Ever wondered what a school counselor really does?
We all walked by that office at some point during the school year. We wondered if one of the unfamiliar adults wandering the hallway was the fabled school counselor. So let's get an inside look at who they are and what they do:
u/GoldPastures posed the question: School counselors of Reddit, what is your job really like?
and here we got our inside look.
I am a school psychologist/counsellor at a fairly high end independent school in NSW Australia. I work in the prep campus (kindergarten to year 6).
I love my job! The day is a mix of individual counselling (for students with anxiety, depression, difficulties regulating emotions, engaging with peers, ASD), individual assessment (cognitive assessment and achievement testing) as well as running proactive and preventative mental health programs. There are also lots of meetings with parents and teachers to field referrals and consolidate interventions.
I am quite fortunate in my position to be able to work proactively, and just in the one location. Many school counsellors get stuck figuratively slapping on bandaids week to week, and are often spread throughout many schools. They also end up having to roll out assessments en masse in order to allow students to access funding support, which can be extremely monotonous.
Emotional Band-Aids. Serious issues arrive and we either have to file a CPS report, refer to outside agency, or contact parents. Dealt with variety of things.... cutters in 5th grade, domestic abuse witnesses, suicide outcries.... these are not everyday occurrences, but frequent enough. For the most part, are not certified to deal with these hard core issue, so thus the referral out. Daily basis it's guidance lessons on bullying, self esteem, healthy living, respect, etc. Also students come in when they just need someone to talk to. A big part of my job is also identifying students who might need to be referred for special education or dyslexia assessments and processing the paperwork. Oh, and meeting wit parents and teachers.... that's a big part too. Helping teachers with discipline issues, talking to parents about how to better help their child at home. Love the job.
Other Types Of Counsel
College and career readiness vs emotional support counselor.
Making sure students are taking the courses they need to take, ensuring they are on track for graduation. Help them with the college application process.
Being there for the kids when they have questions about life or when things go wrong and they could use someone to talk to.
Lot of the replies here are sour but they need to understand it's a tough job, I don't envy the counselors at my school it's tough to develop that 1 on 1 relationship with 600 kids ( 5 counselors).
Not me but one of my friends was a school social worker. Her job consists of mediating students who were not getting along, providing support to students that were struggling either academically /socially/ personally, and facilitating group bonding activities from students.
I'm currently in a masters program to become a school counselor. Your role in a school really depends on what age level you're working with. Elementary school counselors do much more classroom lessons where they can reach more students. High school counselors do more scheduling and college/career readiness. Across all grade levels though, school counselors are there to support students with academic or socioemotional issues.
There are many factors that hinder the effectiveness of a school counselor. Many schools give them additional tasks that are not in their job description like coordinating state standardized tests and having them discipline students which can destroy rapport. The American School Counseling Association (ASCA) recommends that the student to counselor ratio be 250:1 in order for the counselor to be most effective. Some schools have over 600 kids for one school counselor!
In short, school counselors are there to support students in any way that they can, but their job is not easy. If more people understood their role, maybe we could get more school counselors in schools.
I'm a little late to this thread, but my mom is a high school counselor and boy does she work. She spends a lot of her time at the end of each semester creating schedules for her student's next semester. She works at one of the smaller schools in our county, but she still has to create roughly 220 schedules a semester. She also spends a lot of time meeting with students having personal issues and doing what she can to help. She recently received a grant to train a therapy dog that she takes to school with her daily to help students who are having meltdowns in her office.
Aside from that, she runs a number of clubs such as NHS and for a while, the jazz band and teaches a "good beginnings" class. Good beginnings is a program that helps pregnant high school girls prepare for motherhood and provides them with a support community so they don't have to face the difficulties of teen pregnancy alone.
She helps plan and run a majority of the school's ceremonies and created a character development program that won her a few awards. She also runs a Facebook page that posts scholarship opportunities for high school seniors.
Outside of school, she will often take responsibility for struggling students. The amount of extra "siblings" she's brought home over the years to help out is incredible. We even fostered one of her students for six months when she fell on hard times.
