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Is It My Problem or Yours?

Tina Kasin Online Editor

Krisiane Aateigen
Krisiane Aateigen

She has gotten out of control. Does she even see it? She posts questionable pictures on her Facebook profile. I hear rumors about her. She looks high every time I see her. She needs help. I should help, but I don’t know how. She hasn’t talked to me since the last time we hung out. Which was… last summer? Is it my problem then? Does she even count as my friend anymore? I’m just going to leave it up to her family and her “new” friends. If she really wanted me to have a meaningful spot in her life, she would let me know.

We all know somebody who needs help. But how often do we actually make an effort to help them? This story isn’t about a specific girl, but this is usually how the story goes. We tend to leave it up to their other friends and families instead of trying to give the person who used to be or still may be, our friend, a helping hand.

Yet, I truly believe in helping a friend out.

It shouldn’t take much of your time and energy, and if it does, you have gone too far. Know your limit. Start with getting that friend to talk to you. Learn how to be a good listener. Often people just need somebody who is willing to listen. If they tell you something you don’t agree with, try not to be judgmental. That’s not why they decided to open up to you. Remember, if they tell you their story in the first place, it’s because they trust you.

Don’t interrupt and say, “I know how you feel.” Maybe you have been in their spot before, but the truth is, you don’t know how your friend feels. We’re talking about their feelings, not yours, and how you felt. Ask, “How do you feel?” instead and let them tell you about it.

Find out why that person ended up where he or she is today. Did something happen? Or was it just temptations getting out of hand? Suggest ideas to lead them in the right direction.

Sophomore and Graphic Design major, Ashley Ieveno, said she would do whatever she could to help a struggling friend. She would first try to convince them to look at the lifestyle they’re creating for themselves. “If it continues, things are going to spiral downward,” Ieveno said. She would want her friends to help her if she was in that same situation.

Junior and Finance major, Christoffer Andersson, looked at how bad a drug/alcohol problem could turn out if they brought their problem to school or a public place, and their dose was too much for their body to handle. Andersson pictured himself in that situation and how he would help out. “If the incident occurred at school, I would call the school paramedics. If it occurred in public, I would probably call an ambulance,” said Andersson.

And let’s be honest, Andersson’s overdose-scenario could happen if the person doesn’t get help in time.

However, you don’t have to be the only one the troubled girl or boy has to rely on. Suggest counseling, which the school of- fers for free. Call the Counseling Services office, 516-299-2345, or if it’s an emergency, call 516-299- 2222, which is open 24/7.

All in all, think about it be- fore you decide that it isn’t your problem. What if this person was you?

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