Wednesday, 25 February 2015

We Are Not Alone

We do not need to suffer in slience


Life as a 20-something - what an interesting period of our lives! On one hand, we are experiencing so many exciting emotions. We are traveling to new places, living with new people, making new friends, and meeting memorable people. And not to mention the amount of learning that happens in our 20s!  But on the other hand, life as a 20- something often involves change that may be very difficult to process. Though older people tell us that painful things will happen in our lives, it is often in our 20-something years that we begin to realize that those more experienced people were right. We experience loss. Be it the loss of a family member, the loss of a beloved pet and/or the loss of a friend or peer. All of which hurt beyond measure. All of which continue to leave us with more questions than answers. We experience it all. The good and the bad; the happy and the sad. This is life as a 20-something.  


Frankly put, there is no way to down play tragedy.  The pain may lessen, or even change forms over time, but it never really goes away. One thing that I have learned in the painful process of shedding an ocean of tears and hugging my way through heartbreak is that I am not alone in my suffering. I am not alone. And neither are you.

We are not alone. We do not need to suffer in silence.

We can plan every detail of our lives, but sometimes life has a surprising plan of its own. In fact, most times, life has a plan of its own. Together we take what life has thrown at us and we try to make sense of it all. We try to make what has happened work with our plans. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.  No one is expected to have it together all the time. Life will not allow it and we should not expect it. We live together, yet apart. Our journeys are uniquely ours yet we are connected by the uncertainty of life itself.

We are not alone. We do not need to suffer in silence.

Unfortunately and unjustly, the greatest reminder of life’s preciousness is often the experience of loss. As a community, we can both share our grief and multiply each other’s joy. A smile, a helping hand, or a hug can go a long way. Sometimes just being together is all that it takes to lighten the load. We can never really know what other students and staff are truly going through on campus, so we must always remember to be kind. Take every step out of love. After all, although we may all encounter our own tough times the simple fact remains that we will all face those tough times, and together we can find strength in our common experience.

We are not alone. We do not need to suffer in silence.

Please know that grief is not taboo. We are allowed to hurt, we are allowed to be angry, we are allowed to cry. We may not grieve in the same way, but as a collective body we grieve together. We are allowed to grieve. We are allowed to seek help. When we feel ready, we are allowed to begin again. We are allowed to heal. We do not “move on” with our lives, but instead we “build on” to our past and use each experience to construct our future selves. We remember.

We are not alone. We do not need to suffer in silence.

We experience it all. The good and the bad; the happy and the sad. This is life as a 20-something.  Whatever happens, please know:

We are not alone. We do not need to suffer in silence.

The University of Alberta has a community of support on campus that are dedicated to supporting the well-being of staff and students. If you or someone you know is suffering in silence, these resources listed on the Dean of Students site are a good place to start. We are not alone. 


Jobey - YouAlberta Contributor

Jobey is in her fifth and final year studying Spanish Language and Literature & Women's and Gender Studies. She gets most of her inspiration from Vines & YouTube videos and over enthusiastically quotes them any chance she gets. When Jobey is not spending her days and nights in Rutherford Library, she can be heard from miles away "trying" to whisper. She really can’t whisper. Like, not even a little bit.
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