I've been out of the house for a while now, so there are definitely things I'm missing here, but what she does for her students is incredible. School counselors often get a bad rap which is really quite sad. I've never met anyone who works as hard as my mom does for her students, so if you get the chance, thank you counselors for all the hard work they put in. Chances are, they don't hear it enough.
Many, Many Hats
School counselor here! I work mostly on the college counseling side now with eleventh and twelfth graders but am trained as a school counselor. (I'm a little biased but,) school counselors are the superheroes of a school setting in many cases.
They take on many tasks both within and tangential to their job description, including: individual meetings with students to review and work on their academic goals, problem-solving skills, and social-emotional challenges; group facilitation for small groups that tackle common areas for improvement, including study skills, friendship, family problems, grief, anger management, etc; (on the high school side) many school counselors are responsible for all the logistical and non-logistical facilitation of the college process (applications, financial aid assistance, family meetings, college selection, post-secondary planning for students not attending college, emotional preparation for the college transition, etc.); advocating for students in IEP meetings, family meetings, meetings with DCF, etc; liaising with teachers and administrators to develop and implement academic plans for students struggling with their coursework; and many, many more responsibilities that make up their typical day-to-day.
School counselors also often serve students in crisis, but ideally if a school's social-emotional supports are functioning perfectly, this would be a small component of a school counselor's role. We are trained to serve students in a short-term capacity, and for students who are suffering severe mental health challenges or are facing social-emotional issues that require long-term care, we may refer out.
On top of all these things, school counselors are often tasked with many non-counseling related responsibilities, including organizing and proctoring standardized tests, lunch and transitional duty, afterschool coaching or program leadership, organizing field trips and college visits as well as in-school events, classroom teaching, literacy work, etc.
The reason I think they are superheroes is because they (attempt, at least) to execute all this work through a strengths-based lens that really lifts up the stories and voices of all of the young people with whom they work. We are so privileged to be able to observe first-hand the incredible growth that happens in schools, and if we do our job right, we are often people students remember throughout their post-secondary years and beyond.
A Bad Example
I hope they've improved since I was in school. Mine's response to me having a hard time in school due to my dad nearly dying from complications of a brain tumor was, "You walk around at school like you've got the weight of the world on your shoulders and it's bringing other people down. Why don't you should join a sport to get your mind off it? You'd lose weight as a bonus."
Some great answers here already but from your typical American school....
Elementary school (if the school district is progressive enough to have counselors):
You are essentially an assistant principal, special education teacher, counselor, social worker, or any hat you need to wear that day. Running lunch groups, coordinating 504 plans, IEP's, preparing kids for middle school, working on social interactions, and really anything to fill in the gaps for what these children are not getting at home.
Middle school: 504's, IEP's, behavior interventions, peer mediations, planning for high school, college and career planning/exploration. Severe mental health concerns e.g. Cutting, depression, anxiety. Again, wearing whatever hat you need to that day.
High school (in most school districts): planning high school schedules, college planning, paperwork...... And more paperwork. Some schools are starting to take the scheduling aspect out of the job, but most are heavy in the standard guidance counselor job description.
School counselors are one of the most underutilized parts of a school and teachers/administraters misunderstand what they should be using them for.
The Dirty Details
As a school counselor I had a student come in crying because she was pregnant. When asked about birth control she said, "but I took the pill before AND after." Major facepalm, but hey, job security.....
4th grader and mom comes in for a meeting because he was below grade level in math. About 6 people siting in the meeting. Look at mom during the meeting to ask her a question, freaking chinchilla climbs out from her cleavage.
9th grade boy sculpted a dog out of his poop and brought it to my office as a gift. Sh-tty gift.
Kid squeezed superglue in another kids ear while he was asleep at his desk. The victim had bullied the kid earlier in the year, payback was earned.
Just a few of the stories. Being a school counselor is fun, because you never know what will happen at any moment. But counselors can not talk about the issues with other people so it is sometimes lonely if you are the only counselor in a school.
We had counselors in my high school, but I honestly didn't know they were also there to help you with your mental/emotional welfare until the end of my senior year when they had us rate them and their services. I thought they only processed transcripts and dealt with academic issues like setting you up for summer school if you failed a class or something.
