Practicing good mental health, self-care and mindful habits are all the rage in today’s society. They have become less stigmatized by the day, but the truth is that for many of us, it is still a day-to-day struggle to maintain our health in many aspects of life. We all go through things and have moments when we struggle. It’s in those times we tend to think that we are alone or that no one will understand us, but the reality is we are not on our own. Jarusha Weeks, a student at Cuyahoga Community College’s Eastern campus, had that in mind when she thought of the concept for the new student group Eye to Eye, Ear to Ear (e4). I had the opportunity to sit down with Weeks and find out all there is to know about this group.
Weeks first came up with the concept of e4 because of the troubles and obstacles she was going through personally. She said, “As a Tri-C Student Ambassador, I saw other students also struggling and felt that we as students needed more support.” Now that she had an idea of what the need was, Weeks set out to lay the foundation for her idea by presenting it to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Shamuire Spivey. In speaking with Weeks, she “had no idea the group would get the support it did.” The support didn’t just come from faculty and staff, fellow students also lent helping hands. When asked what she hopes that e4 will accomplish, Weeks stated that she wanted there to be an understanding among fellow students so that “we can learn from each other” and we can help one another “skip road-blocks.”
After learning about the story behind the creation of e4, Weeks and I discussed what a typical meeting of the group is like. She explained, “Each meeting has different topics and exercises that go along with them.” After the exercise is concluded, there is an “open dialogue” amongst the group pertaining to that meetings topic, or obstacles each person is having in general. Finally, when asking what she has found out about herself and her peers during the process of starting e4, Weeks said that she realized “everyone can bring about change” and that “it doesn’t take much to make a difference.” Weeks also stated that she has already noticed fellow students feeling more comfortable and willing to open up to her. Weeks and everyone involved with e4 has created a safe haven for students to help one another and puts an emphasis on the meaning of community college.
*Eye to Eye, Ear to Ear meets once a month. E4 will also be hosting Meditation & Discussion in the Eastern Campus Learning Commons Nov. 25 to Dec. 14 (times to be determined).