Editor’s Note

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Photo by Jackie Letaiugyang

Bridgewater College Campus patiently awaits the day when its community members can be reunited again.

Dean Barker, Sports Editor

Williamsburg, Va. – My fellow Eagles, as the new sports editor for BCVoice, I cannot imagine a more difficult first editorial to write. 

As I sat down to write this column, I learned a piece of heartbreaking news in this ever chaotic year. Freshman offensive lineman Brandon Fletcher took his own life on Sept. 19, citing on social media, before his death, his struggles with mental health and depression. 

Along with the rest of the staff at BCVoice, I want to express my most heartfelt condolences to the Fletcher family, Brandon’s friends, the Bridgewater football team, and all who knew Brandon. I cannot even imagine the grief you are suffering. Please know that you are in my prayers.

Despite having loved ones who suffer from depression, I am not saying that I am qualified to talk about its horrors. I am saying that if you are currently suffering from mental health issues, depression or any sort of emotional pain not listed here — I am sorry. I am sorry nobody understands what you are suffering through. I am sorry you have to carry a huge emotional burden that nobody sees or feels but you. You do not deserve it. At all.

No matter what you are going through, there is a way out. Even if you feel hopeless. You can get through. Not only can you get through, we want you to get through. If you need help, you can call the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255. On a local level, do not hesitate to utilize Bridgewater College’s resources. They are here to help.

I understand that we are in the middle of a pandemic and that every authority in the world is telling us to practice social distancing. As a result, many people feel more and more alone, particularly if they cannot see their friends as easily. The physical distance is only six feet, but the social distance can feel like miles. 

Therefore,  I stand here encouraging you with all I have to, yes, keep the six-feet physical distance but please do not social distance. Reach out to a friend or family member if you are struggling. Call them, meet on Zoom or stand six feet apart and talk. Do not ever feel like you are bothering someone by reaching out for help. You are absolutely worth it.

For those of you who are not struggling emotionally, you are not allowed to social distance either. This is the time to reach out to your friends and loved ones. Really ask them how they are doing and see how you can be a friend. Be sure to invest in those close to you, because you never know what someone is going through.

Last year, I wrote an article about bullying in sports as part of BCVoice’s in-depth investigation into bullying. So I will reiterate what I said: There is no benefit to being a bully. Pushing others down will not raise you up; it will only show you that you were not strong enough to lift them up. Be sure to show love and respect to those around you. If you cannot help people up, then at least do not put them down.

Amidst the craziest year we have ever witnessed, it is clear that everyone is struggling right now. Everyone is asking questions, and it seems that nobody has any answers. Nonetheless, one  answer is for certain — the absolute worst thing anyone can do is to social distance. Please, reach out to those close to you. You might end up saving a life, even your own.

Stay strong, Eagles.