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Persevering through the Loss of a Loved One During College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Georgia Southern chapter.

It is a sensitive topic for many people. No one wants to say or think about it. Nevertheless, we’re all aware that it’s part of the life cycle and it is bound to happen.


Life is certainly unpredictable. Receiving notification of the passing of someone you love is crushing. This is especially a hard pill to swallow for a college student who is already dealing with various other stressors.


On October 5th, 2019, I received the devastating news that a loved one of mine passed away. It was unexpected. I was at a standstill momentarily then a flood of emotion erupted.  


Her name was Isis. We knew one another for over 7 years. We were classmates, cheer-sisters, neighbors, and friends. She was beautiful externally and in spirit, intelligent, energetic, wise, friendly, funny, athletic, determined, physically & psychologically strong, and the list goes on!


The week leading up until her funeral was a challenge. Memories of her clouded my mind, I often cried, felt a mix of good & bad emotions, and experience lack of motivation & focus regarding my academics. It wasn’t until the day of her funeral that I finally came to accept the matter.


Throughout the journey of working to obtain our credential(s), we all will likely experience a tragedy like such. I understand firsthand how it feels. Here’s some advice on how to persevere through the loss of a loved one during college:


Notify your professors.

Attempting to focus on academics is quite difficult when the emotions and thought concerning your lost loved one is clouding your mind. Simply informing your professor will alleviate some of that added stress. Your professor will understand and accommodate to your needs. He/she cannot do that if they aren’t aware of why you’re missing classes or aren’t submitting tasks.


See a counselor.

Loss affects everyone differently. Even if you consider yourself a strong individual, I would still suggest scheduling a counseling session with a professional. I’m sure your university has counseling services available. Expressing your thoughts and emotions, hearing words of enlightenment, or simply just having a listening ear can be quite beneficial.


Surround yourself with love and positivity.

It is so easy for darkness to creep into the crevices of our hearts during times of devastation. Therefore, it is imperative you create or sustain an environment filled with love and positivity. I feel this is especially important for those who have or are experiencing depression or anxiety. You are not alone. Cling to those who love you dearly whether it be family, friends, your pet, or significant other. Taking the journey alone will only make things more difficult for you. Detach yourself from social media if need be. Disconnect from unempathetic, inconsiderate, and/or foolish individuals. We’re all easily bothered during such times because we’re confused, hurting, angry, etc.. We certainly do not want any problematic situations transpiring. Listen to mood-lifting music. Speak positivity into the atmosphere; state affirmations. Think of the good things.


Understand that it will be OK eventually.

I totally understand that is the last thing anyone who’s lost a loved one wants to hear. The phrase “It will be OK” is cliche. Nonetheless, it honestly will be OK in due time. It is all about your perspective. The storm will not last always. What normally comes after a storm? A radiating Sun, clear sky, and maybe even a rainbow. The fact that someone you treasure is gone will not be erased. However, someday, it will not hurt as bad, the tears won’t stream down as much, and you’ll be able to smile at the mention of their memory. Again, I say, it will be OK.

Ciara Childs

Georgia Southern '23

Ciara Childs, CPhT is a Political Science undergraduate student at Georgia Southern University. She is a native of Albany, Georgia. Her hobbies include traveling, learning, writing, cooking, and meditating. Ciara's philosophy of life would be best described by Maya Angelou's quote "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."
Jordan Wheeler

Georgia Southern '22

Jordan Wheeler is a Junior Pre-Law Philosophy major who attends Georgia Southern. Jordan loves writing, singing, and hanging out with friends.