Katie Meyer ’22 was the crew captain and star goalkeeper for Stanford College’s girls’s soccer crew. She was a global relations main on the Dean’s Checklist. On March 1, Meyer spoke along with her mother and father on FaceTime, presenting “completely happy and upbeat.” A number of hours after that decision, Meyer was discovered lifeless in her dorm, having taken her personal life.
Many attribute the psychological well being battle amongst faculty college students to an expectation of perfection compelled upon them by campus tradition. Gina Meyer, Meyer’s mom, mentioned, “There’s a lot strain I feel on athletes, particularly at that top stage, attempting to stability teachers in a extremely aggressive surroundings. And there’s anxiousness and there’s stress to be good, to be the most effective, to be primary.”
This tragedy has opened up a nationwide dialog about psychological well being, particularly amongst faculty college students. Suicide is the primary reason behind dying amongst faculty college students and Cornell’s latest historical past presents no exception to this statistic. In 2010, there have been six pupil deaths attributed to suicide at Cornell.
Based on Cornell’s 2020 Psychological Well being Evaluate, inside the previous 12 months, over forty % of scholars had been unable to operate academically for a minimum of per week on account of melancholy, stress or anxiousness.
Aleksa Dangeva ’24 attributes suicide charges at Cornell to the College’s poor psychological well being assets.
“Cornell has taken a downstream strategy, similar to putting in nets beneath bridges, somewhat than specializing in causes college students commit suicide right here,” Dangeva mentioned. “It’s heartbreaking to see what number of college students fall sufferer to one thing Cornell could possibly be doing extra to stop.”
Nicole Werner ’22 additionally sees the lack of college students to suicide as heartbreaking and believes Cornell ought to take extra motion to stop it.
“Over the previous 4 years, this college has witnessed a very great amount of tragedy. It’s not solely extraordinarily saddening as a pupil to lose a member of your neighborhood, but in addition very irritating and disappointing to not see any actual change on the top of the administration,” Werner mentioned.
Then again, Sammy Phelps ’23 believes that the psychological well being situation at Cornell stems from the College’s tutorial rigor somewhat than lack of assets.
“I feel the problem will not be with assets, as a result of they’re obtainable when you search them out. My stress comes from a scarcity of empathy from some professors,” Phelps mentioned. “I feel it’s extra of a relentless battle by way of what’s anticipated of us and the way we continually must rise to an unrealistic increased commonplace.”
Like Phelps, Dangeva believes that the strain to continually be the most effective creates a stifling surroundings.
“With such excessive stress ranges, Cornell ought to verify in with college students extra typically,” Dangeva mentioned.“Extra breaks or wellness days may assist college students chill out, and higher prelim schedule planning may forestall college students from going through intense weekly workloads.”
The latest suicide at Stanford has college students reflecting on steps that they will take to enhance their psychological well being, similar to specializing in sustaining a balanced life.
“Work out, hang around with your folks, you could take time away from college. Typically at Cornell, it will probably really feel like your entire world,” Paula Loudermilk ’25 mentioned.
Like Loudermilk, Phelps concluded by emphasizing the necessity to take a break.
“Within the Cornell bubble, it’s onerous to appreciate that college will not be the one factor that issues. You should do issues that make you content. College ought to come second to your psychological well being,” Phelps mentioned.
For many who are struggling mentally, there are assets obtainable on campus to assist. Counseling and Psychological Companies (CAPS) at Cornell Well being supplies skilled psychological well being care to assist throughout one’s time at Cornell. Out there companies embrace workshops, group or particular person counseling, and 24/7 cellphone session.