The University of Texas at Austin, my home for 4 years of my undergraduate career, suffered a terrible tragedy yesterday, which I’m sure you have heard or read about in the news. A gunman opened fired and then killed himself in the PCL library on campus. The incident sent the campus into a tailspin of swat teams inspecting the campus in search of an alleged second gunman. The interviews all recounted the same emotions of fear, shock, and alarm from the students, while shivers were sent down spine’s with reminiscent images of the infamous 1966 tower shooting spree. My heart goes out to those students or anyone effected by the abominable incident.
Increasingly, America is confronted with shootings, assaults, or guns/bombs in schools and colleges. What is going on and is there anything we can do? There will never be a way to safeguard our society 100% from any danger or heinous crime, however there may be signs of trouble that perhaps can be indicators that everything is not quiet right.
If you know of anyone possibly joking around about hurting themselves or others, or if you know anyone who may be overly stressed, anxious, depressed, having troubles adjusting to a new school or college campus life, or if someone just isn’t the way they used to be, please urge them to visit the medical or counseling center on campus or in every school. Students, it’s a free service, use it! Even to those students who may be perturbed by yesterday’s incident, visiting the counseling center in your school or college may just be the very place to help ease the burden of a student’s experience. All counseling centers offer a confidential, safe, non judgmental space for you to divulge anything on your mind. People pay hundreds of dollars out of pocket to receive the same service that is free to you. My plea dear college students, is to just try it out. Let the counseling department of your school, or university be the agent of change or let them empower you to experience a more balanced and insightful student life.
Longhorns, stay strong.