A student’s life is by no means an easy one, but one doesn’t usually realize this. A lot of people say they’d prefer going back to school than continue with their boring work. What they don’t realize is that they’re full grown up adults with a different psychology and approach to things than a student who has not yet been exposed fully to the realities of this world. This of course is not taking into consideration adult full time professional courses like MBA, CA, CFA or PhD but more on that later.

That being said, it becomes extremely important to realize what problems a student, no matter how young or old, faces. Suicide is an extreme step, and many youngsters take that leap without realizing the consequences. They don’t realize how painful it’ll be to their parents, siblings and other loved ones after they’re gone. No matter how poorly one performs in school, or how much their parents say that they deride him/her for not being “good enough”, suicide is never the option.

At this stage, I’d like to share an example quite close and personal to me. A friendly neighborhood uncle had an only son. He loved him a lot but it was tough love. They had a lot of money but he didn’t want to corrupt his son so he never gave in to his demands. Add to that the fact that he used to discipline him at every opportunity possible. If the kid was late back from playing outside, he used to get a scolding. If he wasn’t studying when he was supposed to be studying, he got a scolding. This bred a feeling of resentment within the kid.

One fine November evening in 2011, he got back home quite a bit late after roaming with his friends. Once he got back, the father said something along the lines of “Why don’t you study? Do you plan to mooch off of me for your entire life?” Obviously, the kid got sad, anyone would be and retreated to within the house. After a few minutes, a weird smell accompanied by a weird smoke emanated from the garage. It turned out the kid had poured diesel all over his body and lit it. A crowd gathered around and everyone frantically tried to put out the flame.

As is the case with any rural place in India, the local hospital couldn’t be of any help and only referred them to a hospital 3 hours away. The heavily burnt kid kept saying “I don’t want to die” on the way to the hospital. Sadly, he died by the time they reached. He was only 16. The whole family was devastated. I didn’t know the kid personally but knew the father well. I too, was shook by the incident. Even now whenever I meet him, I can’t help but notice the burn marks on his hand which he got trying to put out the fateful flame.

This was only one of thousands of cases we have every year in our country and over the world. In India, way too much emphasis is given on the professions of engineering and medicine. Everyone and their cousin is seen preparing for an engineering or medical entrance test. Most parents try to live their own dream through their children and as a result, put way too much pressure on them, sometimes, it really gets to them. Today’s youth seems to be overworked and underjoyed.

A simplistic solution to this horrible phenomenon is “love”. People should let their offsprings know that they love them. You should let your young friend know that you love them and believe in them. A positive attitude and positive feedback work wonders, especially to young impressionable minds. Schools should have proper counselors, both career and personal, to help students sort through their problems. It is not the perfect solution, but it’s a start nonetheless, because before your 30s is way too early to die.


Much love,

SG

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