Currently have one year left for my Masters of Ed psych degree (school counseling), but during our master program we also have to work in a practicum and an internship in the schools. As a school counselor, our main responsibilities are as follows:
Guidance Curriculum - This is where the counselors go around to each class and present a lesson plan to every student. Usually ranges from College and Career Readiness, bullying, navigating middle school, etc.
Individual Planning - Each student meets with their counselor over the course of the school year to discuss where they are academically and to plan ahead for the future
Responsive services - This is one of the more common responsibilities of a counselor. Here we are dealing with the everyday occurrences within the school (bullying, disruptive students, fights, etc.) essentially, we are there to put out fires.
System support - This is where we attending training seminars and PBIS meetings (positive behavioral intervention and support) to learn how we can better serve our teachers and our students.
The grade level you work with does determine what I would be doing more however. For example, at the high school level, my responsibilities consist more of making sure kids are on track for graduation and prepared for college where as in the middle school, we are more focused on getting kids on a good academic path.
I'm a high school counselor. Definitely a big focus on making sure that students are on track for graduation requirements, but you need a counseling degree for the job, so it's nice to be able to use therapeutic skills when students need help getting through the day. People want to hear about the f-cked up stories, and they happen, but it doesn't define my job very well.
When I Actually Get To....
School counselor here!! When I actually get to be a school counselor it's great. I get to talk to students about a wide variety of issues they're having, help them resolve problems between themselves and with other adults and get to do class lessons on social and emotional issues. I also run small groups and do some school-wide PBIS things. I work at a very understaffed elementary school though so my ability to do my job is hindered by the many additional tasks I was assigned to do that take my time away from the students. I'm making the move to high school next year but will miss being an elementary counselor.
I'm a school social worker in California. Went to grad school for my MSW with an emphasis in schools my last year of the program. Had to get a pupil personnel credential as well. My job is great, I love working with the population and each day is somewhat different. Some of my duties include individual and group counseling, leading class workshops and assemblies, parent workshops, linkages to resources for families in need. I also respond to crises and conduct threat assessments and make CPS reports on occasion. I work with admin and teachers and suggest specific behavior interventions that might work best with specific students. I also track infraction and behavior data throughout the year in order to follow trends in student behavior and see how to make things better at our school. So many different jobs in one which makes it so enjoyable.
So Many Side Jobs
Current senior and a counselors office aide. The main job of our counselors is academic planning, with a few frequent fliers that come in to talk to their counselor almost every day, always unscheduled. At our school you have to fill out a slip to see your counselor and it's eventually processed when they have time, and some kids just don't get this. They get really s****y with our lovely receptionist and my fellow office aides, so we have to push back another kid's appointment to appease them. It's really hard and our counselors do so much, especially recently since we had the death of some seniors and a sophomore, they've been working full steam ahead. They deal with a lot of kids with emotional problems as frequent fliers (anger issues, depression, classroom anxiety, etc.) but there's also a large majority who just like to come in for bullshit reasons. All in all it's not as high risk or glamorous as Hollywood would have you believe. These people work their ass off for you and you don't even know!! Show them thanks!!
A Netherlands View
I work as a student counselour in the Netherlands on a highschool for middleclass education. (Age 12-17) My work mainly consist of guiding student who struggle with behavioral problems, psychologic problems, drug abuse, child protection in some cases and basically annything you can think of that would be classified as a serious problem.
My office is situated as a time-out zone for children that get removed from the classroom by the teacher. They get a note written by the teacher that tells me the reason of their removal and they get work for the remainding time of the class in question. I usually talk about what happened and offer advice and issue the consequiences of their actions as forms of detention or extra assignments wich i then communicate to the classes' mentor. I also register the students who were absent without a proper reason during classes and call them out on why they were absent.
Lastly i just walk around the school in my downtime to speak to the students in a informal manner to ask them how they are doing at home or talk about their hobbys and such. Just making small talk to get a proper bond with the children so they know where to go when they are facing tougher times. As a counselour i really feel like you should make rounds outside of your office to get yourself know to the students.
I love my job and seeing my students develope is amazing in such a small amount of time. Even though the job can be pretty rough at times.
