Throughout my time at Bowdoin, there have been many moments when I faced immense challenges, stress and grief that have felt incredibly overwhelming. I know I am not alone in these thoughts and feelings. We have all gone through a lot in our time as students at Bowdoin and continue to struggle and hurt for many reasons, and in many ways, within this institution.
This may especially be true for many of you right now in the face of the tragic loss of a brilliant and beloved member of our campus community, whom we all miss dearly. It is completely valid and normal to be experiencing a multitude of confusing and painful emotions right now. Many of you have even personally shared your experiences and feelings with me at this time, and I have been incredibly grateful to be someone you feel that you can trust and talk to. I hope to continue being someone who can be there for you when you need it.
No matter where you are with your own emotions right now, I am writing this to remind you that within this dark moment, like in any dark moment, there is always a light. In times where you may feel that things will not get better, I promise you that they will. There is always a reason to keep going each and every day. You have so many amazing things to be a part of and happy moments to experience. You have so much talent and passion to offer this world and a true opportunity to make it better. You are so beautiful, vibrant, valuable and worthwhile, and this community would not be the same without your presence. Your friends love you, your family loves you and this community loves you, deeply.
I am amazed and proud of how our community has come together to support each other at this moment. This unity has served as a strong reminder of how true everything I just stated really is. I cannot express how grateful I am to be surrounded by the amazing people that are part of my life and of this community who constantly lift me up in times of pain and struggle.
I also want us to embrace that we all face hardships, and now, during this moment of tragic loss and a looming pandemic, is a better time than any to accept this fact and be okay with how we are feeling and what we are dealing with each day. It is more than okay to ask for help when you need it. I have reached out for help on countless occasions throughout my time at Bowdoin, for both academic and personal reasons, and I am much better off for it.
There is a lot of strength in being honest with yourself in these moments, even though it may not feel like it sometimes. I implore you to have that strength, and to always remember that you are not alone. Please never give up on yourself or give in to silence if you are suffering. So many people love and care about you and want to support you in any way that they can. We should all continue to remind ourselves and each other of these realities, not only in this moment, but as we move forward.
Ryan Britt is a member of the Class of 2022 and the Student Body President.