Women’s Soccer Continues Their Regular Season Dominance/by Jace Aymond

The Mississippi College women’s soccer team continued rolling through their regular season conference opponents as they defeated Alabama-Huntsville 2-1, Christian Brothers 1-0, and Union 2-0 to open up the GSC Soccer Spring Championship Series.

The Hederman sisters scored the two goals in the UAH game as Avery scored in the 32nd minute while Erin scored in the 54th. Lindsey Stephenson scored the lone goal against Christian Brothers as she put it in the back of the net off a set piece in the 35th minute. Finally, Erin Hederman scored both goals for the Lady Choctaws against Union in the 21st and 32nd minute. The defense for the Lady Choctaws has also been dominant as they only allowed one goal through their first three games.

MC head coach Daryl Longabaugh was proud and gave credit to his team on how well their defense performed the past few games, explaining, “If your defense can keep them on their heels, then you’re going to have the advantage throughout the game. I think it’s very important for us winning the headers this time and I think we did a great job doing just that. I praise the girls, I told them I was very proud of them because they stepped up and really won the battles in the air today as best they could.”

MC’s historic season last year came with many contributing seniors graduating. This season, the Lady Choctaws know how young and new the team is. In fact, only nine of the 35 players on the roster are juniors or higher. Even so, the underclassmen have stepped up in a big way, and the experienced players have done a great job of guiding them. Senior Lindsey Stephenson explained that “being mentored by the girls that did graduate allows us to lead. And even having so many freshmen and watching them step up and even be leaders themselves has just been amazing to watch. There’s not a single weak player on this team and everyone is so strong and brings so much. But it’s important that everyone has a part on this team and does it well.”

Coach Longabaugh further stated how important each member on the team is by saying, “The girls that are returning from the year prior really helps the game flow and we’re still going to try and get these freshmen as much minutes as we can because they’re the future of the team. But there’s still some work to be done and they’ve still got work in practice to prove that they belong on the field.”

The Lady Choctaws close out their regular season with a match against West Alabama as they will play at Clinton High School on March 5. Finally, the regular season will come to a close in Cleveland, Mississippi, as the Lady Choctaws will take on Delta State on March 11. The team now has won 16 straight regular season conference games, and they hope to keep the streak when postseason play begins on March 17.

MC Office of Public Safety February Recap/by Kienna Van Dellen

From Feb. 3, 2021, to March 2, 2021, the Office of Public Safety made a total of 14 dispatches throughout the campus of Mississippi College. An alcohol violation and a narcotics violation were both referred to MC Judicial Council. The Judicial Council is composed of six appointed board members and the chief justice. This council handles all traffic violation appeals, as well as other major student violations. One alcohol violation located in New Men’s Residence Hall was issued a judicial summons. A fire took place on the second floor of the Women’s West Tower; the cause was an electrical issue with the dryer machine. Two medical calls were made. Three vehicle accidents occurred; two were closed and one was referred to an outside agency.

Report known or suspected violations of university policy or state or federal law to:

Office of Public Safety (601.925.3204) or Clinton Police Department (601.924.5252).

Detailed Report:

02/04/2021 Alcohol Violation New Women’s East: Floor 4

02/07/2021 Alarm Miscellaneous Ratliff Residence Hall

02/08/2021 Fire New Women’s West: Floor 2

02/10/2021 Medical Call Robinson Hale Stadium: Football Field

02/10/2021 Alarm Miscellaneous Farr Hall

02/11/2021 Alarm Miscellaneous Student Center 

02/11/2021 Alcohol Violation New Men’s Residence Hall

02/11/2021 Narcotics Violation New Men’s Residence Hall

02/11/2021 Alarm Miscellaneous Dyslexia Center 

02/16/2021 Vehicle Accident Lot R-C

02/19/2021 Vehicle Accident New Women’s East

02/20/2021 Medical Call Latimer-Webb Residence Hall02/23/2021 Vehicle Accident Soccer Field (Longabaugh)

Elijah Cardenas: Using Poetry to Find Yourself/by Morgan Miller

Creative talent exists across all corners of MC’s campus, taking shape in the form of writers, artists, musicians, and countless other expressive endeavors. Elijah Cardenas is one of those forms of creative talent, utilizing poetry to showcase his love of language.

A junior English Writing major hailing from Texas, Cardenas has been writing poetry for a few years now. As a prolific writer, he decided to create an outlet to share his works with others in the hopes of fostering inspiration, coming in the form of a website called Mangata.me.

