With mountains that kiss the nearly oceanic summer sky then give way to a cascade of red and orange foliage in the fall only to dissolve into a pure white powder, Vermont’s best attribute is its aesthetic appeal.
Its hidden treasure is the sap that runs rampant through the veins of the trees making maple syrup finer than even Aunt Jemima could imagine.
And it’s best kept secret is that the state ranks among the highest in suicide rates across the nation.
What falls between the vibrant landscapes and the first snow may seem dismal and barren. The secluded countryside can become a harbor for feelings of abandonment. Combined, these factors can put Vermonters in more than just a pre-holiday season slump and have them at a loss for a will of a tomorrow.
Statistically, more women attempt to commit suicide, but more men are successful in the act. While women often turn to methods such as overdosing or cutting that provide them with an opportunity to change their minds, men tend to resort to more drastic measures such as firearms.
As seasonal depression climbs toward its peak and finals loom overhead, suicide and depression are serious concerns among college students. There are however, strategies to absolve these pressures and reduce stress.
Taking the early initiative to prepare for finals and end-of-the-year projects makes them smaller tasks to take on in smaller steps. This stretches the workload over a longer period of time as opposed to cramming a semester’s amount of work in during finals week.
School and social lives all too often know how to get simultaneously overwhelming and seemingly uncontrollable. Nonetheless, every day is a fresh start. When you’re feeling beaten down or lethargic, surround yourself with people or things that make you smile. Happiness is contagious and even a brief smile can captivate your emotions.
The Wellness Center also offers counseling services to help identify sources of stress or anxiety, offer coping methods, and can simply lend an ear for those times you need to talk.
Even on the seemingly longest of days, the sun will eventually set. It will not always bring a resolution to your problems but a temporary conclusion from the struggles. No one is without their moments of weakness, but strength is revealed in your ability to persevere.
Thanksgiving break is in sight. Take it as a time to put your mind at ease and a chance to just breathe. Life is too precious a gift to not see what tomorrow has in store.