With its flag flying at half staff, students walk through the campus of Boston University in Boston Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon stunned the nation.
Many people were glued to the news and their cellphones as they watched authorities scramble to respond to the crime scene. In a single instant, many people’s sense of security was jolted.
Many graduating seniors rely on the illusion of security that a college campus provides, before leaping into the so-called real world. After a tragedy that is felt on a national scale, it’s natural for a student to stop and re-examine their future plans, especially if those plans involve moving to a big city.
“When there’s a death like this in the nation, it shatters the bubble that protects us from worrying that we might die or that our loved ones might die,” said Lauren Schneider, clinical director of Child and Adolescent Programs at OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center in Los Angeles. “People are likely to be walking around in kind of a heightened state of anxiety because they’re more aware than normal that death happens.”
In fact, the overwhelming accessibility of information can affect a student’s psychological state. Amanda Tyson-Ryba, a licensed psychologist at the University at Buffalo’s Counseling Services, said that being perpetually connected through social media could intensify the tragedy.
“I think that just through exposure to the events, people can be traumatized by it, even if they don’t have any personal connections to the situation,” Tyson-Ryba said.
Yet the fright and vulnerability that inevitably succeeds tragedy doesn’t necessarily have to impact one’s post-graduation plans. Lauren Kase, the executive director for the college grief organization National Students of AMF, says it’s good to remind yourself that these types of attacks aren’t everyday occurrences.
“Students have every right to be worried,” Kase said, “but they just need to keep it in perspective and still focus on doing what they feel they were created to do.”
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