While I was in college one of my part-time jobs was to work as a Math Assistant in a Math Lab which was a safe place within otherwise ‘scary’ Department of Mathematics -- or at least that’s the rep it got from the majority of students at this quaint liberal arts school tucked in the mountains of North Carolina.
As I’ve been serving my Truth & Dare Cancer community of women recently diagnosed, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities with the math-students community I served many years ago.
Here is what I found –
We LEARN better in groups: Students would typically cluster within the Math Lab based on their skillset and type of math they were studying. In addition to my experience, studies show that group learning helps students develop subject-specific communication and teamwork skills; students approach problems in novel and unique ways; students work together to share their expertise, knowledge and skills. And they hold one another responsible and accountable.
SUPPORT by community is key: The main reason Math Lab was so successful and popular among liberal arts students is that it was a safe place where students could come to get help. Similarly, support groups are paramount for dealing with grief, illness, addiction and many other emotional and mental health concerns. It’s important that everyone in the group feels safe, is heard and seen. It’s also important that members support and learn from one another. Groups that foster healing connection and deep understanding provide tremendous motivation and inspiration.
Having FUN within community is bonding: Even during the stressful weeks leading to exams, there was so much laughter in the Math Lab, it was contagious! We are social creatures, and having fun releases serotonin which makes you feel happy and dopamine which makes you more excitable and talkative. Both of those chemicals also ensure that your brain is healthy. Additionally, helping other people have fun and learn is more important, and ultimately far more rewarding than the personal pursuit of fun and knowledge.
Here is the thing –
Community that helps you learn together, support one another, and also enables you to have fun with each other, can also help you HEAL.
And that’s why I can’t wait to tell you ALL about the exciting new project I’ve been working on: I’ll be making an announcement via FB LIVE in the Truth & Dare Cancer FB Community this Tuesday, April 30th, at 7:00 pm ET. Can’t wait to see you there!
Not a member yet? Join Truth & Dare Cancer FB Community: it’s a safe space where I and lots of other like-minded women with cancer hang out and share our stories, struggles, tips, and support.