My heart aches for the students who committed suicide, their parents, and their friends. These tragedies are one of the realities of life at college. Colleges appear to be wonderful little worlds/microcosms separated from the “real world.” In fact, savvy students don’t fall prey to the belief that life away from home, is life in a protected bubble.
Life on campus is often exciting, and challenging; it is also critical to realize that bad things happen on campuses too, whether the campus is in the middle of a city or out in rural America. As you visit college campuses over the next half year ask questions/read/learn about safety statistics at each and every college. It’s their obligation to share that information/crime statistics-and be certain to ask or learn about their services for students who experience difficulties during their years on campus.
- be an ostrich about the dangers that exist on campus-alcohol and drug abuse, interpersonal violence such as dating violence and sexual violence
- Ask questions about student services-you may never need them for yourself yet you may be able to support a friend
This is big, frightening stuff we’re talking about here… it’s really important. Learn all you can to make yourself and others safe.
- Be clear about your values, your strengths, your challenges, and your need for support when the going feels too difficult to do it on your own. Reach out when you need help… There is no shame in seeking assistance.
- Support friends in getting the care they need. You don’t have to have solve their problems… You can help by knowing about the resources on campus and in the community.