Content warning: this op-ed contains mentions of suicide.
Are these actually the best four years of our lives? If not, how will we know when we are in the ‘best years of our lives?’
If you know me, you know that I have spent the past two weeks grappling with a particularly bad bout of depression. The constant feelings of defeat and lack of motivation have been so overwhelming and so crippling that they have driven me to the edge of sanity, and I was so desperate that I did the unthinkable: I called my mother....
A few weeks ago, when the skies began to turn gray, my Lit Hum professor began class by scanning the eyes of her 15 scholars to gauge the day’s vibe. After picking up on a general sense of apathy—gloominess, for some—she asked what was wrong. With no specific reason for our lack of energy, we remained silent, and she joked, “’Tis the season!” Those words stuck with me....
It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon on Columbia’s campus. Pristine buildings stand against a canvas of flawless blue. But staring out at the line where stone meets sky, I start to wish that Low Beach would turn into an ocean that could wash me away....
Almost any student at Columbia is willing to admit that they’ve fallen prey to that worn-out buzzword: “stress culture.” We commiserate over nights spent slumped over a book in Butler and the difficulty of juggling work with fun. We may lament Columbia’s mental health problem, but our conversations rarely attempt to normalize therapy as a option for us on campus. When we hear our friends say they’re having trouble handling everything, we shouldn’t just sympathize superficially. Instead, we can point out professional help as an available and valid choice....
Midtown was flush with tourists and businesspeople—everybody harried and slick with sweat in their suits or Adidas Superstars—on the July afternoon when I saw Nick again. Everything felt hot and close, and I was happy, heading uptown from my dream internship to meet some friends for dinner. I almost didn’t recognize him when we passed on a corner near Penn Station. It had been three years since I’d last seen him....
Last semester, for the first time in my life, I became acquainted with the smell of death.
Content warning: This piece deals with issues of self-harm and suicide.