On February 18, Suffield’s College Counseling office invited former collegiate football player Trevon (Trey) Bryant to speak to a group of Suffield’s male students about body and mental health issues. Trey expressed understanding for the boys in the room, having been in their shoes himself, and shared the insecurities he felt as a student-athlete (when he was not considered tall enough for prospective football coaches) and the mental health issues he went through including anxiety and depression after receiving a life-changing knee injury in college. In order to overcome insecurities and focus on being the version of one’s best self, he laid out key phrases for the boys, like “words are value” and “comparison is poison for success” when it’s used as a way to judge oneself. He asked them to consider the impact of their words on others and themselves, tying in the effects of social media, from how it propagates popularity comparisons to gaining a false sense of identity to reinforcing body dissatisfaction. He insisted, “You don't have to be popular in order to be effective in this world.” His final takeaways were for listeners to become consistent, develop discipline, and embrace themselves in order to take care of and respect their bodies and minds. He made sure to ask them to consider, “What are you consuming on a daily basis that’s going to help shape your mind, your mentality, and your body in order to be able to achieve that dream or that goal that you have for yourself?” His important words were felt throughout the room and continued into the next day, when he met with students for one-on-one sessions.
Trey received six football scholarships to play Division I football and committed to the University of New Hampshire, where he was named the strongest athlete, pound-for-pound, in UNH’s athletic history. He has always had a passion for speaking helping young people, and in addition to sharing his motivational messages across the country he is also a residence hall director at UNH.