For HelpLine Awareness Week, The Battalion will publish daily guest columns written by HelpLine’s volunteers. As anonymity is a concern due to the nature of HelpLine calls, The Battalion has granted the guest columnists the use of pseudonyms.
I’ll never forget the very first call I took. I was sweating, my heart was pounding, and I was scared that I was going to let the caller down. I picked up the phone, used all the skills I learned during training and successfully completed the call. A big rush of adrenaline came upon me, and I knew I was in the right place. Helping people is not a hobby; it’s a way of life for a HelpLiner.
Training was the most intense process I have ever been through. When I first walked in, I thought it was going to be easy, but I quickly learned that it wasn’t. There were some mornings that I contemplated quitting because I just wanted to sleep instead. Waking up early during Howdy Week, winter break, or summer break as a college student is not always an easy task. Every time I found myself thinking of quitting, I quickly reminded myself that training wasn’t about me — it was about having the opportunity to help as many people as I could. Now looking back, I am glad that I never gave up because I was too tired, exhausted or overwhelmed. It was probably the most stressful experience I’ve had in my life, but it was all worth it when I heard, “Thank you for listening to me,” on the other side of the line for the first time.
Every time I’m on shift, I look forward to hearing someone else’s story no matter what it is. There’s nothing in the world that compares to the feeling you get after a call ends and you know you allowed someone to feel heard. The reward is not a gift or payment — being able to help fellow Aggies is the biggest reward of all. Every story I hear leaves an imprint on my heart and lets me know that my ultimate calling in life is to help others. Although HelpLine callers receive some degree of help, it’s really the callers who help me realize what kind of person I want to be.
HelpLine is one of the most diverse groups I have been a part of. Every single person has their own story to their name, and the whole group shares one common goal: to help as many people as they can. Being a part of this group has added so much meaning to my life. I cherish each and every person I work with, especially our coordinator. I would consider us to be family of individuals who love to be there for others as much as we love being there for each other. My experience with HelpLine has made Texas A&M feel like a smaller campus than it is. It’s my home, and everything about it has shaped me to the person I am today — and the person I will be after I graduate.
Class of 2017