Pressures of Perfection

NSPL_LogoWhat doesn’t kill you…makes you not dead. Oh you thought I was going to say what doesn’t kill you…makes you stronger. Well sometimes that is not the case. There are situations that people make it through and wish they were dead.

My life has not been perfect but I’ve overcome various obstacles in my path. Though I’ve worked through challenges, I know that there are others who sink into the quicksand. With the beginning of school starting in August for kindergarten to college it’s important to provide students with physical as well as emotional school supplies.

Most importantly for high school to college students being perfect and accepted creates pressure. I completed my undergraduate studies well over two decades ago, however, I still recall the feelings of wanting to fit in. I was blessed with a great core of classmates and close friends; many of those same people are actively in my life today. Like most teenagers, I wanted trendy clothes and to be invited to the fun parties. Sometimes I had the “it” outfit and sometimes I didn’t but I survived.

With increasing suicide rates on college campuses it is important to pack more than physical supplies. Emotional health is important and the understanding that no one is perfect. No matter the outer appearance most people male and female have inner turmoils.

Students, there is someone else going through the same confusion or frustration. Don’t let the perfect facades you see fool you. Every campus has resources to get help with the emotional stress of college. If you feel pressures get help; you will not be the first nor the last to need help.

Parents, you know your child.  Trust your gut and stay active in their lives.  It is your responsibility even when they are in college to know what is happening.  You don’t have to know everything but if need be a little prying can be the difference between life and death.  Yes, I am that serious.  Be sure that in addition to school authorities that your child’s roommate(s) have your contact information.

Classmates, roommates, sorority sisters, fraternities brothers, and friends you are the closets people to those who may need you to speak up.  Trust what you hear and what you see.  Yes, I know you are dealing with your own drama but you are in this together.  Your fellow classmate may be angry initially for your interference but in the end they will be grateful you cared.  We all just want someone to care about us when the day is done.  Someone there to let us know we are not alone.

To those students who are seeking to be the best possible in all aspects of life…take time to breath.  Don’t fear falling down in the literal and figurative sense.  Do the best that is within you and know when to seek help, whether academic or emotional.  Always remember the perfect person to your left and right is just as insecure as you….it’s okay.

Finally, if you feel alone or overwhelmed, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  You can also chat online via the website for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Above all know that you are precious and there is purpose for your life.


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