PIECES OF ME - Who's to blame for Kristel's death?

A few days ago, 16 year old Kristel Tejada killed herself by drinking silver cleaner at 3 in the morning. Tejada, who was studying at UP Manila killed herself because she was unable to pay her tuition fee and was asked to file for LOA. Kristel Tejada was a Behavorial Science freshman, a daughter of a taxi driver, who was repeatedly denied for loan after her last loan payment was delayed.

The University of the Philippines President Alfredo Pascual said he was deeply saddened by Tejada's death and to think it unfortunate that it happened a day after he instructed chancellors that they should not deny access to qualified students who have financial constraints.

The news prompted UP Alumni community and netizens everywhere to express sympathy and to question the state university's policy. UP follows an STFAP policy where students are categorized into Brackets A-E depending on the financial status of their family. Tejada was included in Bracket D in which she has to pay P300 per unit.

As everyone else, I feel terrible that she died. She was barely at her prime, just starting college and she already felt that she's losing everything she had.

Before, whenever I hear that someone had committed suicide, I often ask why they would take away something so precious. The life given to us is God's greatest gift. However, I do understand this girl. I do understand that she also has a dream. Maybe, her dreams include how to help her family or send her siblings to school. She must have dreams of her father retiring comfortably in their old age. I also understand her pain when she was asked to file for LOA and she felt all her dreams were crushed. I do understand why she committed suicide. I understand how that incident could have triggered her to take her life. I have been there. I know how terrible it is to see your dreams go and you ask God to take back your life to spare you from the pains and suffering of this world.

Though I feel sad, I could not help but blame her too. Yes, the school policy did not allow her to enroll but it was not enough reason to give up. Yes, her family barely enough to send her to school but it was not an excuse for her to take her life. She might problems that are too big for a 16 year old but that's not a reason for her to commit suicide.  Everyone has problems. Everyone experiences pain. That's life. Others might say life was unfair to her but I disagree. Life is really unfair. But to her? No. Life is unfair to everyone. Everyone has problems, others even have bigger problems.

Is the school policy to blame? I don't think so. Yes, there might be a glitch in the policy or it may not be fair to everyone but to blame someone's irrational actions on a questionable policy?

This may sound a bit harsh but honestly all the blame must be for Kristel Tejada. Was it UP's fault her family's poor? Was it the school's fault that they operate under a shaky school policy? Was it the others fault that she was so emotionally unstable she could not take setbacks? The answer to all of this is a big fat NO. So what if  they are poor? Find a job to support yourself. So what if the school has this policy that doesn't allow her to enroll without paying? Then file an LOA. She could have still come back when she has earned enough right. So what if she had major setbacks in life? Then find a way to overcome them. I'm not saying let's not pity her and her family for this. But it's no one's fault but hers. When she decided to drink that silver cleaner, it was no one's fault but hers.

I too have had a few setbacks in life. And have I considered taking my life? Yes. But I ultimately decide against it after thinking about it. In those times I have learned quite a few things. One: Life is unfair so deal with it. As I've said above, everyone has problems and when you do you deal with it. Find a solution to your problem, not run away from it. Two: When you think everything is over, it's not. Yes it's very hard to move on after experiencing pain but after a while the pain goes away. You just have to be strong. Three: Your life is your choice. You make the choices for yourself. If you are poor, then choose to work hard to be rich. If you're sick, then choose to take care of yourself to be healthy. Though there might be curve balls thrown your way, choose to overcome them. Four: Never think you are alone. If you have problems, there will always be someone willing to help you. There will always be someone willing to listen. Be it your family, your friends, a priest or a teacher. The thing is, sharing your problems to others will not just relieve you of the weight, they also might really be able to help you.

It is very unfortunate that Kristel Tejada died. I was very unfortunate that she had to die before someone takes another look at the school policy. But again, no one should be blamed but her. Yes, she felt her dreams slipping away but she need not take away her life. She should have asked help from her friends, classmates or teachers. She could have talked to her parents.  She should have been stronger She could have lived.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post below or twitter @iamthebluedevil