Where your friends call home: A story about mental health and genuine relationships
Letter to the Editor | Monday, April 25, 2022
As another school year comes to an end here at the University of Notre Dame there are many things for us students to be grateful and excited for as we embark on our summer vacation. Whether you plan on graduating, starting an internship, studying abroad, working at home or going on vacation, there seems to be many ways that our classmates spend their time.
College is unique in the aspect that students come from a variety of different backgrounds, but for some, summer vacation may be a more dreaded time…
As most people know, mental health is a pertinent problem for our generation which can be caused by both internal and external factors. Signs of concern are often not clear to an individual’s peers often leading to social anxiety, isolation and fear for abandonment. These people search for trust and reassurance from those around them while often portraying an energetic and excited mood even though they may be feeling their worst.
On top of that, what if this individual is going through many problems at home? For example, they could be experiencing physical or verbal abuse from a parent or have to witness violence towards another family member. Other examples include an individual’s parents thinking about getting a divorce or a parent even threatening to kill themselves. Being here at school could be a safe space for many of those experiencing hardships like these, however, a peer would not have a clue what their friend could be going through.
Honestly, from the outside my life seems great. However, it would be a major understatement to say that I have not had my fair share of hardships. Those explained above are all things I have personally experienced, and that is all information that my friends do not know. I have recently reached out for help and continue to try and progress mentally every day. What I have learned is that life is hardest when you are depressed and have nobody you can turn to.
I credit the man I am today to the people that God has placed around me and the experiences I have had with these people. Relationships have played a very important role in the formation of my beliefs and ideals. I believe that cultivating strong and healthy relationships not only makes one a happier individual, but also makes one a better individual.
An individual is a product of his or her own environment. One must have strong relationships, that one can fully embrace, with family and friends, but one should care for all other people as well. Surround yourself with family and friends whom you love and make this most of this time. These are the people that are willing to support you and whom you know will care for you.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Act genuinely and respectfully towards all individuals with a smile on your face. You never know the true impact you can cause. Trust me.
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.