Don’t jump into The Hudson!

Hi, friends. How are you all doing? Well, I hope, but there is a lot going on. Did you have many midterms this week? They are terrible, I feel you. The stakes are high too. Did you get your preferred housing, or are you basically gonna be homeless? I have friends that both got River and whose numbers were not good enough for housing at all.The career fair was this week too! Do you know what you’re gonna be doing this summer? I feel like my friends either already have plans, or totally none at all. In midst of this stressful week, where lots of choices have to be made, a lot of people try to make the situation better with humor. But I’ve noticed that really often it’s morbid “humor”; suicide jokes.

Now I know what you’re probably thinking, “Audrey, you really can’t take a joke,” or “Audrey, I’m not actually suicidal, you’re overreacting.” Okay. Maybe, in your situation. But only you know what goes on in your head and decide if it’s all safe thoughts. Sometimes you might not even know though.You might just brush off your fears and anxieties as feelings everyone has, and one day, like a pressure cooker being forced shut, you might explode, do something you can’t take back.

Maybe I am overreacting, but I don’t know! I just want to take precaution. I care a lot about the people around me, and when I hear that they’re sad, I’m sad. When I find out that their smiles are fake, I’m worried. How can I get these friends to trust me, or to at least get to the resources they deserve? So here, I will write about what I think is a good strategy to cope with tough times for them.

Reflect and think about your day, every day. This is mindfulness, a buzzword in psychology these days. Essentially, it’s closing your eyes, and sitting in a quiet space with just your thoughts. Being mindful of the sounds around you; the birds, or the fridge, or construction happening outside. There are apps that can play pre-recorded nature soundtracks, with a woman with a soothing voice asking you about your feelings. But in general, your goal is to just sit still, almost in a meditative state, and just listen.  My CAL professor last semester actually used to spend the first five minutes of class practicing mindfulness with us, and it really works. With the bustle of classes, friends, plans, and work, you sometimes “don’t have the time” for yourself. It’s up to you to make the time for that. Maybe wake up five minutes earlier each day, and write down the things you want to use the day for. And in the evening, close your eyes, and take in all the sounds of the night. Think about everything that happened that day: did you accomplished all that you hoped in the morning? Why or why not? Did something good happen unexpectedly, or something bad happen that you couldn’t prevent? By doing this and closing off all of the things that distract you from your reality, you can figure out what you really feel.

Just analyzing your life on a day-to-day basis is important. Reflecting on how you use your time helps you realize the things you are doing, and hopefully the things you could be doing better. You’ll start to think positively about your tomorrows, and keep going. Spring break is coming up. If you couldn’t hold on to your new year’s resolutions, start them again! The only person whose opinions matter is you. If your thoughts are toxic, or someone else is putting toxic thoughts into your head, talk to someone you can trust about it. These suicide jokes are a subconscious reflection of what people are feeling. Take this break as an opportunity to prepare for the final stretch. Yes, it’s only gonna get harder, but taking it one day at a time makes it a lot better. Talking to your friends about it makes it better. Don’t jump into the Hudson, stare at your reflection. The water may not be clean right now, but as you take steps to make it clearer, the better you will feel.