When asked where the name of his website came from, he says, “It’s a Swedish word, actually, that I heard about from something I was reading. It’s a word that refers to the reflection of the moon on a still body of water. It’s a word that doesn’t translate well into any language outside of Swedish because it’s specific to that language. That kind of got me thinking about the meaning of words and how I can use words to invoke emotion, invoke a picture. Of course, my mind got rolling to poetry instantly as one of my passions and loves. I thought, ‘Hey, I should make a website out of this!’”

Mangata.me contains multiple poems, all written in a variety of forms that can be sorted according to the category of poetry they fall into. Cardenas typically uploads at least once a month, adding to an already lengthy collection. He believes that the best of his poems depict stories in a way that is simple and to the point.

“I think that poetry can be a little intimidating because it has this aura about it that makes people think it has to be about metaphors and symbolism,” Cardenas explains. “But I think poetry is a lot about just how you feel. If you can get past that intimidation, it can be a really freeing exercise.”

Many might hear the word poetry and think of long hours spent in class kneeled over stanzas, desperately trying to make sense of words that feel stiff and ancient. However, poetry takes on a new light when applied on a personal level. It lets people play with language in a way that few other forms allow, shaping words into new phrases and giving life to feelings unspoken. And just like Cardenas says, it can tell a story in its most basic form while allowing for the most profound interpretations. 

Cardenas’ creation of Mangata.me is a physical representation of his love for the craft, forged from a desire to publish his work for others to interact with in a way that allows for positive experiences.

Upon asking what he wants others to take away from his website, Cardenas says, “I have an introduction on there that kind of states the reason why I made Mangata. It was a search for joy and meaning as well as searching within yourself. The phrase that stuck with me was ‘May you never cease in the search for yourself,’ and that’s what I really want out of it. A lot of these poems are reflections of my thoughts and my feelings and myself. That’s what I want to inspire others to do: use poetry for what it is. It’s an avenue to search within yourself and reflect on the world around you and how you fit into it.”

Visit Mangata.me to view a collection of Cardenas’ work and learn something about yourself in the process. May it grant you a new lens through which to view the world. 

Choctaws Ready for Conference Play After Weekend Sweep/by Jace Aymond

The Choctaw baseball team picked up three wins Feb. 27-28 in their non-conference series against the Golden Bears of Miles College. After starting their season dropping six straight games, the team picked up some much needed wins this past weekend as they won by scores of 12-2 and 8-0 in the doubleheader on Saturday and 8-2 on the lone game Sunday.

The big story of the weekend was that six different Choctaws combined to hit a total of eight home runs in the three games. Dylan Duplechain and Caleb Reese each went yard twice in the series while George Farid, Markarius “Woogie” Lee, Ken Scott, and Alex Hay all added a home run as well. 

Not only were the bats hot all weekend, but the pitchers performed incredibly well too. In game one, Payton Russell picked up the win in his first start of the season as he only gave up four hits and one earned run in his complete, seven inning game due to the run-rule. In the second game, Bryce Lewis picked up the victory as he completed the complete game shutout giving up only two hits in all seven innings of work. In the final game, Jackson Bridges picked up his first win of the season as he allowed three hits and only one earned run in six innings of work. The bullpen was only used in game three as Sam Ciaccio, Jackson Smith, and Dylan Marsh pitched for an inning apiece without allowing a hit or run.

Coach Jeremy Haworth praised his team’s pitching performance, saying they “worked hard, kept it simple and fill[ed] up the strike zone. If you can get ahead, you can dictate the batter and you’re in control. When you don’t do that, then you’re liable to get hurt. Once we figure out how we can control the situation, we’re going to be just fine.” 

The series was also a good confidence booster for the Choctaws as they head back into the ever-challenging conference games. In past seasons, the Choctaws opened up their season playing a few non-conference series to prepare themselves for their conference schedule. However, due to COVID, the Choctaws had to jump straight into conference play without any scrimmages or non-conference games whatsoever. This also was the Choctaws’ first games at home of the season. Senior Dylan Duplechain spoke on how much this series meant to the team, saying, “It means a lot. This helps us boost our confidence and gets us where we need to be with a right mind and a right focus.” 

Haworth also was grateful for the series, saying, “This was a confidence booster for sure but our guys are getting better every single day. I like our mentality going into this weekend, and we have a lot of work to do. I think it was nice to play here at home and I think it had a lot to do with the series sweep here. We’re a good [base]ball team. We just have to play like it more consistently.”