Every Day A New Day
I am a school counselor in a low income rural school. I do everything from wash students clothes and provide them with a place to take a shower to sitting with them while they are interviewed by law enforcement and CPS. There is no "average" day for me.
Some days I help groups of students figure out how to get along or how to just co-exist with people they don't like. Basic coping skills that they are missing from home.
Some days I am listening to a student tell me they are suicidal or harming themselves and have to make the calls to parents and other agencies to help them get the services they need. It can be an incredibly stressful and saddening job, but some days you get a win. No matter how small, it reminds you why you are there to begin with.
I'm a school psychologist in the U.S. Depending on the school and district my position can overlap with school counselors. Unfortunately I do not in any significant way (unless I personally pursue it, which I've done on occasion). At least not in my current position. Like another user mentioned, some of us get stuck in a revolving door of assessment.
I primarily do psycho-educational assessments, which consists of cognitive/intelligence tests, academic achievement tests, and depending on the concerns social-emotinal tests. All these tests are based off of national norms, and require a lot of training to administer according to standards. I do more than just test for these assessments, like observations and interviews. It's sort of like being a detective! I investigate to find the source of a student's struggles. Typically I don't start testing students until special education is considered. Which is another topic for another day.
In all honesty, I am just finishing up my internship year. The schools I work with didn't really get the memo though, so I was treated as if I was fully credentialed. It is surprisingly hard to find school psyscholigists in the U.S. If anyone is curious about more, or how to become a school psych, drop me a PM. I would love to see more people interested in the field!
Whenever I visit clothing stores, I make it a point to fold the clothes I unfurl. That is apparently my downfall as a customer.
Because of this, fellow customers often peg me as an employee and always ask me questions like where the bathroom is, or if the store has certain sizes left in stock.
Umm, no, I don't work here. I'm just a responsible customer. As you were.
Many of us make assumptions about other people just by looking at them. Who knew we were so presumptuous?
Curious to hear the experiences of strangers online, Redditor lilmizzvalz asked:
"What do people assume about you, based on your appearance?"
People often misinterpret moods based on how someone looks. That's unfair, wouldn't you say?
"That I'm caring and supportive. I have a resting nice face."
"That I am always mad. Nope just dissociating and staring off into space."
Not Meaning To Be Mean
"That I'm mean. I have a resting mean face for a dude I guess. Also lately it's worse because I'm bigger now. I don't really notice how my face appears but apparently, I seem angry when I'm looking at stuff."
"'You should smile' and 'are you ok?' comments followed me from busboy, waiter, bartender my whole career."
When it comes to measuring intelligence of others, some people are just way off.
Hard To Live Up To Expectations
"That I'm clever. People keep saying it to me, but I'm dumb and that sh*t is hard to live up to."
"I have glasses."
Eyes Full Of Wisdom
"I apparently have something similar going on mixed with looking like I know sh*t, because people come up to me in public and ask about directions, bus schedules and stuff all the time. Like, they'll deliberately avoid other people to ask me. Including when I'm abroad and should look a bit out of place."
"They assume I have an intellectual disability. (And also that I'm deaf, since I'm not able to speak.)"
"No, I am a person with two university degrees who happen to need a wheelchair because of a nasty neurological illness."
People don't always look their age. Some don't even act their age. But these Redditors have gotten their fair share of wrong guesses for their ages.
"That I'm 15."
"I'm 38 and a doctor. 'Did you just finish school?' EVERY DAY."
"This thread was depressing to read as I am 38 but often get mistaken for 50. I hate y'all and your youthful beauty."
Some people are typed out as certain types of people with just one look.
Watch Your Tone
"That I have a southern accent. Not one stranger has ever suspected that I have a 'New Jersey' accent (Born and raised in New Jersey before moving south)"
Not A Biker
"That I ride a Harley and/or work on them. I'm bald with a long goatee and tons of tattoos, but I'm in IT for a living and don't ride motorcycles at all."
Like others have expressed in the thread, I've also been accused of having "resting b*tch face."
You know, that neutral expression where you're not smiling the one time you're not in a situation where you have to be "on" for other people?
Yeah, that one.
If someone's resting face comes across as unfriendly, well, perhaps it's best not to upset them by asking them what's wrong all the time. Just sayin'.
