View Full Version : Season of Sadness

05-07-2008, 10:42 AM
There was an editorial in my local paper this morning that has named this the "Season of Sadness", the period from May to June when Colleges, Universities and High Schools celebrate the culmination of the educational experience with graduation parties, end of the year formals and the annual rites of spring which, for many involve drugs and alcohol.

Ithaca seems to be at the center of a large number of Universities from Ivy league to Community Colleges. The "season" always starts early with at least one and sometimes more suicides as children who cannot take the pressure of end of the semester exams jump off one of our many gorges.

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around an accident that I responded to as an EMT this weekend. A 22 year old college senior killed on his way home from a traditional end of the semester bash at one of our more well known universities. As the first EMT on the scene the sights and sounds of that incident will never leave me. I got him to the hospital alive but he died very shortly after that. And now another young man is being charged with manslaughter.

I can understand the need to party and "let off steam" after a long academic year but what is the answer to making our children realize that climbing into a car is not the way to end the celebration and that drugs and alcohol don't solve everything and that jumping off a bridge or gorge doesn't solve anything.

So much is written about the sadness of family and friends after these things happen. The sadness of the emergency workers is also profound and far reaching.

It's an age old question, one I am sure was being asked even when our parents were young. But how do we keep our kids safe?

It all just makes me so sad.

05-07-2008, 10:54 AM
That is so sad. I'm sorry that you have to deal with that on a daily basis. It's so preventable, which is what makes it even sader.
Being 22, I have seen this behaviour myself and it makes me angry a lot of the time. These are intelligent people that are doing stupid things and it makes no sense.
I don't know if there is an answer to be honest. Drugs and alcohol seem to be the outlet that young people turn to when they are stressed out, or even just to let go. It's hard to be so young and have so much responsibility and that seems to be the way we let loose.
I began university at 17 and I had to live with 3 other girls in an apartment on our own. This is a major step at a young age and when other people are drinking, you think it's the thing to do. I am very conscious of alcohol as there is alcholism in my family, but a lot of people I know get out and get drunk every weekend. The next day they are so hungover and sick, but they somehow feel it is worth it.
College puts you into a lot of new and different situations, and drug and alcohol make it easier for people to be comfortable in those situations.
Okay, I'll stop rambling now, but like I said, I don't think there is an answer. Partying in college seems to be a "right of passage" for a lot of people. They feel like it's what you do in university.

05-07-2008, 11:06 AM

05-07-2008, 11:22 AM
I'm so sorry you had to go through that :hug:

I do agree with knitgal, I don't know if there is anything that can be done. Sure, there are kids who think better of drinking and doing drugs and don't do it, no matter how tough the pressure, but, there are so many others who just don't seem to grasp the dangers of it all. They seem to think "in the now" and don't consider how it can effect them, even before the night is over. I think a lot of people have an invincibility complex and are convinced nothing will happen to them...I don't know if it comes from denial or not having to face many difficulties throughout life, or, just naivete, but, it happens all too often.

I'm not going to say I never drank when I was a teen, but, my parents were relentless in making me realize the dangers of alcohol, and, stressed to me that if ever I did drink, be smart enough not to drive. They didn't encourage or want me to drink, but, they knew they couldn't be by my side every second of the day, and they understood I was a teen. They decided the best option was to make sure, if I ever did drink, that I would at least be responsible enough to designate a driver, or, call them to pick me up. And, I listened to them...well, to an extent...lol...I did drink a couple times, but, I always, always had a designated driver.

I think another problem is so many parents don't realize their kids are down enough to be suicidal. And, if they do, they don't know quite what to do. That's not in any way to say the parent is at fault, it's just that so many kids don't go to their parents when they feel suicidal or down, and, if a parent does find out, they just don't know what to do exactly because they've never had to deal with that before.

I think what it all truly boils down to is communication on everyone's part: kids, parents, teachers, counselors, etc. and, the willingness to listen and help, without judgment. Much easier said than done.

05-07-2008, 11:41 PM
First know that many of us out there, thank you for the job you do everyday, but in order to take care of others you need to take care of yourself also! The medical profession is a hard job, but there are rewards also, which is why you probably keep doing your job.
Big:hug: for you...