The Choctaws’ next series will be in Pensacola as they take on West Florida with a single game on March 5 followed by a doubleheader the next day beginning at 1:00 p.m. After getting the sweep over Miles, the team now sits at 3-6 on the year as they hope to earn their first conference win of the season against the Argonauts. The following weekend will be the Choctaws’ first home conference series as Alabama-Huntsville will travel to Frierson Field. After a much needed sweep over Miles College, the Choctaws now head into a crucial conference series against the Argonauts of West Florida.

Electrical Fire Causes Damage in West Tower/by Kienna Van Dellen

A fire in New Women’s West Tower was reported to the MC Campus Safety Office on Feb. 8, 2021, at 2:37 p.m. The Clinton Fire Department was on the scene just four minutes later. The fire was in the second-floor laundry room and was contained in the upper cabinet of the dryer machine. The fire was extinguished immediately upon the arrival of CFD. 

The towers have an automatic fire suppression system that activates the overhead sprinklers. This system activates based on the conditions and the temperature in the building. Only one sprinkler was activated in the laundry room. Smoke and water damage were the primary causes of the damage and required extensive cleanup led by the physical plant and a third-party contractor. 

MC has had issues in the past with washers and dryers with loose belts falling off from so much use, causing the rubber to burn. This results in a lot of smoke but no actual fire. That was the case in New Men’s Residence Hall just weeks prior to the West Tower fire. 

“An actual fire does not occur very often, although we do have fire alarms. In most cases, the fire alarms are false and quickly resolved,” said Director of the Office of Public Safety Mike Warren. He explained the procedure taken by the Office of Public Safety when a fire is reported: 

“We will dispatch on-duty MCPS officers to the call and verify that Clinton Fire Department has been dispatched. The dispatcher can then start to review any surveillance video for the area to try and detect the presence of smoke or fire. CFD typically has a very fast response time, but our officers will try to get there first to help direct the resources of CFD,” said the MCPS director.

Another issue that the laundry rooms face is lint trays in the machines filling up from students not cleaning them properly. “Students can help mitigate these events by being careful not to overload the machines, check the lint traps in the dryer before starting it, and by checking on it frequently when in use,” said Warren. 

The cause of the West fire was an electrical fire that got hot enough to activate the sprinkler system. There is a certain temperature degree that the glass vial in the head of the sprinkler system needs to reach before it activates. These sprinklers push out a large amount of water per minute once activated. 

Most of the damage from the fire was localized to the location of the dryer. The sprinklers only went off in the laundry room. Much of the damage throughout the building was smoke and water damage. Water ran down the hallway of the second floor and down the stairs to the first floor. Because of this, many residents of West had to be relocated as the cleanup began. 

Raney’s Carpet Care Inc. was brought in with dehumidifiers and fans to help dry out the floor and clean out the rooms near the fire to amend the damage. The residents who had to relocate from the incident were moved back into their dorms within a week. 

Since the incident, Dean of Students Dr. Jonathan Ambrose reassured students that they have called in the third-party vendor who provided the laundry machines to go through all buildings and do some extra general maintenance to make sure future issues can be prevented as much as possible. “It’s extremely reassuring– the close relationships that we have with local entities like the local Clinton Police Department and Clinton Fire Department. By the time I got to West, they already had trucks there with guys in the building,” said Ambrose. “They view the MC family as their own and acted accordingly with their quick response; it’s encouraging to see how we can take care of each other when things go wrong.”

The Myth of the Moderate/by Morgan Thomas

In the divisive arena of American politics, the conversation often focuses on how “polarized” things have become. Op-eds and online blogs have proliferated the idea that America must turn away from “extremism on both sides.” But in this fairy-tale world of constant compromise and middle-ground, what is actually being lost?  

Recent years have seen the American political sphere shifting further and further to the right. The markets have been deregulated; taxes—for the wealthy—have been cut; laissez-faire capitalism has run rampant to the point where even the slightest hint of regulation or taxation has politicians branded as “Communists.” Upon these uneven scales, the political position of the “moderate” becomes especially insidious. 

One might well be wondering, I thought moderation was a good thing? Perhaps it is when you’re wondering whether to take a large slice of pie or stick to a smaller one, but in the political world, moderates are dependent on a shifting center. 