Ideally, a teacher should take the job because of a genuine interest in helping students, furthering their education as well as their self-development. Of course, it's not as simple as that (administrative issues aside). Unfortunately, there are some teachers out there who aren't cut out for the job––and they even have a mean streak when it comes to their students. The effects this can have on the learning process are dire.
Teachers don't get paid well, and they're well aware. Many stick with the job because they have a passion for teaching; many others stick with the job because of the position of inscrutable authority it offers them over helpless students.
People shared their experiences after Redditor Ara-Rat asked the online community,
"What did your teacher do that made you call them 'the worst teacher ever'?"
"Questioned 5th-grade teacher's manner of pluralizing a word on the board. Got sent to the library to look it up in a dictionary and report my findings to the class.
Decades later and I'm still mad at that woman for trying to publicly humiliate a ten-year-old student."
That's awful. What is with adults who try to deliberately an example out of children?
"My old band teacher..."
"My old band teacher threw a projector at his students. He left the district later that year."
That was... probably for the best, when you think about it. (I had a teacher who threw a girl's pencil case out the window when she wouldn't stop talking; no, he was not fired.)
"My 3rd-grade teacher..."
"My 3rd-grade teacher got frustrated with a kid's stutter and started pounding the kid's desk with a closed fist while mocking his stutter."
Hopefully this teacher was disciplined and/or fired. That's the sort of behavior that thankfully would not fly today––it would go viral so fast.
"The worst were the teachers..."
"The worst were the teachers who would take books away from me and hold me up for ridicule because they disagreed or didn't approve of the genre or subject material. I was always into science fiction and horror genre's and many of them didn't consider it true literature worthy of reading. I remember my father getting into it with one of the teachers who disapproved of Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, to which he pointed out it was on the required reading list of a lot of major universities. Dad was awesome like that, and chewed the teacher and principal out for having the temerity to try to stop any student who wanted to read, regardless of what the genre was."
Teachers who mock students for reading are the worst. Reading is one of the best things any student can do––there are so many benefits! Hopefully you have not lost your love of reading.
"When I'd instinctively try..."
"She tied me to my chair. I was hyperactive, and also 5. She would also hold my hand during formation in the mornings and squeeze so hard my tiny knuckles would crack. When I'd instinctively try to pull my hand away, she'd hold onto it and smile at me and ask me if it hurt."
The abuse here is almost incomprehensible. But it happens: a few years ago, a teacher made headlines for hanging a student by his coat on a coatrack. You can bet there were lawsuits.
"I was in the only dress I owned..."
"Tried to get me suspended for a dress code violation when I was 15. I was in the only dress I owned at the time because I was going to my best friend's funeral. She'd committed suicide two days before. I was crying and begging her to just let me stay till my mom picked up my remaining friends to go to the funeral. Said teacher then took me to the office and I had to sit in the front office under a tarp until my mom picked me up."
"My 8th grade English teacher..."
"My 8th grade English teacher never published grades and every time I'd ask her about it she'd answer with, "I don't know, what do you think it is?"
IF I KNEW WOULD I BE ASKING?!"
I've had a few teachers like this. Makes one wonder: Are you actually grading anything? WHAT are you doing, exactly?
"My biology teacher..."
"My biology teacher took my yearbook away right before the summer break. I didn't put it away in time.
That year my parents divorced and I was moving away. I told her this after class and she didn't care. She kept it until the last day. I didn't get any signatures.
Ended up throwing it away. What a witch."
"My university lecturer..."
"My university lecturer was the most incompetent bloke I've ever met. He taught I.T and for the life of me, I can't figure out how he got that job.
- In the first lesson, he got us to sign up to Twitter so we could share lesson content, tweet at each other so we'd get to know one another, and also tweet him. Everybody, including the lecturer, used Twitter once. We just used the university intranet to share stuff.
- Again, during the first lesson, he announced he was going on holiday for four weeks during our first term.
- All of his lessons were PowerPoint presentations, each slide had about a paragraph of text written on them which he would read out loud while awkwardly looking over his shoulder. Once he was done doing that he would essentially repeat what he had just said.
- One day he asked us for help in booking his airline tickets online because he couldn't figure out how to use the website.
