For many schools in my homeland, this is the last weekend of summer break. It is time to check for the last time the completion of independent study projects and all other assignments, and get ready to go back to school… and see classmates.
Maybe it is an exciting time to most, thinking about which summer fun stories to share and looking forward to take part together in the many school fairs that are usually held in early- to mid-autumn, or even awaiting anxiously to take the mid-year assessment tests to show off their growth in scholastic aptitude during the summer.
At the same time, maybe it is a dreadful time to some, worrying about not having any stories to tell that would be interesting, becoming nervous of all the things that must be done in school fairs, and being afraid of falling behind in studies.
And, very unfortunately, maybe it is an unbearable time to a few (but probably more than we think) – fearing whatever relief they were able to feel being away from school during summer break will soon end, they choose to take a dive into the depth of despair.
It always breaks my heart when I hear on the news of young minds taking their own lives, but it is especially difficult around this time. Were they spending their entire summer, which should have been a fun time for them, thinking about how to end their lives? How could we have not noticed the troubles they were having, and how could we have missed their signs for help?
Maybe for those close to them, like parents and teachers and fellow classmates, it is not easy to see where things have gone wrong when seeing them all the time… maybe they hide changes in them so well, not wanting to disturb those they care with their fears.
But if they are not talking about their troubles to their close ones because they feel no one will listen to or believe them, maybe there still is a way out of their sufferings – maybe they could step out of their world that centres so heavily around school and contact someone, anyone, outside their regular circle of interaction. Maybe they are unrelated, but maybe they will care enough to hear out.
Please know that there is so much more to your life than just school, and there is a lot more people you can trust your feelings with than just your close ones. Please take a leap of faith in us before jumping to suicide. Please don’t give up on yourself… we haven’t.