The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Coping with grief

Dealing with loss while in college

Grief is an incredibly hard emotion to cope with; it is an emotion that haunts — or will eventually haunt — every person on this Earth. Losing someone, whether that be a family member, friend, pet, or loved one, is a hard process that never truly ends. Being in college can be just another addition of stress on top.

College is a place to discover who you are,find your own people, and gain new loved ones in your life. However, an individual can only be so successful when all they can think about are the loved ones that they have been forced to leave behind. 

Last year in my first semester of college as a freshman, I was woken up by multiple missed calls on my phone.After finally answering the missed calls, which had been from my mom, I was given the news that my grandma had passed away. This did not come as a surprise to me, as her health had been slowly deteriorating the summer before. I had not yet truly come to terms with her death, yet that following week I quickly went home to attend her funeral. I had so much on my plate, but nonetheless, I thought I would be able to handle seeing her there. I was severely mistaken. 

Tears that I had tried to keep under wraps, stress from the new environment of college, and the grief that I tried not to face, had finally spilled out. I crumbled when I saw the woman who had once played telenovelas as she made bunuelos, the woman who liked to play Loteria with her family, and the woman who loved the Dallas Cowboys fiercely, gone just like that. 

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I have never been great when it comes to death, having lost a multitude of loved ones in the last six or so years alone. Death is a topic that keeps me up at night, terrified of what has become of the people I love, and what will become of me. Being in college, which is five or so hours away from home, and the family and people I had grown up with only furthered my own isolation with the topic. I would go on to lose two of my cats the following semester, to which I never got to say goodbye, as I had been too busy with school to notice.

Grief is a persisting issue for everyone, and it is not a straight and narrow process. It is a complicated mechanism that, despite popular belief, does not heal with time. It has its ups and downs just like many things in this world, and everyone’s grieving process is different. 

With how much time and effort is needed to succeed in college, this does not mean that grief and college cannot coincide. Coping with grief is necessary in being able to let go and begin again. College can be hard to keep up with when you are dealing with such a horrible situation, yet there are numerous ways that can make the pain and trials more manageable.

It is important to have a group or even one person who can be there as your support. Being supported is necessary in helping the grieving process along, and it prevents you from isolating which can cause greater harm to yourself. 

Also, make sure to get in contact with any teachers, classmates, or otherwise to stay up to date so that other people can help you through a difficult time. Getting in contact with counseling services can give appropriate assistance with the feelings that may be too hard to keep to yourself.

And most importantly, memory, one of the most precious things about humans, can stay alive through remembering the person, pet, or other that you may have lost. College can help mold you into the person you are meant to be, but being able to cope with what might be difficult to manage during it will help you keep that memory alive.

If you are dealing with loss, you are not alone. Please contact or visit 

Tarleton Counseling Services (254-968-9044)

Texas Youth Hotline (1-877-904-2611)

Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (988)

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About the Contributor
Jennifer Fernandez
Jennifer Fernandez, Staff Writer

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