As sad as these stories are, consider that these teachers are very much the exception to the rule. The majority of the teachers I have known over the years genuinely care for their students, work tirelessly on their lesson plans, and would never tolerate a single moment of the behavior featured here. Thank you to those teachers for doing their jobs––we appreciate you. (And ya'll deserve a raise, it's honestly messed up how little lawmakers understand about how hard your jobs actually are.)
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide refer to, as defined by Medical News Today, as the "deliberate action taken with the intention of ending a life, in order to relieve persistent suffering." It's a controversial topic. As of 2021, active human euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Canada, and Spain. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, the Australian states of Victoria Northern Territory, and Western Australia.
But this issue has many passionate supporters who often know what it's like to care for someone who would have benefited from the practice. They told their stories after Redditor Random2328 asked the online community,
"What are your thoughts on medically assisted death?"
"She was able to go to a place in Switzerland..."
"My grandma was 89 and wasn't dying of anything in particular—she didn't have cancer or dementia or anything—but her memory was slowly failing and her body was generally falling apart from old age and a leg injury from fifty years prior. She had been a widow for fourteen years. She was lonely and in pain all the time and her family lived across the ocean so we couldn't see her as much as we'd want to.
There was nothing actively killing her, but she did NOT want to be alive anymore. She wasn't depressed, just old and in pain and ready to be done.
She was able to go to a place in Switzerland, with all four of her children, and take a pill to end her life while her children sang to her and she looked out at the mountains.
We all got to say goodbye to her and she got to be completely in control of the end of her life. I can only hope that if I am ever in that situation, then the world will be kind enough to let me close my own exit as beautifully and peacefully as my grandma did."
Your grandmother sounds like she was truly blessed. Being able to make that choice––and still have time with her family––no doubt meant the world to her.
"I don't know if I'd have the courage..."
"I just went through this with a good friend in Canada. He had glioblastoma and was given 3-6 months to live. Ultimately he lived for 15 months, but he wanted to be sure he could end his life when things got bad for him, so he made the necessary preparations. I'd long known he'd made these plans. I wasn't sure how I felt about it. But as I was caring for him for the last six weeks of his life I got to witness the process firsthand.
Long story a bit shorter: Towards the end, my friend could no longer walk or speak. He could understand everything you said to him, but he couldn't find the words to reply intelligently. In his frustration, he made it clear that he was ready. So we explicitly asked him if he was ready to die. He said yes.
The next day two nurses came to his home. They talked to him and confirmed that he wanted to end his life. So, while sitting in his favorite recliner, they put in an IV. His immediate family and I sat with him. The nurses administered medication that made him fall asleep. Then they administered a second medication that stopped his breathing. In less than 5 minutes he was gone.
I don't know if I'd have the courage to make the decision my friend did, but I didn't experience his suffering. Being present for him as he ended his life has convinced me that having the option to end your life on your own terms is the absolute right thing to do. There's no reason someone should have to continue to suffer when they know all they have to look forward to is more suffering. I'm very grateful that my friend had the option available to him. Had he been in my state in the U.S. that wouldn't have been possible. But it should be."
"She made the decision to have the procedure done..."
"My grandmother passed away last week with a medically assisted death.
She had cancer that had spread to her brain, and was given a few weeks to a few months to live. From what family members said, she was deteriorating fast.
She made the decision to have the procedure done as she wanted to end her time here with dignity. The appointment was made, doctors consulted, and paperwork drawn up. 10 days later two medical professionals came by her house where she was spending time with her children. It was done quickly and comfortably.
Nana left peacefully on her own accord, in the comfort of her own home, and while she was still more or less herself. It was very strange to have a time and a date looming, but it also allowed me to set aside that time to be alone and hold a small vigil of my own (I'm currently in another country, and couldn't get back)
She lived in Canada, where this service has recently been made more accessible, and I'm all for it. If it helped my Nana, it could help so many others."
It sounds like your Nana was able to have peace––and so do you.
"It should be a right..."
"It should be a right for every human to choose when terminal. We euthanize our pets but not our loved ones. We allow our loved ones to suffer miserably at the end of life. I was a hospice nurse and saw the suffering first hand. It is inhumane to allow that."
