As college students, there are a lot of things that we are still trying to figure out in the world. Throughout our college careers, we will begin to develop into ourselves and begin going down our paths in life. Finding that path can often be very difficult, with so many different decisions in front of us. We try to balance trying to meet deadlines, be successful students, and have normal a social life. All of these things contribute to our self growth, but our personal lives often times teach us life lessons that we do not receive in many (if any) classrooms.
One of these life lessons is about relationships. Although the “hook-up” culture is a predominant feature in college life right now, a lot of students are either in relationships or at least close with a few couples on campus. It often seems that people on campus can be heard talking about their friend who recently entered into a relationship and then suddenly dropped off the face of the planet. While everyone on campus is running around, without a spare minute, friends who used to make time for coffee or dinner, never seem to be around anymore. Of course, relationships are an important part of everyone’s life, but sometimes as a friend, you may notice some strange or unhealthy problems in your friend’s relationship.
However, those issues can be an awkward topic to bring up, much less actually talk with a friend. From personal experience, I can say that even broaching the topic of unhealthy relationships can turn into a tense situation very quickly. When you want to talk to your friend about their partner (and possible controlling or abusive behavior) most people will automatically become defensive and emotional. The problem then is, how do you continue to be a good, attentive friend while also bringing up these major concerns for your friend’s mental, physical, and emotional health safety. Often times, being a good friend means that you may have to possibly risk a friendship and figure out ways to talk about these issues with those around you. Then, all you have to do is figure out the best way to talk about the situation, which is no small feat.
With October quickly approaching, it also means that Domestic Violence Awareness Month is about to begin. Here at USD, there will be a multitude of events and opportunities to discuss domestic violence on college campuses, as well as in the larger community. One of the events, Shatter the Silence, focuses on becoming an active bystander in abusive relationships and sexual violence. In collaboration with the ChangemakerFest, the Women’s Center is bringing interACT -a performance troupe- and will open up a space to start the conversation on how to confront how to be an active bystander on a college campus. This event, and others going on throughout Domestic Violence Awareness Month, may begin to help not only starting the conversation on campus, but also helping us start to take steps towards having those hard conversations with those friends we are concerned about.
Shatter the Silence is on Wednesday, October 1, 2014
UC Forum C, 5:45 or 7:45
For more information, please visit the C.A.R.E website