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Taking Serious Matters Lightly

Courtesy of MCT campus

The School Grounds shift started out like any other. I scrambled like a busy bee preparing the sweet iced coffees and muffins for the customers. Although a bit hectic, the mood was calm, that is, until the end of the shift.

Along came the last straggling customer. He clutched his money eagerly in hopes of getting an iced mocha. The excitement lasted only a moment when he was told the shop was no longer selling the item at the time. The mood quickly changed to exasperation, anger, and a hint of mockery as he yelled, “I’m going to kill myself!”

On the same day I heard the phrase “go kill yourself” said to a kind girl in my Chinese class.

courtesy of MCT campus
courtesy of MCT campus

I do not hear it every day, but when I do hear the phrase, “I’m going to kill myself,” being used over frivolous matters or someone threatening another peer with suicide, it annoys me and disturbs me. Students who say these phrases show no consideration to those around them who may have had experience with suicidal situations.

With the phrases popping up more and more in everyday conversations, it forces me wonder: when  we, as students, began to think it was okay to talk about, let alone threaten someone with our number one killer, suicide?

“I say the phrase ‘go kill yourself’ when I am playing video games with other players because we know we are all joking. We don’t mean it.” said sophomore Nick Stanek.

Sure, it can all be in good fun to joke, release stress, and to describe how one is feeling by exaggerating with such phrases, but the threat of killing yourself is unnecessary and can cause misinterpretation to those who take it seriously.

“I deal with real situations of suicide,” said social service counselor Tami Broskow. “If I were to hear the phrase I would immediately access the situation. I would ask if they were serious. If they weren’t they could get into a lot of trouble.”

Trouble means talking to teachers and deans. Trouble also develops for the kids who truly mean what they say.

As time passes, and the phrases are used more frequently, their meanings slowly diminish. We would not know who was serious and who was not.

According to the American Association of Suicidology, nearly 3,000 suicide attempts occur each day, and 30,000 suicides occur each year.


I would hope we would not need such a rude awakening. We are high school students who, without a doubt, have known what it feels like to not want to keep moving forward.

Yet, if we continue as we are now, who knows how much tragedy the future holds because we did not take it seriously. Because ignorance, lack of education, and insensitivity got in the way. Perhaps reality would be better than faint ideas.


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Jaclyn Polit, Author

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