Shamudi Gunasekera
The Silhouette

As I flipped through a copy of the Silhouette on Nov. 28, an editorial written by Scott Hastie, the previous managing editor of the paper, caught my eye. It outlined why he was taking a break from McMaster and the last line read “People will support you, you just have to let them.”

I couldn’t stop thinking about this line. We are caught up in the idea that we should be going through everything by ourselves. We tackle our own problems. Is there something to be said for this idea? After all, the rewards of accomplishing a task, of overcoming an obstacle, are quite satisfying.

Carrying the burden by yourself may seem attractive in that you get to be the one who rises above it. You get to be your own hero, your knight in shining armor, so to speak. You may not want others to see the side of you that’s not so strong, that isn’t so sure of yourself.

But is it really worth it to struggle on your own? Hearing another person’s opinion on the situation could really help. Simply talking to someone about what you are going through can lighten the burden that you may be carrying.

I made more than my fair share of mistakes during my first year and I wanted to correct them this year. This will be my year, I thought to myself as I sat down in my first lecture last semester.

Things did not work out the way I hoped they would. For the most part, I was doing well in school. I signed up for activities that caught my interest. And yet, I felt depressed and lonely.

I tried to keep the negative thoughts at bay by keeping myself busy. I spent my time studying and doing things that, in the past, had made me happy, such as reading and sketching. But I quickly lost interest. The negativity crept into every corner of my mind. I could only stay positive for a few minutes before becoming depressed over the very thing that made me happy.

Seeing a counselor at the Student Wellness Centre greatly helped. She helped me figure out what I should do and how I should reach out to my friends. Little by little, I began opening up to them about what was going on and they were quite supportive.

Things got better. I may not be happy right now, but I am okay. I talk to my friends when I’m feeling down which helps eradicate the negative thoughts. The thoughts don’t invade as often as they used to. I have yet to feel pleasure doing things that I used to love, but I believe that in time, I’ll get there. Knowing that I don’t have to go through this alone is reassuring. You have to let people help you and though it may not seem like much, appreciate the fact that they are doing what they can.

I’ve realized that there are certain things that I can do on my own and certain things that I cannot. And more often than not, I’ve tried to dig myself out on my own, only to find that I’ve dug myself deeper into the hole. The people I care about are here for me. They believed in me when I was starting to lose hope for myself. And, to borrow from the poet Robert Frost, that has made all the difference.

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