Opinion: “What’s the point in all this screaming? No one’s listening anyway.”


Alyssa Bruening

One Ross High School student comforts another during a rough time.

I remember hearing this verse in the song “Acoustic #3” by the Goo Goo Dolls, and it resonated with me in a way very few songs had before. I’ve never felt comfortable telling people my issues, because most times, before I even get to say them, I feel alone. I never feel like my thoughts or struggles are appropriate to blatantly say, rather something I just keep to myself, or rarely go in depth about. This has not only brought me to where I am today but shaped the way I respond to others as well. 

I’ve always listened to adults, teachers, and those “responsible” for the wellbeing of us teens, tell us that if we’re struggling we need to reach out. We’ve been taught since toddlerhood to tell a trusted adult when someone wrongs us. Most times, we can find someone who will help us as needed. Other times, and too often, nothing is done, and we are left feeling unheard, and lost in a lonely way. 

When we reach out for help, and no one listens, we’re not only still dealing with the mental struggles we had prior to reaching out, but then we also feel as if we don’t matter, and if the sanctity of our life isn’t worth your time.

Within the past 10 years at RHS, we’ve lost two students to suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of adolescent deaths in the U.S according to the CDC.

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, “In 2020, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths increased 31% compared to 2019.” 

These two causes of death go hand in hand, because they are both rooted in issues greater than the ones on the surface. Each day these people fall victim to their own mind, which is sometimes the hardest perpetrator to deal with. They’re in a battle between themselves and the negativity, and they turn to drugs, self-harm, eating disorders, and even death to try and silence that darkness. 

How many more people do we have to lose at the hand of their daily struggles? How many people have to feel silenced? How many people have to suffer alone before we start to listen to our peers, classmates, coworkers, or students?

It’s not hard, it’s not costly, it’s not complicated. Look for the signs. Listen to people’s words. Watch for their actions. Many people are afraid of outright saying they’re struggling because no one is listening to begin with. We start with the smaller, less concerning comments or statements, and we wait for someone to validate us. Until they don’t. So why should we continue to just “burden” the same people again with an even bigger issue when they don’t care about the minor things to begin with?

Each and every one of us needs to open our ears and eyes. You listening and validating someone else could literally save their life. You would want someone to hear you if you were screaming for help, so start listening to those who already are.