Editor’s note: App State’s counseling and psychological services are free and available to those seeking support or advice. The center can be reached at 828-262-3180 or by visiting the Miles Annas Student Services Building during their hours of operation.
Violet Briggs, 18, a freshman at App State, died Oct. 1 in her dorm.
Violet, also known as “Vi” by family and close friends, is described as cool, charismatic, bold and loving. She was an artist, a friend to many, the youngest in her family and always wanted to be with others.
“She was really special, she made you feel special,” said Isabella le Beau, Briggs’ older sister. “She just made people laugh and she included everyone. She never wanted anyone to feel left out.
Briggs was from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is born December 31, 2003. She would have turned 19 last December.
Le Beau said Briggs always made people feel important and her friends said she was very accepting and always saw the good in people.
“She never pulled me down. Even if she drowned, she would still push me,” wrote Ashton Wells, a close friend of Briggs. “Vi has always made it a point to get to know a person deeper than the surface.”
Wells had known Briggs for about four to five years. He wrote that Briggs was “an old soul” and was very passionate about things.
“Violet was the kind of woman who lit up any room she walked into,” Wells wrote.
Adalid Araiza and Linden Clemens are also close friends with Briggs. They said they met in fifth and sixth grade and became close in their freshman year of high school. They’ve been a trio ever since and have had sleepovers “almost every weekend.”
“I just felt so much unconditional love from him,” Clemens said.
Araiza said it was a very specific type of love that Briggs gives to others.
Clemens said her favorite thing about her was the fact that she didn’t care what other people thought of her, and that’s a lesson she taught him.
“She just did what she wanted to do,” Clemens said.
Briggs is also described as “really really smart”, intelligent and “much smarter than she thought”. She had a “good understanding” of things and if she didn’t understand something, she tried to understand until she did.
“She was an excellent student, and she basically got all A’s throughout her school career, and she just, like, outsmarted everyone else in the family,” the Beau said.
Besides being academically intelligent, Briggs was very involved in the world of fine art. She was a fine arts student and had done art most of her life.
“Oh, she was a good artist,” Araiza said.
Le Beau said that when Briggs was younger, she painted her family photos and gave them as gifts.
“She used to do this almost every Christmas for all of our family members,” the Beau said. “It was really special and it was very, like, personal to each of us, and it was a really beautiful, beautiful thing that she did for everyone.”
Briggs was also a musician. She played the guitar and sang.
Clemens said one of his favorite memories of Briggs was when she sang and played Dolly Parton and The Velvet Underground songs for him and his family while on a family trip.
Le Beau said the same way she gave paintings to her family members as gifts, Briggs would ask all of her family members what their favorite song was, and she would learn it and play it for them during the period. parties as a Christmas present.
“She was probably one of the most creative people I’ve ever met,” Beau said.
Briggs’ family and friends said she was also very funny. She often made funny faces, did silly dances, quoted “SpongeBob Squarepants” a lot, and joked around with her friends.
“She always had her way of making a situation lively and fun,” Wells wrote.
Briggs was a person who enjoyed being outdoors and sometimes went hiking with friends.
“I had a lot of great memories with Vi but I think my favorite is when we and our friends went hiking,” Wells wrote. “It was the first time I learned more about her and it always makes me smile thinking about it.”
Briggs also loved skateboarding, and her friends and family said she was “really good.” She did a lot in her free time.
“At home, she would skate for hours all the time and listen to music,” Beau said.
Araiza said one of their favorite memories with Briggs was when she taught them how to skate. Araiza said they rolled their ankle while skateboarding for the first time, but Briggs encouraged them to “go away.” Araiza remembers it as a funny memory.
Araiza and Clemens said her fashion style was also a notable part of her. They describe it as colorful.
“She made statements with what she would wear,” Araiza said. “She was a villain.”
Araiza and Clemens said she has a lot of plans for her future, like getting a tattoo and having “lots of places to go.” Le Beau said Briggs was starting to learn the piano.
Growing up, the Beau said she and Briggs weren’t that close due to their seven-year age gap. However, the older they got, the closer they got. Le Beau said she was looking forward to this part of their life together.
“She taught me to be kind and to remember that everyone’s story is different and everyone goes through things that you have no idea,” Beau said.
Wells wrote that Brigg will have a “lasting” impact on her life.
“She got me through so much and made me realize so much,” Wells wrote.
A meal train was done to raise money for the Briggs family.
“The heart of the App State community is with Violet’s loved ones during this very difficult time,” Megan Hayes, the university’s communications manager, wrote in an email.
According to Hayes, “App State’s counseling and psychology services are fully operational for students who need help. Staff are also available 24/7 for students with urgent mental health concerns. Students are encouraged to visit the counseling center during opening hours. In the event of an emergency, students should notify the receptionist or select the option to speak to a duty counsellor.
More information is available on the advice center website website.