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Suicide Among College Students

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Suicide has become a critical, national problem and the extent of this is mind-boggling. Suicides have been proven to be one of the leading causes of death among college students. According to Webters dictionary “suicide is the act killing oneself on purpose”. It derived from the Latin sui, meaning “self”, and caedere, which means “to kill”. But this is just a definition, because an actual suicide holds different meanings to people such as tragic, shocking, a relief, a cry for help, a shame, heroic, the right choice, punishment, revenge, protest, anger, a mistake, desperate, hurtful and many more. But why do people, like college students who have their entire future ahead of them, simply give up hope and turn their heads away from life and commit suicide. There are several causes of suicide, recent incidents of suicide on college campuses, warning signs from a suicidal. I blame the Constitution and the United States law for not taking any hard initiative on the subject of suicide. I also impose the choice of the media, which is reflecting and portraying suicide towards a wrong direction. However most important questions remain: can the growing epidemic of suicide be solved, what are communities doing about it and what can they do to help?

The first and outmost question that comes in my mind is why do college students commit suicide? Why would the quiet, shy chemistry major student sitting next to you in the library jump from his 14th floor dorm? Why would a talented athlete on the basketball team use a gun to kill herself? The causes for committing suicide can range from depression, family and relationship problems, expectations, pressure to succeed and

academic failure, financial stableness, not reaching the goal that is desired and many more. According to the National Association for Suicide Prevention everyone has different reasons for being depressed and the extent of that depression will also vary from person to person. Some common causes of depression that have been found to lead to college suicide are not feeling loved or understood, the feeling of rejection, trouble with friends and family, or the feeling of being “no good”, and not reaching the academic standards (42). Kay Jamison, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University said in the University article that feeling of loss as in the death of a loved one, divorce, or the breakup up with a boyfriend/girlfriend has also been found to link depression and suicide. Another theory that Jamison linked to suicide is the feeling of pressure to succeed. Suicide rates are higher in colleges and universities where there is a greater population, which causes an increase in competition for jobs, grades, getting ones desired major and in school sports. The pressure to achieve academically can be intense when lot of money on education is on the line, when the pressure is on of performing well enough for acceptance in certain degree programs, law school or medical school because during college years a person’s potential career is at risk.

Also, in today’s society, the family can be quite different from the stereotypical family of the 1950’s where the father went to work and the mom stayed at home. Today, with single parent families and families where both parents may be working full time the child is the one who is getting left out. The thought of suicide just doesn’t come when a person goes to college but it develops throughout the years and then the act itself of suicide. I think great stress is put upon youth today starting in early childhood that contribute to strain and depression in latter years. Most enter daycare at an early age and continue into preschool. When intermediate school starts, they are in the early-morning and after-school programs. Children left to their own devices at an early age develop sensations of loneliness. Many go home to an empty house with no one to talk to about their day at school. Once the parents arrive home, and probably late from work it may be time for some game practice or even bedtime. Or many times parents are too tired to spend time with their children also leaving the child feeling neglected. And on top of that they are pressured and pushed to do their academic best. When it is time to go away for college the youngsters have to build a new life at their school, no connection with their parents and without an idea about their uncertain future. I met youngsters at Long Island University and heard cases of other college students who came from different states to get education, they attend classes, work day and night without any help, and in addition lack good relationship with their parents. One of the reasons they told me is that they never felt a connection with their parents even when they were in high school; their parents never listened to their side of the story;

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