Column: Reach out to struggling friends this fall

Logan Raschke

College students around the U.S. must feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders.

Crippling student debt, rapid changes in classroom formats, paying full price for general declines in education quality, isolation, depression, anxiety and a hex of other issues are plaguing students.

This hex has infected those very close to me. I hear the pain and frustration of my friends and colleagues. I see it in the halls despite the shielded faces. We are in a depression in every sense of the word.

I just want to say to the student readers who are seeing this now: I feel your pain. You are not alone. You are justified in your outrage and resignation.

There are other challenges marginalized students are grappling with that I could not possibly understand as well. I’m thinking specifically of the Black student population.

Even in the face of injustice, an overwhelming chunk of the U.S. population does not support BLM and does not understand the prevalence and reality of racial inequality. And, on top of everything else, Black students have to live with their neighbors, classmates and even family members turning a blind eye.

I can’t imagine what Black students are going through on top of this historically dark, terrifying, isolating time.

Despite everything, the expectations are still set for every student to succeed in classes, graduate, land a job immediately after and pay off their absurd student debt. If you know students who are struggling, please talk to them.

Most of us are facing challenges one way or another, and a lot of us would like someone to talk to.

Email, text and call your friends (unless that isn’t their thing). Just see how they’re doing; let them vent to you. 

If they need to cry, let them. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had mental breakdowns over the phone with my friends and family since March.

Having those outlets really helped me.

And for other readers who want to do more to communicate with the public about the adversities students and marginalized groups are enduring, please submit a letter to the editor.

When I was managing editor, publishing well-written, educated and important letters to the editor was so rewarding.

Now more than ever, we need to start listening to people — not just to students but to struggling groups with voices that have systematically and historically been silenced.

We also need to let others know when we understand the suffering they are going through.

When we don’t or can’t understand, that’s when we need to listen.

 

Logan Raschke is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]