2023 – Christina Pak – HWRA – Viewmont HS
Coping varies for everyone, and I have my own set of coping techniques that I believe work for me and help me through especially rough times. I often indulge in things that involve the creative process, as that is what I especially enjoy. Trying to take away those bad emotions by occupying my senses and time with something that I like to indulge in is something that calms my body and lets me get through things with a level head. One of these coping mechanisms can be my love for music. When times get tough, and I may not be feeling my very best both psychologically and physically, I know I can always count on my love for music to help me feel better about myself and the world. Listening to the words of artists that I look up to soothes me and resets my brain for me to move forward and get over the next obstacle. Listening to music in my native language also reminds me of where I came from, and that both me and my family have made it very far and that it’s too early to give up. Reading a good book has always helped me with removing myself from my body and letting me go off into another world for as long as I read. While it may seem like running away, it brings a sense of peace to know that there is a whole new world to indulge in when things get hard.
As times change, my coping habits have also changed. As a child, I always made art. Whether that would be in a scribbled-down artwork in hot pink crayon, or a pretty collage of pictures and stickers in a scrapbook, I was always creating. When I didn’t get a good score on a quiz, I would be drawing down my favorite characters from my favorite shows in order to move on. Now that I have grown up, and quizzes and tests become a harder reality for me, I have found myself to be subconsciously coping with small doodles on the margins of my page, as if I’m fondly looking back on the days when I got upset because of smaller inconvenience that seems so small now. These past experiences have devolved into my current life as well. I now take classes that include curriculums that involve creative input, and I always look forward to these courses every other day.
Many people cope by talking to friends about their lives, or just engaging in small talk in order to take their minds off things. For me, it’s hard to talk to others that I do not know as well. One person is the exception, my mother. My mom is very similar to me, not just in genetics, but in mannerisms and mindset. I find that It’s so much easier to talk to her when I’m not feeling very good. When I’m with her, my mind goes to ease, and I can relax. It doesn’t matter what we’re talking about or what we’re doing together, all I care about is that I am right next to her. Watching my siblings leave the house to go on their own, I notice that my mother may need me just as much as I need her in order to feel okay. She is someone I deeply respect, as well as admire. To me, she is someone who I want to be when I grow up, and I know that I can always lean on her when the conditions of my life are not ideal. These feelings have always been with me, ever since I was a little child. Knowing about all the experiences and hardships that my mother went through alone, I’m so grateful to know that she is here with me.
Now, more than ever, I need to learn how to cope with my new realities. As I am going off through the real world, I experience a new type of fear that seems to hit so much harder than any other time of my life. It’s a challenge that I deeply fear as well as dread, but a part of me finds it interesting. With the coping mechanisms that I already have, I believe that they will stick to me for the rest of my life. But as my coping mechanisms changed from drawing stick figures to listening to the newest album by my favorite artists, things will change in the unpredictable future. While I’m scared for the big changes that are inevitable, I’m excited for how I will grow into myself, and get to know myself better.
About the Author
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