Tonight, I just came back from a vigil for McKenna - a student at USC who took her life at New North dormitory. I feel a range of emotions tonight that I need to let out:
BAD. I feel bad because I can relate to the students at the vigil. In high school, I almost lost my entire friend circle in a major car accident. As a fellow student and friend, I was supposed to be with them that night, but stayed in to watch a Bollywood flick. Totally random for me to do that on that night. For weeks after that incident, I prayed and prayed for their safety and luckily all of them came out of the accident alive. I didn't know McKenna, but I feel bad that her friends, her family and our Trojan family lost such an amazing soul. The stories I heard at the vigil were truly touching.
SAD. I feel sad because recently I also lost a friend to suicide. It's something I talk more and more about. It's the reason I started OOTify. But more importantly, McKenna's life and story is something that is happening too often. It's hard for me to not be sad and instead celebrate life right now - I can't do that right now. I think of my friend and those that have suffered similar fate. I feel immense sadness.
MAD. I feel a lot of disappointment, anger and I'm just upset. It's mad that this is happening across campuses around the world everyday. Educational systems are doing the best they can, but we need to do more. We need to try new things - anything that will lower the chances of this happening. I challenge schools and corporations to push the envelope to disrupt current processes to see the benefit of even one individual benefitting. One life saved would be worth it.
Finally, I feel all of these emotions and I also know that I cannot and will not be complacent. In memory of McKenna (1998 - 2018) and all those that have had a similar journey, I pledge to do something about it. I won't stop until the job is done. Fight on.