Lend an Ear


Every human likes to be listened to, it is a basic human desire. It is sad to think that there are people in this world that speak and then are ignored. A very simple way to cope with everyday issues is to simply talk and have someone else reflect his or her thought back. As a peer health educator, it is part of my responsibly to find time for anyone who needs a good listener and be there for them. I learned that I don’t always need to have the answers, but, being there for another human being and even repeating back what was said can make a huge difference. Usually, when we go to seek advice, we have an idea of what we want to hear subconsciously buried in our mind. Once we talk about the problem we work through it just enough to also uncover what we really need. Sometimes the peer health educator will need to nudge the idea or mix around a few thoughts to guide the peer, but in the end, if the peer comes to a self-realization about a solution, then the chances of success and positive change are greatly increased.

I can relate to this because over the summer I had no idea where I wanted to go in life and what I wanted to do. I was tied down by the idea that grad school is the only path to success in the real world, and if I was too chicken to continue into two more years of schooling, then I would never get a good job. I spoke to many advisers and professors about the dilemma, and they all told me I already had my answer, but I didn’t believe them. I wanted to go to school but I also wanted to explore the world and find a job I know for sure was right for me. It got to the point that a professor told me to create a pro/cons list to visualize my thoughts. I had gone through each option again and again in my head that I lost sight of what I wanted. When I wrote everything down on paper and read them for the professor, it was clear I needed to see what else was out there. Had I only spoken to one person about my problems, I would not have made the right call. I was lucky to have had so many good listeners in my life to steer me in the right direction.