Let me put it in perspective: if the campus of Mississippi College is measured from the pods to Lowrey Hall, then Jennings Annex would be the campus center. On the actual map of campus, however, Jennings Annex is the educational building furthest to the right. From the perspective of someone at the pods, someone at Lowrey Hall is on the extreme left side of campus. It’s the same with the political spectrum. We’ve drifted so far to the right that someone whose platform is slightly left of center is painted as a “far-left radical.”

Part of the problem is that America is so incredibly insular that its citizens don’t even realize how different they are from the rest of the world. The United States is the only developed country in the world that does not have a system of universal healthcare. The readers of The Collegian might recognize this by its other name: Medicare For All, the “radical socialist” platform of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, two of the heavy-hitters in the Democratic party. Even amongst members of the Democratic party, Medicare For All is a divisive subject and garners only limited support because they don’t want to appear “too extreme.” Oftentimes, what seems like extreme leftist policy in the United States has been par for the course in every other developed country. 

The purpose of this article is not to offend any self-proclaimed moderates but to raise awareness of what moderation truly means. As a moderate, you are dependent on the ideologies of others to define your own position. Many Americans claim to be moderates because they have an aversion to appearing “radical;” however, this aversion allows true extremists to set themselves up as a baseline for comparison. 

For example, after the Civil War, the United States implemented segregation under the guise of “Separate but Equal,” because slavery was outlawed. Obviously, this doctrine was anything but equal, but at the time, segregation was the moderate choice. On one side were the Confederates and allies who resented that Black Americans had been granted their freedom, and on the other side were the activists who lobbied for racial equality. The myth of moderation allowed for the continued oppression of Black Americans. 

So what can we do? I’m not exactly trying to tell everyone that they should self-identify as a socialist or as a leftist, but if you choose to define yourself as a moderate then you need to understand what it truly means. As a moderate, your political stance is dependent on that of others rather than based upon your own beliefs. You are not hot or cold, but simply lukewarm. 

We’ve probably all heard the sentence, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor,” but only rarely do we encounter the rest of Desmond Tutu’s quote: “If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” To be neutral—to be moderate—when far-right extremism has become the ground zero is to align yourself with the elephant by default. 

The Reemergence of Embroidery/by Meredith Stratmann

While the art of embroidery is a centuries-old craft, a recent spike in its popularity has come to my attention. I’ve always admired different pieces of embroidery, from ancient tapestries at art museums to old samplers at antique shops. But it always seemed like a craft more mature audiences were made to do when they were children.

That is, until recently. Around two years ago, I became more intrigued with embroidery. I was inspired by a number of art accounts I follow on Instagram and wanted to know if I could create something similar. I also had a few questions. Did it take as many painstaking hours as my mom always told me? How many tries would it take for me to produce something actually cute? 

After experimenting some on my own, I realized it is actually quite fun and therapeutic. I could do it for hours, with the biggest drawback being the pain in my thumb from constantly clutching the needle. It does also take some practice to learn new stitches. Overall, my project ended up taking a long time, but it was worth it and time well spent. 

Considering I also do needlepoint and puzzles in my spare time, I figured my fascination with embroidery was just another of my typical grandma hobbies. I continued with this mindset until recently. Last semester, I was in a meeting when someone casually mentioned she had chosen to embroider a piece of fabric rather than use the paint markers provided. I was taken aback that anyone else could share this senior citizen hobby with me.

But it was not a one-time surprise. My roommate messaged me over Christmas break to tell me that she had begun embroidering using kits. I had always just gotten the materials and freehanded images I came up with, but she let me in on a whole other world. Places like Amazon and Etsy sell kits with pre-printed images on cloth, all of the embroidery floss needed, instructions, needles, etc. Everything needed for a beautiful piece of embroidery in an easy-to-order package shipped to your door. 

These experiences, combined with seeing other people around campus with embroidered sweatshirts, convinced me that embroidery truly has made a comeback. 

When I talked to senior Allee Paxton about how she got started embroidering, she said, “I started embroidering because I was bored one summer and wanted to learn a new skill! Now, I do it to just sort of meditate because it allows me to not think for a little bit!” 

The steady repetition combined with the needed creativity makes embroidery an excellent outlet for college students and grandmothers alike. Senior Emilee Johnson said, “It’s fun and it’s cute. What’s not to like?” Given our innate nature to be drawn to cute things, it’s no wonder embroidery has once again become popular. Even if you’ve never embroidered before, take this as an opportunity to try it today! You just may love it.

Football Looking Forward to Spring Season/by Charlie Williams

On Aug. 12, 2020, the Gulf South Conference announced the fall football season would not be happening. Along with conferences across all levels of college football, they made the decision that a football season would not be possible with the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of stopping.

