I can’t avoid the signs with the smiley faces, all the emails I’ve been sent on list serves, the articles on Huffington Post, or all the questions from everyone asking, “So, how are you really doing?”. The recent tragic suicides of three students within a month has shocked Cornell campus and is the talk of the town. Unfortunately, this only perpetuates the stereotype I hear from so many other schools about Cornell being a ‘suicide’ school. Depression still remains an uncomfortable subject Cornell tries to address with resources.
Cornell is a tough school, there is no way to put it lightly. Regardless of the majors, I have friends from English to chemical engineers and they all have experienced more than their fair share of struggles thanks to Cornell. However, I was lucky to never feel like I was alone. The weird thing about Cornell is that we are isolated in Ithaca and the struggles of Cornell has a funny way of connecting relatively different people. Whether it’s starting friendships over failing my first exam or getting rides from people trying to seeing what the world has to offer, I always felt there was someone who was either experiencing something just as bad and it gives me a weird comforting feeling. If anything, the tragedy has spurred a newfound responsibility of the Cornell community to remember that grades aren’t everything and remind others of that fact. Overachievement can really blind students from fully enjoying their college experience, but it is situations similar to this that serves a reminder that we should be appreciative that we are here of that select group of Ivy League students (and soon to be Ivy League graduate!)
Cornell University also provides resources for students facing tough times. Because of the recent events, there is patrol next to the Thurston bridge which is a really sad result to me. We have CAPS, psychological help with those facing depression and giving students a chance to talk to someone better adept at dealing. With these resources no student should ever feel alone or unsupported.
Out of this tragedy, I hope there is some good where students myself included are reminded of their priorities in life and not just at Cornell. The ‘Cornell bubble’ makes me forget about those priorities. So next time someone asks I’ll say a little bit more than just good next time someone asks how I’m doing.