We are about to bury the future. She was only 17. Her history is short.
Jasmine Benjamin was part of the VSU family. She was the future of VSU, just as all are who read this. You are part of the VSU family as well, regardless if you are a student, a member of faculty, staff or a community member.
I didn’t know her, but she will never know the impact that her short life and subsequent death has had on our family. All week, I have seen and read reports on this event. No report or news article can encompass the sadness that we feel collectively, as we wonder what happened in those final hours. The sadness cannot be measured.
I don’t know the whole story. I have heard bits and pieces of the last day of her life, but I am not privy to the final accounts and would never disrespect her or her family by trying to guess.
We are taught to be individuals, but we must fit in. We are taught to test our limits, while not stepping over the bounds. We are taught that the college experience is when we will learn who we are, but this is not so for Jasmine. She will never be defined as a sorority sister, or a nerd, or a cool chick. She will be defined as something else.
Her death has become a lesson, almost a fable, in that she was surrounded by people and died alone.
As students join together this weekend to memorialize Jasmine’s short life, we should take the time to reflect on our own lives and realize how easily life can pass through our hands. If anything, let this experience define you in a new way that you hadn’t imagined before you heard of this freshman for the first time on the news.