By Taylor Brown Senior Associate Editor
So many events have occurred throughout the semester. Sexual assault was a hefty topic on campus. Campus wide protests were sparked by a particular sexual assault case and branched off into different issues. Quite a few students became or continued to be actively engaged in spreading awareness of this problem. While I do think that the people engaged with addressing these issues were well-intentioned, it was actually energy draining for me to hear about it every single day for at least a month. An unpleasant topic is bound to induce this sort of reaction in someone, but depending on where that person is emotionally and mentally, constantly being reminded of that topic could easily do more damage than good.
The presidential election took the wind out of many and rejuvenated others. The week of the election seemed so lifeless. I know that I felt drained of energy that week despite the fact that I did a lot of sleeping. Others expressed real fear for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. There was also an expressed fear of what was to happen in the future with Donald Trump as president of the United States. I saw a lot of anger as well.
Walking through campus during that week in particular seemed as if I was walking through a ghost town. People exhibiting signs of emotional exhaustion when classes resumed the following week. Students and faculty alike were tremendously affected by the turnout of the election. The obligatory task of going to class everyday despite what students themselves were going through was no help at all.
The stress of school and campus jobs, along with the loss of two students inevitably took its toll. Students spending most of their time in the library in order to get done with schoolwork has been a common sight. That coupled with jobs that had to be done kept us busier. Berea College students, especially those who have been here a while, expect this. However this expectation does not make the workload easier. It never does. It’s just something that we have to deal with.
Receiving emotional and mental support became a hassle, particularly seeking help from counseling services. I’ve heard so many stories about students calling to make an appointment only to be told they would have to wait at least a week because the counselors were booked already. This has deterred some from even seeking help from Counseling Services. I can’t help but wonder about how the counselors themselves are feeling. It must be stressful to them as well to have so many people calling to them for help but only being able to assist a set number of people at a given time. When will the college realize that we need more counselors to more effectively assist the student body?
After all of these things, here we are, making our way through the final weeks of the semester. This semester in particular has been rough, but we’re still here. I think that’s something to be thankful for. All the trials we’ve endured hurt, but in some ways it’s strengthened us as well. We have the support faculty members and other students on campus. We’re not alone in any of the struggles that we endure, and it’s important that we realize that help each other progress. I just have to motivate myself and push through it. We all have to motivate ourselves and be there for each other to push through these hard times. We have done it before, and we can do it again.