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April 30, 2018 | by  | in Opinion Pasifika Student Council |
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One Ocean

CW: mention of suicide, rape

The hardest thing about writing this column is fearing the inescapable fact that I’m gonna miss something important out. And that’s part of our whole problem right? We don’t talk about our mental health enough, and I want this column to be an all-encompassing something for us, as young Pacific people.  But within this word-count, I just want to say, you’re fucking resilient for surviving this world.

If your parents are struggling to pay rent, bills, support family, the church, and the community, and make sure you can focus on education, it takes a toll.

If you’ve been molested or raped or in any way sexually harassed (especially as a child and especially by a family member), it takes a toll.

If you’ve been made to feel disgusting, shameful, or wrong for being who you are, from your own family, church, or community, it takes a toll.

If you’ve been pressured to come to university for the sake of it but aren’t prepared and are completely overwhelmed by this place, it takes a toll.

When the colour of your skin, or your accent, or your last name has shut doors before anyone has seen how wonderful your mind and soul are, it takes a toll.

If you feel like you and your parents have unbridgeable gaps, because how you grew up and how they grew up means you’re living in two different worlds and there’s a risk that moving forward may mean cutting ties with things that are foundational to their world, it takes a toll.

If you’re pregnant and you feel your only options brings shame and danger to yourself, it takes a toll.

If your brain’s chemistry means that how you receive information about the world is different to everyone else in your life, it takes a toll.

There’s a quote I saw on Instagram that said, “People cry not because they’re weak. It’s because they’ve been strong for too long”. After I rolled my eyes, I adapted it: “People kill themselves not because they’re weak. It’s because they’ve been strong for too long.” I don’t know why different people choose to commit suicide, but that’s what I needed to tell myself. I hope it helps you.

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this