When asked about the cancellation, senior linebacker Jaylan Woods said the announcement was “very disappointing, but we all knew the reason why it was canceled.” The conference announced that they would be pushing all fall team sports back to Jan. 1 and monitoring to see if a spring season would be possible. 

Although there will be no conference season this spring, the Choctaws will still take the field in three contests, two on the road and one at home. They opened the spring season at Tarleton State on March 6. 

Last season was one of the best in recent memory for the Choctaws, as they went a perfect 5-0 at home and defeated in-state rival Delta State in the Heritage Bell Classic 37-13 for their first win in the series since 1993. However, a lot of talent from that team has graduated, and head coach John Bland expects to see a lot of new leaders step up for the team in place of outgoing stars such as both the Hawthorn and Rotenberry twins. Saying that football is the “ultimate team game,” he stressed the importance of leadership and said that throughout the fall and spring practices the team was identifying leaders and trying to teach them how to “lead productively.”  

Throughout practice this spring, they have continued to have to try to limit the spread of COVID throughout the team. Measures have included the usual use of masks and social distancing, as well as some measures specific to the team. They have limited contact drills to only 15 minutes per 24 hours, in an effort to minimize contact between members of the team.  In place of these contact drills, they have put in place more drills where players will stay separated for the entire drill.  

All of this preparation leads up to this spring season, though, as the team will finally see some action. Tarleton State is a Division I FCS team who will be playing their third game of the season. With a win over FBS New Mexico State, Tarleton State will provide tough competition for the Choctaws who will be looking for the upset. However, above all Bland expressed that he wants to come home healthy and “get a lot of people some experience.” Helping the team compete, Woods expects his defensive unit to step up this season, saying fans should expect an aggressive defense that will attack the ball and force turnovers. “We’re gonna go full speed every play, every down, and be one of those hard-nosed defenses.” 

After facing Tarleton State, the Choctaws will take the field two more times in scrimmages against Southern Arkansas and Arkansas Tech. Similar to the Tarleton State game, Bland is going to focus on getting a lot of different players some experience. They face Southern Arkansas on the road on March 13, before closing the spring season with their lone home contest on Friday, March 19 at 2 p.m. 

Dance Marathon is Back!/by Marquisha Mathis

The mission of Dance Marathon is simple: it’s to make an impact that’s all about the children.

Dance Marathon is an event put on by Mississippi College every year. It is celebrated in an effort to support the families at the Children’s of Mississippi Hospital in Jackson.

“I already have a heart for children and helping people in any way that I can,” said co-student director Camryn Johnson. 

This year, Dance Marathon consists of a committee of upperclassmen, with five sub-committees under the committee itself. The sub-committees are family relations, fundraising, public relations, small events, and event day.

Student directors Camryn Johnson and Carly Fisher have already been in the full swing of things hosting a number of events for the semester. On Feb. 11, a spirit night was held at Newk’s where 15% of the proceeds went to support the marathon. Then, on Feb. 12 an XOXO event was held where students could send a letter and a singing telegram to a friend or professor.

Lastly, on Feb. 23 and 25, two days of the “Jar in the Caf” event were held in the cafeteria. Students supported their club or tribe, and they cast their vote for which of their favorite restaurants they wanted here on campus. 

Although Dance Marathon looks a little different than the years prior, the goal is still the same, and that’s to see all of the miracle kids and their families having such a great time!

“The goal for Dance Marathon this year is to make sure that every person affiliated with MC such as faculty, staff, students, administration, alumni, and the law and PA schools know about it,” said Johnson.

Dance Marathon has always been a come-and-go event for students, but because of COVID-19, guidelines have to be put in place. However, students will still get the chance to dance and participate with other students, faculty, and staff from MC, along with the children and their families. 

The buy-in this year is so much different than in previous years. To help those on the committee reach their goals, so many students have begun doing small fundraisers, bake sales, wristband sales, and sticker sales. They even have come up with a fun challenge such as wearing a bald cap for a day.

To be heading Dance Marathon this semester means a lot to Johnson. “Two years ago when I was in the Freshman Leadership Initiative Program, it was the third year that MC hosted Dance Marathon. I enjoyed every bit of planning, fundraising, and dancing over that semester.”

Johnson is very excited to serve and oversee all of Dance Marathon’s festivities alongside Fisher, the Dance Marathon Committee, and the Freshman Leadership Initiative Program students.

