A good friend of mine has spent the last few months on campus at UC doing observational research about how students behave as they walk to class.
His method was deceptively simple; he enlisted a small gang of “research assistants”, which he compensated with $2 rice. He placed them at various outdoor observation points and asked them to observe anything and everything about the way most students behaved as they came and went from campus.
I shouted him a coffee last week, as I was eager to find out his results.
“Well, I guess the big thing we noticed was that most students walk everywhere by themselves. Usually with headphones on or ear plugs in, eyes half on their phones and half avoiding people coming the other way on skateboards. It’s kinda weird to see – all these people in one place, totally oblivious to each other.”
I suspect that if lots of UC students were honest, they would say they felt lonely. It’s often harder than they thought to meet people and make friends on campus. And sometimes the thing we need the most is a real life human being to talk too, and to be heard by.
That’s why this term we’ve started CHAT ROOM. A confidential drop-in space based in the Puaka-James Hight Library – where students can come and have a conversation about anything they choose, with one of our real life expert conversationalists. Our motto is “You talk. We (mostly) Listen.” CHAT ROOM will run over Term 2 from 11am-1pm, Monday – Friday, based in room 300B on level 3 (just up the stairs, to your right, next to the Academic Skills Centre). Our fantastic team will be on hand to talk about almost anything; the weather, relationship problems, Donald Trump, study stresses, kittens, anxiety issues, gardening, spiritual conundrums, how to make friends, thumb-wrestling… it’s really up to you! Our people also offer great advice, and can connect you with other UC services that might help you get “un-stuck” – if you’re feeling a bit lost.
If you want to know more – either drop in one weekday and say hi – or drop me (the Chaplain) an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHAT ROOM is powered by UC Chaplaincy.