I've been fortunate enough to not have witnessed many deaths in my lifetime. But because death is inevitable, I've of course known some people who have passed.
This semester at USC, however, I know of far too many students — nine in total — who are no longer here with us.
Every time I hear of these occurrences (recently they've become more frequent, with three announced in the past week), my heart shatters. I think about their families, who couldn't guard them here at school. I think about their high school friends, who will never hear from them again. I think about their college friends, who will be constantly reminded of their loss for the rest of their lives when they look back on this time.
It's not fair.
We are constantly wrapped up in the day-to-day bullshit that consumes all of our attention and energy. It seems everyone I know is searching frantically for an internship, or struggling to bring up their grades, or worrying about where to live next school year.
We get so flustered by our busy schedules that we don't find time to spend with friends we haven't seen much this year. Maybe we forget to call our families. We crumble from stress and excuse it with the phrase "well, that's life." Then we are told it's only going to get worse from here.
And yet, other students are dying.
Someone had to inform the parents of nine different students that their child died.
Close friends of mine had to find out from text messages or word of mouth that one of their good friends had died.
These students were all members of our USC community. Although I wish all of these beautiful souls were still around, these deaths have to bring us together. They have to shed some sort of positive light on the issues at hand.
We must stand united. We must act as a family to each other. If you or someone you know is struggling, speak up! Take action. Don't let it be too late. Take care of yourself, take care of one another.
If school is too much, reach out to your professors. If you're feeling crushed by the pressure of life, I promise you that you're not alone. USC is a hard school. The students here can be hardcore.
But in every hardcore human's body lies a heart. A heart that loves, hates, and mourns when it loses something close to it.
We have all lost something close to us. We have lost nine members of our family in one semester, and enough is enough. It's time to get over the bullshit, be real with one another, and focus on what you truly value in life.
Rest in peace to these Trojans, lost too soon.
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If you would like to donate to Children's Hospital in honor of Jack Aronzon, one of our friends who passed, please do so through this link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-honor-of-jack-aronzon