Why do we allow it for pets and not for humans? What makes an animal's life worth more than a human's? Shouldn't they both be held in equal regard?
"I have a degenerative brain disease..."
"I have a degenerative brain disease and would very much like to die with some dignity left, so I'm all for it."
No doubt. We're sorry to hear about your struggle.
"I longed for there to be a legal way..."
"We let people die in fear and pain, but not animals. The last 6 months of my mum's life were exactly how she didn't want to live - confused, incontinent, immobile. I longed for there to be a legal way to end her suffering. She made it very clear to me during her life that this was not the way she wanted to go. I'm an RN and should make it clear I've never assisted in ending anyone's life, but I've wanted to. Medically assisted death doesn't mean more death, just less suffering."
"As someone who has..."
"As someone who has stage 4 cancer, I am in favor of having the right to die gracefully."
"If it's good enough..."
"If it's good enough for my dog then it's good enough for me."
It's truly as simple as that. We'd be doing so many human beings a favor.
"If you're not legally allowed..."
"If you're not allowed to legally arrange the end of your own life, is it actually your own life?"
"It was such a blessing..."
"My grandpa had a medically assisted death in 2019. It was such a blessing to my family as we were able to say goodbye, and knew how much time we had left.
Also it was relief from great pain for him, and I'm so glad he was able to make that choice peacefully.
Will forever advocate for it."
It's truly shocking that euthanasia is illegal in many countries––and that it can even carry a jail sentence. It is a complicated issue that polarizes many people from different walks of life.
Where do you stand on this issue? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!
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Privilege is discussed quite a bit these days, and for good reason. So many people are able to live life longer, more peacefully, and freely than others thanks to factors they had no control over.
And yet, there is an element of popularity among the privileges discussed. People acknowledge their race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, and citizenship status a lot.
That makes sense. Those are massively significant social realities that we need to grapple with constantly.
But there are some other privileges that we don't always think about. There are some things even more basic that not everybody gets to enjoy.
Observing them can make us all feel a bit more grateful.
Redditor Mburns15 asked:
"What is something most people don't realize is a privilege?"
Many called attention to the fact that the physical ability to interact with a majority of public infrastructure isn't a sure thing.
Always Calling Ahead
"Spontaneity in your daily plans. If you're a wheelchair user that's virtually impossible."
"So few places have accessible restrooms, some public transport needs contact 24 hours in advance in order to accommodate you, the list goes on."
"I envy people who can just go with the flow."
"Being able-bodied. So many people are one accident away from being unemployed and don't realize that. Your job will ruin your body - be aware and fight it."
A Silent Struggle
"Not having chronic pain" -- Aggravating_Okra_00
"Having energy to do what you want with your life. Trying to explain to people how exhausting and draining chronic pain can be. Having to explain the concept of energy budgets to people - sure I could come out and do $funthing with you, but then I wouldn't have the energy to cook and clean the house and would be useless at work tomorrow." -- Fraerie
Others chose to point out the very basic necessities that are far from ensured across the world.
To Be Comfortable
"Feeling safe in your own home. Not worrying about rats, mice, roaches, bed bugs, bricks being thrown through windows, violence outside, break ins."
"Privacy. I don't mean digital privacy, I mean a room with solid walls and a door that closes. Lots of people don't have that."
"Having access to water and a sewage system. Also the abundance of food in western super markets is quite frankly insane. Every day I try and spend a moment to reflect on how lucky I am."
"Sanitary products for women! It's different in different parts of the world + economic backgrounds"
And finally, a few people from countries around the world discussed the unique, intense struggles of living in a place that isn't embedded in the affluence of the Western world.
"Going about your daily life without seriously worrying about your physical safety. Sleeping at night without worrying about whether a bomb is going to come through your roof."
Not a Given
"Having the ability to express an opinion. Free speech is very censored in a lot of the world." -- BananaLCG
"Criticizing your own government." -- ipf000
The Ability to Think About Other Things
"Living in a good country, not having to spend your youth worrying about how to immigrate to good countries."
But before you think of this list as a big long guilt trip, imagine a more positive spin on this. There are so many things to feel grateful for, even when it seems like everything is working against you.
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