If you have ever asked a college student what they are feeling during mid terms or finals, they will say some of the following things:
I am so stressed. I hate my life!
I feel so stupid/dumb. I can’t do this.
This essay makes me want to die.
How am I expected to do this? I just want to sleep.
Life isn’t fair. I am so over it.
I hate myself. I won’t remember anything for the test.
Some of these comments are said out of context. Sometimes said in groups. Sometimes said jokingly.
Is there an issue with this?
Yes. These comments can be triggering to some people (like me) who have previously thought, or still do think, these types things on a regular basis.
For example, if I hear one person say jokingly “… makes me want to die” I sometimes get uncomfortable.
Uncomfortable because I don’t know if they are serious.
Uncomfortable because I want to take them seriously.
Uncomfortable because I remember when I would say those things (sometimes accidentally), seriously meaning what I was saying, in the hopes someone would catch on and help me.
A lot of times people would ignore those types of comments from me, because they thought I was joking.
That was the issue.
They thought it was okay that I constantly said that stuff.They ignored what I said because so many people have said similar things. It was such a common occurrence that no one thought anything of it when it happened.
I could say hateful things about myself and no one would do anything about it.
It wasn’t okay.
People should care whenever someone says hateful things about themselves.
What if they aren’t okay?
What if they need to talk about it?
But why would anyone care if they assume it is a joke?
People say things they don’t mean everyday.
It isn’t okay.
But I do the same thing. I fall into the same rabbit trap everyone else does; I still slip up and say stuff like that that I don’t mean. It happens sometimes and I don’t even notice it. I am not proud of it.
But I am trying. Trying to be more conscious of my words.
As we all should.
Because I want to take what people say seriously.
Because language matters.
Words have power.
The less those comments are said jokingly, the more people when it is said.
Because someone could mean what they say.
And they could want help.
((SIDE NOTE: I am not trying to invalidate anyones feelings, because if you feel stressed, then by all means express yourself. I am not trying to censor you. All I ask is that you be thoughtful in how you speak. Please take care of yourself. xoxo ))