This year’s Dance Marathon will be held on April 8, 2021. All of the funds raised will go directly to the Children’s of Mississippi Hospital. Every single dollar counts! #FORTHEKIDS
To donate you can email mcdancemarathon@gmail.com, Venmo mcdancemarathon, and follow them on Instagram @mcdancemarathon for more information!

Mental Health Awareness is Human Awareness/by Kyle Hamrick

I used to think that people who struggled with mental health issues were weak, unable to cope with life’s often uncomfortable realities. My friend Ben, a senior psychology major from Tupelo, Mississippi, made me realize my assessment was unbelievably wrong.

On the contrary, people who struggle with mental health issues are the strongest people one might ever meet. Their struggle is not with themselves, but with a debilitating disease. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, an average of 40 million adults are affected by anxiety disorders, and only 36.9% of those with diagnosed anxiety disorders receive treatment. Furthermore, almost half of all people with anxiety disorders also experience depression, and vice versa.

Mental Health America revealed in their State of Mental Health in America 2021 report that 19% of American adults, roughly 47 million individuals, are experiencing a mental illness. In Mississippi, that figure is almost 19.5%, or 431,000 individuals. 

Imagine that these statistics are more than just numbers on a page. Imagine those statistical figures as human beings, with family, friends, jobs, hobbies, and dreams. They are just like you and me, and they deserve support not only from professionals, but from us, the people with whom they share their lives. 

My friend Ben was diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder and experiences depression. He received this diagnosis in 2017, and to this day sees the same therapist he saw then. However, even after years of treatment and progress, his symptoms still attack him without warning. 

Ben’s experience with mental health issues and therapy inspired him to pursue a career as a licensed professional counselor. He will complete his bachelor’s in psychology in May, and plans to obtain a master’s in clinical mental health counseling after graduation.

Ben and I believe that mental health is an important and prevalent issue of which everyone should be aware. To that end, I prepared three questions and interviewed him for his perspective on mental health issues. 

Question 1: What do you wish people understood about mental health issues?

Ben: “First, that there is a very real stigma on mental health in our country. Everyone experiences mental health issues to some degree. The truth is that there are people that don’t just go through hard times every once in a while that cause heightened anxiety or depression that most humans face, but they are sick, depressed, anxious, and experiencing horrors every single day–right before you see them at the coffee shop, or right after you talk to them after class.

Think of mental health like a continuum, where on any given day you might fall in a different spot on the continuum, and you expect it to happen. It isn’t something they post about on social media or make a personality trait to share to the world and say, ‘Look at me!’ On the contrary, the individuals who are battling mental health are, more likely than not, someone who will never speak out about it until they receive the correct healing and help.”

Question 2: What advice would you give someone about maintaining good mental health?

Ben: “I would tell them that whether you have been able to take care of your mental health or are just starting to take the small steps necessary for healing, hold on to the fact that this journey is uniquely yours and not without hope.”

Question 3: How can someone help a friend who struggles with mental health issues?

Ben: “If you are worried about someone, it can be very hard to know how to help. But sitting back and contemplating how you should help wastes time while your friend is suffering.

Talking to someone is the first step to take when you know they are going through it. Find out what is troubling them, and ask how you can help. Trust me, they would rather you just be there and acknowledge that you care about them rather than say nothing, even if they seem reluctant for help. 

Don’t try to diagnose or guess how they are feeling. You’re (probably) not a medical expert or a counselor. Keep your questions open ended. Ask ‘Why don’t you tell me how you’re feeling?’ rather than ‘You are so sad,’ or ‘I could tell how depressed you were.’ Give them time to respond, and know that your mere acknowledgement and presence is a big step and helpful for them.

Listen carefully to what they tell you. If you know what they’re saying is very serious and life-threatening, get help immediately. If your friend is suicidal, contact 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255). It’s vital to encourage them to get help. If they have contemplated suicide but aren’t in danger at the moment, still find help as soon as possible.

Talk to them, and remind them how genuinely loved and valuable they are. Listen to them, but do not push them to share. Let them feel comfortable, and talk to them about possible counseling.”

MC offers free and confidential counseling to all students through the MC Counseling Center on Alumni Hall’s fourth floor. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., students can schedule an appointment at 601-925-7790 or scds@mc.edu. For emergencies outside of regular hours, contact the on-call counselor at 601-925-3204. For more information and additional resources, go to https://www.mc.edu/offices/counseling/.