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How To Deal With Death While In College

*Disclaimer: These are tips that have worked for me. The results may vary.


Death has always been super scary to me. The thought of not seeing someone again or hearing their voice is unimaginable, but death happens everyday. In fact, about 162,000 people die everyday.  Since I have been in college, I have experienced two deaths, one of them being my very best friend, and the other, my grandmother. Here’s a guide to how I dealt with death and tackled the semester.


1. Take time to be alone:  To me, this is the most important step to grieving. Time alone gives you a chance to get your thoughts together and really process the information you just received.

2. Tell your closest friends/ people you trust: Sharing the news with your closest friends gives you a safety blanket. Your friends (if they are good ones) will be extremely nice to you, support you, and listen to you if you need to talk about what you’re dealing with. And if you act out in any kind of way, they will have an idea of the cause.

3. Tell your professors: Informing your professors of a death in the family is mandatory. Some professors may be kinder than others, allowing you to have more absent days than others. There’s no way for your professor to just know when you are down, so it’s best to tell them for their understanding. Salisbury University provides a bereavement leave application that you can fill out so they’ll email your professors professionally regarding the situation.

4. Take all the time you need: Take time to remember positive memories of your deceased loved one.  Take time to cry in the shower. Take time to eat all the junk food you need. Take time to do whatever you need to do to feel better! Be courteous of a long grieving period though, you don’t want to think yourself into a bad mood, slip on grades, or lose motivation towards the semester. Let this negative thing turn into the exact strength you need to finish out the semester.


Remember that everyone’s story is different, which means everyone deals with death differently. These are some steps that help me to push forward regardless of the hardships. Thank God for everyday you are living! If you miss someone, tell them, if you like someone, tell them! Life is shorter than you think. One day it is someone else, the next day it could be you.

I am a junior majoring in Human Communications, minoring in Market Management.
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