By Lindsay Mower, Layout Editor
Congratulations folks, at last it’s the beginning of December and together we have almost made it through our 2015 Fall Semester. It’s been a crazy few months at UMF, from the constant construction on campus, to the freakishly warm weather yielding night skies unordinarily filled with giant red moons, to the increasingly concerning negative posts from troubled students on Yik Yak. Strange vibes have filled the air here in Farmington, so in light of feeling strange let us take a moment to reminisce back to our high school days… I know, but just hear me out.
Who were you in high school? At some point, you probably wore cheaply made $40 t-shirts that plastered the word FITCH across your chest, because they were obviously the key to popularity. Then, were you suddenly a self-proclaimed free spirit? Maybe you wanted a dread lock? That’s right, a single dreadlock that your mom totally would not approve of. Were you in any way accurately portraying who you really are as a person?
I hesitantly admit to you that I was the one doing all of the things above, all of which didn’t allow anyone to see the real Lindsay. The truth is that I don’t think many of us were accurately portraying ourselves. We were, understandingly, just trying to fit in. We were all still working out the kinks.
Back then, we weren’t only untrue to ourselves when it came to the clothes we wore and the personas we put on; a lot of the time we were untrue to our moral selves. We stood by and watched things happen that we knew were wrong. We witnessed helpless people get bullied, because at this point in our lives most of us just didn’t know we held the power to stop this kind of behavior.
In high school we made these kinds of naive mistakes, these regrets, due to lack of experience and lack of maturity. When life forces us to live with them, as it does, these mistakes mold us into the beautiful people that we are today. They are the reason we no longer tolerate bullying when we see it happening. They are the reason we hold the door open for each other at UMF. From our mistakes and regrets, we have all learned what is most important in life and this is to care for one another.
Today, we see the cries for help plastering Yik Yak’s constantly evolving conversation. This problem should concern all of us. These pleas are from people in our community who could really use someone to reach out too. Isn’t it time we start doing something about this? Since we have all learned valuable lessons from our mistakes, shouldn’t we know better than to stand around watching them happen?
We can do something. We can support these community members by letting them know that they are not alone. Some students are taking action by sitting in Roberts Student Center supporting the message to “#YakPositive” and encouraging others to write positive messages to students who may be having a difficult time. A close friend of mine suggests reassuring these students that putting down their phone, getting outside, moving around and interacting with people will get their endorphins going which can make a huge difference in their perspective.
Community Health professor Dr. Alireza Geshnizjani enlightened me with a Youtube video one day when I was feeling down that I suggest you watch. The video, ‘A Pep Talk from Kid President to You’, features a young boy with a brilliant message:
“This is your time. This is my time. It’s our time, if we can make every day better for each other, if we’re all on the same team, let’s start acting like it. We got work to do.”
This video had the power to change my perspective that day. It really made me consider how I live my daily life in coexistence with those around me. Like our professors, we also have the power to change each other’s perspectives. We must all be conscious of the fact that our education is ongoing in the game of life. Whether it be in the classroom or in the real world, we are continuously gaining knowledge and we have no reason to make the same mistakes twice. There are no excuses.
Now, after I have painfully made you think back to all the mistakes you made in high school, I am going to challenge you UMF, to not only be the change you wish to see in the in world, but to be the changes you wish you had made as your high school self. Seek knowledge within everything you do. It’s our time, we have work to do, and I just think we all need a pep talk.