The Short Point
6 min readMar 28, 2023

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Damsel in Distress

One bright sunny afternoon on March 10, 2023, I was waiting at the Writing Center of my college to meet one of my professors, regarding something related to one of my classes. I needed some clarification about the concepts I was not able to understand in class. While I was waiting for my professor, I noticed a girl named Olivia sobbing in distress because she was not able to submit her assignment on time and it was late.

When I first approached her in the Writing Center, I asked her, ‘what’s the matter’ and ‘why are you crying?’ She stated “I am extremely stressed since I am late in submitting my assignment by one day.” She also stated ‘I am also worried that my grades will drop due to a late submission.” After listening to what she said, I immediately put my hand on her shoulder to comfort her and I also counselled her by saying, “don’t worry everything will be alright and you won’t receive any bad grade for your late submission.” On the basis of her facial expression, I closely noticed that she was in stress and tense regarding her work, which forced her to cry in my presence and made the atmosphere of the Writing Center not good at that point of time. Adding insult to injury, midterms were going on at our college during that week, which also made her feel extremely stressed regarding her grades for other classes.

After my conversation with Oliva, I saw her faint on the ground at the Writing Center in a matter of seconds which made everyone including myself extremely worried. Then, I immediately informed the Community Educators at my college about what happened. A few moments later, the Community Educators called the college nurse to check on her. The reason she fainted was due to academic stress and a low sugar level. While waiting for the nurse to arrive, I did not move a inch out of the Writing Center to make sure everything was ok. When I saw everything was in order, I breathed a great sign of relief in knowing she was in good hands and that she would be able to enjoy her spring break.

After the scary incident in the Writing Center, I left for the dining hall to have lunch and start my spring break. During spring break, I was able to relax; however, I had trouble processing the whole incident that happened, so I had to reach out to a counselor. The counselor was extremely kind and understanding to what I was going through and advised me to not worry too much about the incident. I did reach out to Olivia and checked on her. She responded to my text message by saying, “I am feeling much better.”

I was relieved to know she was feeling better and my thoughts and prayers were with her and her family. I made a silly mistake by sharing the news of the incident on Facebook. This made Olivia very upset and she felt like I violated her privacy by putting her medical information on a public platform. I did not mean to hurt her by sharing this on social media. My intentions were to gather all kinds of prayers and wishes from all my friends and for her well-being, which could have helped to gain more strength and power for her recovery. After this, I felt very guilty of my actions. I was trying to help her gain support for her own health.

When everybody returned back to the college after the spring break, I decided to apologize to her in person, but I was not sure when would be the best time to ask her for forgiveness. I wanted her to understand my perspective and be able to move forward in a positive direction. Therefore, I took the opportunity of writing her a lengthy apology email where I said that I was very sorry for what I did to her and I did not mean to hurt you by leaking your privacy online without your consent and I also mentioned the purpose of me sharing this online and I also asked her the permission to write this on my blogging website. When I sent that email to her, I thought she will able to accept my apology and understood what I had explained. To my surprise, she did reject my apology and she also said that my blog is stupid and I should not write on this topic. Well, it was ok for me to understand she was not in the mood for forgiveness, but I did not like her words shared about me as a writer.

Nevertheless, I realized that she needed some space, so I respected her decisions. At the same time, I also thought that there would be a better time for her to recover her thoughts and forgive me. If the time comes, I will be more than happy to help and support her in any way that I can in the future. As a friend, you need to know what the boundaries are for a girl that is your friend. Similarly, I still feel that I have a long way to go in my life and if I don’t understand the boundaries in any relationships, then I will fail in making a solid friendly relationship with anyone.

On the other hand, when I shared the news of this incident to my family and teachers at my college they were in shock and were at a loss for words to express their views on this particular incident. Furthermore, when I shared my mistake with my professors they were very kind and understanding with the fact that I did not mean to hurt Olivia’s feelings by sharing the details of that incident online. My professors also advised me to give her as much space as she needs and that time will heal everything. I did not share this part of the story with my parents as I was afraid of their strong reactions to what I did by posting this on social media, which is not acceptable within their opinions. Hence, I completely agree for what I did was wrong and stupid and I should have been more careful by asking her permission to post anything related to her on social media.

As an individual with learning challenges, we are not able to channelize our emotions properly, which leads us to have all kinds of mental health problems which are not in our control. Additionally, we as students have the tendency to stress and worry a lot about our assignments. As for Olivia’s case, I think if she could have spoken to her counselor about her feelings, then she could not have fainted on that day. Furthermore, what I have also noticed is students in colleges in America have a bad habit of partying all night and not eating much during the day. This can lead to more stress, worry, and not having the stamina to do anything, which is considered as few main causes of mental health problems within college students. If students like Olivia take care of their of their health, then they can escape the possibility of being stressed in any situation, which can help them to be safe and healthy for the rest of their lives.

Lastly, I feel proud of myself for being a friend to Olivia on that day. It made a big difference to her well-being mentally and physically. But, I learned couple of things from this incident — first, be careful of the way you are trying to help a lady, so she does not feel uncomfortable or being harassed for any reason. Second, do not be too quick to jump to a conclusion by posting anything on social media without permission. People may feel misunderstand by your actions and you may lose a friendship in the end. Therefore, whenever we are in circumstances like this, we need to take the permission from the person in order to share their story on social media, so they don’t feel uncomfortable of feel scared for the sake of their safety through which other people might take advantage.

In conclusion, I hope everybody can learn from their mistakes and have better perspective about different topics. I hope younger generations can redeem themselves through what I have mentioned, so they can be careful when they notice something like this in their lives.

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The Short Point

Hello, my name is Saurabhya Sanket. I have learning difficulties, and I’m passionate about writing on topics that interest me (specially cricket).