So I know it has been a little time since I last posted anything to the blog, and if you are a reader, I apologize for that. Just had to take some time to grieve the end of How I Met Your Mother! You understand right?! Well now that I am back and the grieving period is over (for now) I figured I should get back to talking about superheroes and college. One question that I have begun thinking about recently is this: how the hell are superheroes not more messed up? Think about it, Batman’s parents are killed when he is a kid, Spider-man’s uncle dies in his arms after being shot, and Superman’s entire planet is destroyed. All of them have a defining moment in which they could become nothing more than a catatonic vegetable, suffering from grief for the lose of their loved ones. And yet they don’t. They find a way to serve those around them, protecting and serving their communities. So I ask the question again…how the hell do they do it?
Well I think I figured it out…they were never alone. Batman had Alfred and later his various sidekicks, Spider-man had Aunt May and his various girlfriends, Superman had his “parents” and Lois Lane. They had support to make it through the toughest times in their lives and they continued to have that support after the initial pain subsided. Because they had that support they were able to save those around them and fight evil. How would any of these characters be without that support?
This same idea goes for not only college students, but every single human being, but let’s just look at college students for now. Here is the honest truth…College can be hard! There will be times when you are stressed, anxious, feel like you are drowning in all that you have to do and that it is not possible to get through. You may feel this from your classes, family issues, relationships, issues you have with friends/roommates/classmates. No matter what you do in college you will feel this at some point, at least once (only once if you are really lucky, but that just isn’t life).
When these stressful hardships come up you have one of three options. The first is that you can ignore it. You can pretend that none of it exists and move through life never looking it in the “face”. Unfortunately, in life, most things don’t go away if you don’t recognize them. The second option is that you can deal with them on your own. This works for some people, but over time they begin to feel beat, as though they can’t keep going because it is just too hard. This option may make you feel strong and independent, but in all honesty, you are just alone. The third option, the one that I personally like, is to get support from those around you, those who really care about you and your welfare. They may be a friend, a professor, an advisor, your significant other, or even a counselor. You may even go to your parents for this support and that is perfectly fine. Some people may look at this as being a sign of weakness and I feel sorry for them. I think knowing when you need help, when you recognize that you cannot do something all by yourself and need help is a true sign of strength. The reason we make connections with people is so that when they fall down, those around us can help us back to our feet.
In the place that I work (where I am writing this blog) I always like to say that we can talk about our problems to one another and we genuinely listen, because when it comes someone else’s time to deal with a problem, they know they have some place to go to talk about their hardships. Since they listened to me when I needed it, I will listen to them when they need it. That support, knowing that you are not alone when shit hits the fan (excuse my French) is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
So here is my point to all of this: Don’t be ashamed to ask for help! Don’t think that you are too good or that asking for help is a sign of weakness. If you ask for help when you need it you will go so much further in life and will honestly be happier. Don’t be the superhero who goes at it alone. Be the superhero who has the support of those around them to keep them strong.