Sindisiwe Ndlovu encourages families in this letter to support and guide students who failed their exams, instead of comparing them to others and ridiculing them for their failures.
"If you ever feel that your studies are too much for you, don't ever hesitate to take your time and refill your energy. You do not have to resort to committing suicide because you are struggling to cope.
"Being able to open up about it, will make me proud of you. It will indicate that you are brave and open-minded. You can come back home and take a 6-months or year-long break.
"Alternatively, you can finish your degree later than expected. The tuition fee that I pay is nothing compared to your life. I know you (the 21st century generation), you are nothing like us.
"Your generation silently deals with a lot of pressure from family, friends and the society at large, hence most people your age encounter emotional and mental breakdowns that lead to depression."
These are words a mother said to her son, who attends a higher education institution. There are so many students out there who wish to hear these words from their parents, but they do not get to hear them, all they get is being compared to others.
There are very few parents who utter these words to their children. Truth be told, not every guardian will say these words.
Only those who comprehend that things have changed and that the current generation's environment is not like theirs will understand what students have to endure.
Nowadays, millennials fight unmeasured emotional and mental battles that were never there in ancient times.
To have an opinion in a group, you have to look a certain way.
However, some are computer illiterate, come from rural areas and they are not from multiracial schools, which make adapting and adjusting to a new environment emotionally draining and challenging.
There are so many academic and social issues that arise in a learning environment, but eventually, as a student, you must find balance and progress academically.
Additionally, students also have to deal with being compared or expected to be like a neighbour’s child who is successful or be like one of their siblings that obtained breathtaking results while they were still students.
Eventually, when a person fails or makes a mistake, they see themselves as a disgrace to the family. When they face some obstacles along the way, they make irrational decisions unintentionally while not considering long term effects.
This is bound to happen, as the dynamic at university differs vastly from school, as their parents are not there to provide guidance 24/7.
When students get a poor or bad academic result, they end up committing suicide or forging the academic result because they know that at home they won't get support, instead they will be constantly criticised and reminded about their failure.
When some students to make a mistake or fail, the family focuses more on them tainting the family's image and less about trying to assist.
There is nothing more important than the encouragement and support from your family. Having a family that supports you in every situation, gives a person more motivation to move forward, no matter how hard it is.
Being a good parent has nothing to do with money, but it has everything to do with love, support, empathy, dedication and time.
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