Madison Holleran posted a picture of the sunset last Friday evening that gave no indication that just an hour later, the 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student would jump to her death from a parking garage in Philly. Apparently the track star was feeling incredibly stressed about her grades at the Ivy League school.

Her father, James, said, “At the end of high school and going to Penn, she was the happiest girl on the planet. It was easy for her in high school ... there was a lot more pressure in the classroom at Penn. She wasn’t normal happy Madison. Now she had worries and stress.”

Madison was in therapy and had even confessed to her parents in December that she was having suicidal thoughts. Her dad said that they “knew she needed help” and were particularly worried about her last Friday.

“I was worried about her so I texted her that she needed to see the therapist. She said she would,” said James.

The teenager left gifts and notes for her family at the parking garage, which breaks my heart even more, because it just seems like this poor girl was totally overwhelmed. She had talked about transferring schools but decided to stay.

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The family does not blame the university for her death and wants to use it as a cautionary tale for others that may find themselves in a similar stressful situation. They asked that anyone wanting to send flowers for her funeral this upcoming Tuesday instead donate to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Madison competed on the varsity track and field team at UPenn and was well liked by her peers. University president Amy Gutmann issued a statement saying, “The entire Penn community is deeply saddened by the death of Madison Holleran ... She was bright and well-liked with an incredible future ahead of her. There are simply no words that can properly convey the sense of heartache that we all feel at such a tragic loss.”

Do you think college is more stressful now than it’s been in the past?

Please call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in case you are worried about yourself or someone else.


Image via maddyholleran/Instagram