How to be a PAL. Your Student Life for the Week of July 26, 2020

July 26, 2020

The Buckeye Peer Access Line (PAL) is a non-crisis peer-to-peer support line through the Student Life Student Wellness Center that provides space for students to engage in brief phone conversations in order to gain support and learn about campus resources. Common conversation topics range from adjusting to college and university life, balancing stress management, feeling pressure to succeed, navigating social identities and much more. During summer term, PAL operates Monday – Thursday from 8 p.m. - midnight, and Friday from 2 - 6 p.m. You can access PAL by calling 614-514-3333 during these hours.

Buckeye PAL was created FOR students BY students to further establish a “culture of care.” 

The co-founders of Buckeye PAL, Emily Kearney and Carmen Greiner wanted to make sure that all Buckeyes feel supported and cared for through establishing a “Culture of Care” at the University. 

One way you can support your peers is by being a PAL for your friends and fellow Buckeyes.

Here are 3 tips for how to be a PAL… even if you’re not a PAL volunteer.

P – Pay attention to your friend’s behavioral changes. Take time to notice how they may be acting different. Do they seem to be a little more irritable than normal? Have they suddenly stopped doing many of the activities that they once enjoyed? Are they talking less? Sleeping more? Do they constantly seem to be overwhelmed? 

A – Ask open-ended questions. After you notice any behavioral changes with your friends, it is important to ask open-ended questions. Be mindful of not placing any judgement or making any assumptions by asking leading questions. Here is an example below: 

Open-ended: What have you done to take care of yourself lately?
Leading:  Don’t you think you should be getting better sleep? 

L- Listen to understand rather than listening to respond. Oftentimes, we can get so focused on trying to offer advice to a friend or immediately “fix” a problem that we don’t actually listen to our friends in a way that makes them feel heard. A good way to make your friend feel heard is by offering a brief summary of what you heard or understood your friend say.

You will be amazed at how these 3 simple tips can make a difference on the sustainability and well-being of your friendships! For further tips, you can check out this article from Ohio State Insights

Ivory Levert 

Program Manager 
Student Life Student Wellness Center