By Ashley M. Fincher, Staff Writer
In today’s society, mental illness is almost like a taboo topic. We know that mental health issues exist but we don’t like to talk about them or think about them, because we have a fear of being judged or labeled as crazy. We think that by ignoring them they will simply go away. However, in most cases, a mental health issue doesn’t just disappear; and sometimes when an illness of this nature is left untreated, it can have serious consequences.
In the fall of 2009, I was like any normal student here at Young Harris College. I had my group of friends, and we stayed up all hours of the night eating pizza and working on papers that we had procrastinated on. I always went to class and maintained a high grade-point average, while having a smile on my face. Everything seemed perfect, or at least that is what I led everyone to believe.
After laying two friends to rest and handling a mountain of personal problems I was slowly falling apart on the inside. I started out missing classes here and there and having an occasional drink in my room. No harm done- or at least that is what I thought- until the drinking and skipping classes became habitual. Drinking every night and maybe going to three or four classes a week I still refused to admit there was a serious problem until the one night came when I decided that I no longer wanted to live.
Sitting on my bed I apologized to God and everyone for what I was about to do as I grabbed two handfuls of medication and started taking them. Good bye world, good bye pain, I said as I started slowly feeling the effects of the medication. I am sorry I wasn’t good enough for anyone and now maybe someone better can take over what I am about to leave behind.
As I was slipping in and out of consciousness that night the one thing that I remember is being taken out on a stretcher with Dr. Grady, and my best friend watching from the hallway. I wanted to say I was sorry and hug them both, but I didn’t have the strength to do it.
I awoke the next morning while I was in route to a mental health facility and wondered how I let it get this bad. How could I have tried to take my own life? I knew that I had depression issues, but I didn’t think they would ever cause me to try and take my own life.
I spent the next 72 hours in the mental health facility, where I learned that I could recover from depression. It wasn’t going to be easy, and it was going to take time; but I knew I could do it. After being released from the hospital, I withdrew from school for the remainder of the semester and began the road to recovery.
It wasn’t an easy road. In fact, learning to deal with this mental illness was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I lived to tell the tale. And it has made me a stronger person. I hope to one day dedicate my life to help others deal with mental health issues; so, if you or someone you know is dealing with a mental illness, get help. And don’t let it go untreated, because a life is a terrible thing to waste.
Karen Rodriguez, Staff Writer
These days we live in a sex-crazed society. From television to magazines to the internet, sex is every where, even in the newspaper. Hence, our views about sexual encounters and partners have changed. We view sexuality a little bit more lightheartedly, and sometimes don’t even take it seriously. To some people, it’s just one more thing to do or as some people would say, “one more person to do.”
What we don’t realize is that we’ve got it all upside down and turned around. In this society, the line between casual sex and intimacy has blurred. Does love lead to sex or does sex lead to love? In our sex-crazed society, it’s becoming more difficult to tell anymore.
One way that this is happening is through “friends with benefits.” As a woman, I really don’t understand the whole “friends with benefits” relationship. What’s the benefit? You get laid? I thought the whole point of having sex was to make love, to be with someone who loves you back and to be with someone who will hold you in the morning when you wake up. Not someone who will say, “thank you very much. Same time tomorrow, right?”
Maybe, it is possible to have a “friend with benefits.” But, isn’t there too much at risk? First, there is the health risk. I mean, who is to say that your “friend” doesn’t have more “friends” like you.
Second, what about your heart? Sex is a very intimate act. It is meant to bring people closer and make a relationship stronger.
Third, how do you know what the other person is looking for? Not all guys are looking for one-night stands; and, of course, not all girls are looking for serious relationships.
With these types of relationships there are numerous risks; and, unfortunately, they haven’t developed a clear, solid method to answer to this question. I know people who have had a one-night stand and actually ended up marrying that person. I also know others who waited until their wedding night to have sex, and it’s worked out well for them too.
I think that most women hope to find their prince charming one day, and men, of course, hope to find their princess. To those of you who have already found your partner, you are very lucky. And to those of you who are still on the hunt, I wish you luck. It’s kind of tricky, when love and sex lead to different paths.
Karen Rodriguez will be writing a regularly featured sex and health column in the Enotah Echoes. For ideas about future articles or to recommend topics email us at email@example.com.
By Karen Rodriguez, Staff Writer
The word “sex” is considered taboo on most college campuses. However, sex is a common activity for most college students. The fact of the matter is that college is no longer high school, and students are not just students. They are adults who are free to make their own decisions. Whether they choose to engage or not engage in this act, in the end, it is really up to what they believe.
“I believe that most people don’t take into consideration what sex is really supposed to be about,” said Noemi Contreras, senior business and public policy major from Union City.
“Sex is supposed to be something sacred and beautiful,” said Contreras. “I assume it happens on campus. I do feel that sex is such a beautiful action of love and commitment and should be regarded with care and respect. We should view it as a treasure of great value.”
The reasons for sexual encounters vary from one person to the other. Some students believe that sex is not a topic that should be disapproved of.
Another Young Harris College student, who did not wish to have their name in the article, states, “It’s not a sensitive topic for me. I think it’s a natural thing and I do believe that it goes on here on campus, c’mon we are all adults. You would have to be very naïve to think that it doesn’t.”
Whatever the reason for sexual activity, one thing is for sure, it happens. People my not want to address it, parents might not want to admit it and others might turn a blind eye. However, college will always be college, and sex will always be sex.
Karen Rodriguez will be writing regularly featured sex and health column in the Enotah Echoes. For ideas about future articles or to recommend topics email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.