlike the University, we are not bothered about academic achievement.
It somehow feels like belonging to a warm, large, loving family, and I hope this resembles the experience of its users. Once you’ve met the other person you’re volunteering with, eating commences (invariably chocolate), chit-chat and occasionally a bit of essay-writing gets done.