We Have No Reason To Complain

We Have No Reason To Complain

Feeling blessed through the stress.

On the eve of finals week, it is safe to assume that we are all in a state of overwhelming concern. We are all worried about our pending grades, worried about the lack of sleep we are getting, and the stress of moving back home for the summer. If you are anything like me, you may find yourself sitting around and sulking about your miserable situation in order to avoid all the responsibilities.

Today, I want to encourage you to take the incentive to change your attitude. There is nothing that I hate more than a guilt trip and so I do not want this to come across as that. However, there is something I, and all of us at these fabulous universities, need to realize before this week starts and we get chest deep in self-pity.

We actually have it pretty good. Let me throw some numbers at you right quick. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 578,424 people went to sleep last night without a roof over their head. The American Cancer society reports that there are over 14 million people suffering from cancer right now. Feeding America states that 48.1 million families are suffering from food insecurities. This morning, the families of 151,600 people woke up grieving the loss of a loved one.

So yes, you may have two finals in one day, but you did not wake up and have to get chemo today. You may be sleep deprived from cramming, but at least it is not the lack of sleep due to the burden of burying a parent. The truth is that we are all very very blessed. We have air in our lungs and brains in our heads. We may feel like the world is spiraling out of our control, but finals week has no comparison to some of the days and weeks that others our age have to deal with.

So take those sad numbers and let them give you life. Kills those finals, go get a degree and make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Take a deep breath and realize that it could be worse and that you are not hungry, you are not homeless, and you are not dying — you're just stressed.

There is one more number I left out when writing above, and that is the number of students who do not make it to the collegiate level. There are currently about 27 percent of people who graduated high school that did not attend college. Not included in that statistic is the 39 percent who dropped out of high school before graduation. Some people did not get the opportunity to be where we are at right now. As absurd as it seems, there is someone out there that would kill to be at a junior college or a four-year institute taking a final this week.

If you cannot be motivated for yourself, be motivated for those who cannot be here; for those that did not get to come to college, for those that not wake up this morning, and for those that are not going to bed tonight in a home. In the grand scheme of life, a final is nothing to complain about.

Cover Image Credit: http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/site/cctop/files/2015/12/FINALS.jpg

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Take A Break, Trust Me, You Need It

It was something I didn't know I needed. And I feel much better from it.


I recently went on a little mini vacation. Where'd I go, you ask? Nowhere.

That's the best part.

Thankfully, I have a full-time job with great benefits. One of them being paid time off. I recently used all of my PTO, plus the two days I get off a week, which turned into a long and well-needed mini staycation. I stayed at home, slept, caught up on my programs, did some homework, and decluttered.

And you know what? It was something I didn't know I needed. And I feel much better from it.

I wasn't sick. I was mainly just stressed out and overwhelmed. It was like getting the rest I didn't know I was lacking. It was like having all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. No due dates, no deadlines. No time crunches, no schedules to follow (except my school one).

I'm not telling you to take a week off work and school. But, if you have that opportunity—PTO, spring break—then take advantage of it.

You don't have to go on some extravagant vacation either. Doing something as simple as staying in bed all day, watching Netflix, and spending time with your loved ones is just as relaxing.

It also taught me the importance of self-love and taking care of yourselves. I was stressed, and I feel like I'll never be fully "de-stressed," but for a while, I was able to sit back and smell the roses. I was able to recollect myself, spend some time on me.

Sometimes, you just need a day. Whenever I feel like I need a day off, whether it be with work or school, I usually feel bad about it. I feel awful missing class, or having to call out sick to work. I eventually get over it, though, because at the end of the day, I'm taking care of myself.

Missing one day won't kill you. Take care of your mental health.

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