I know that the TKS Editors’ Blog is supposed to be about TKS-y things: journalism, putting the paper together, crazy interviews, to-do lists that don’t make sense to anyone but ourselves at 3 a.m.
And I could blog about those things right now. I could blog about my awesome interview with Kevin and Samantha Prow, the owners and founders of baked, and how much fun I had writing a profile on them. I could blog about what it was like to put together a 20-page paper, and how freaked out Mosaic was to fill another entire page with content when we were low on it for the week. I could blog about things I’m doing in preparation to follow my music scene beat for my journalism class.
But I won’t blog about those things, not any of them, not right now.
We have had a tragedy on campus, and that should still be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. I’m still surprised that events went on as planned on both Sunday and Monday. I’m surprised that we had classes. I’m a little miffed at myself for not checking to see if the flags were at half staff today, and I’m more miffed if they weren’t.
This affects everyone because this could have happened to anyone.
And I think that a lot of people fail to realize that. We have all been reminded that life is short, but we can still so easily forget that life is dangerous. We do, after all, live in the Knox bubble. But with Sandy wreaking havoc in New England, the increase in sexual assaults and hate crimes on campus, the shooting in Galesburg, the daily gasp-inducing moments on the road with crazed drivers, and the simple discomfort of walking anywhere alone late at night, it seems that there has never been a more terrifying time to live. And I didn’t even mention irrational fears of things like carbon monoxide leaks or meningitis (yes, those are mine).
Across the charts, this has been a difficult term for everyone. Whether it’s the constant battle against homework and extracurriculars and scheduling it all, interpersonal relationships and their peculiar tendency to overlap in peculiar ways peculiarly all the time, or more serious events, it doesn’t seem that anyone is getting out unscathed. I know that I am, at least, speaking for myself. A lot of personal issues have come up in the past 7 weeks, and I still don’t know what to make of any of it. I continue to return home to St. Louis–that, I know. Maybe I want to recharge and refresh; maybe I want to be with family; maybe I want to run away from it all.
But when I can’t, I have found incredible consolation from everyone in the Knox community. Aside from friends, who we all expect to be there for us, complete strangers have been supportive without even knowing it. The administration has been on my side, never doubting anything that I’ve told them, never questioning it, never questioning me when they arguably shouldn’t. Not everyone gets this everywhere. Anyone at a state school probably doesn’t.
We are lucky for this. Knox may have the worst technology known to modern man, and our cafeteria food may not always be up to par, but if a student needs help, they’re there.
And maybe people need to be reminded. I know I was skeptical of how I’d be received when I first began approaching people in my times of need. We think that they have better things to be doing, more important things, that they’ll never find time for us anyway. But now, more than ever, we need to know that that’s just totally wrong. The whole student body is either in a crisis now or probably has been at some point, but it doesn’t need to be like that any longer than it has to.
This post is probably sounding a lot like a PSA. But I wish someone would have told me any of this before the term started. I wish someone would have told me that it’s safe to reach out to others. I wish someone would have told me that everything I was feeling and continue to feel was normal then and (as Dan Larson still says) is normal now. I wish someone would have told me to give myself time, to give myself kindness. (Dan Larson says these things too.)
I wish someone would have told me that things will get better in the littlest ways. They have, and they still will.