Student - 11 augustus 2015

Blog: Dear housemates of Bornsesteeg


It was really sad to hear news of our one housemate who chose the path of silence last Saturday.

For me and other housemates who have been staying at Bornsesteeg for more than a year, we are getting used to hearing of such sad news. It’s the third time that I have heard about a suicide in the flat since I have been living here. And before coming to Wageningen, my seniors also told me that at the building where I was going, there is always one suicide every year.

Last Saturday morning, I woke up with the sound of sirens. However, at that moment I did not give much attention to it. A bit later, in the quest of going out for shopping and then to Forum for my thesis work, I found many African housemates outside the entrance of the building. I smiled as I saw one friend and wanted to ask her how it was going her thesis. I asked her: ‘Is there a gathering here today?’ With no expression, she told me as she pointed at a location: ‘My friend, somebody just jumped from the building.’ It was only after she told me this shocking news that I saw a number of police vehicles and police officers that were investigating the case.

When I asked my friend about the person who had jumped she told me: ‘He was depressed and had pressure to study. He had confessed this in church and was referred to a doctor. Can you believe it? Study pressure can’t be cured by a doctor. He needed friends, he was not mental.’

Another friend told me: ‘I have heard many stories like this. Sometimes it is the fear of not graduating on time and the worry of where to raise money to complete the study. Sometimes it is too much loneliness that leads a depression.’

I would like to appeal to all of us that we stand by each other and help each other morally to create an amiable environment so that there is no one next year

There are many speculations, but no one knows what happened to him, except for a few friends perhaps. However, it is understandable that people want to talk about it. Some discussions focus on the person’s life, his personal situation and whether the study pressure played a role. Some people blame the study system or the inadequate socialization facilities at the Bornsesteeg.

It is good that we talk about the issue. We cannot keep mum about it. There should be some reason that it is recurring every year. But let us not discuss the personal situation of one student, instead let’s see what we can do about this in a broader sense. For that, I would like to appeal to all of us that we stand by each other and help each other morally to create an amiable environment so that there is no one next year.

I pray that God gives strength to overcome this grief to his family and friends.

Mary Shrestha is from Nepal and she is doing her master in International Development Studies at Wageningen University.

Re:acties 1

  • Rozina

    This is really sad news. I believe that the issue of recurring suicides on campus has to be more openly discussed by the University and students and that students are given a platform where they can freely discuss their fears, concerns, suggestions, and seek help when they need it. Timely help could save a life, especially in times when you feel completely alone or are suffering from depression, which is a debilitating illness that masks your clear reasoning. Having a strong support system of friends/trained peers is essential. There is no shame to be depressed or suffering from any sort of mental illness and anyone dealing with this is facing an everyday fight not only with oneself, but also with the surrounding stigma and the fear that s/he may not be seen as normal and adequate. In case you have the feeling that a fellow student may need help, please reach out. My deep condolences to the family and friends of this student.


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  • Sam

    Thanks for writing about this. When I was in Wageningen on exchange I also lived in Bornsesteeg ( in the year before this was written). This problem of mental health is a huge Problem at the university that the university seems not to be taking seriously enough. i encourage students still at Wageningen to keep the conversation of mental health going and to pressure the university to put more mental health services into place.
    To those going through a hard time just now that you are cared, we care about you. the hard time will get better