My new hobby

When I was younger I never would have thought that I would end up being interested in photography. However, when my friends and family started telling me how good I was at taking pictures, I got the idea to get a DSLR (digital single reflex lens) camera. These cameras are the ones used by professional photographers. Every since I told my mother that I wanted a camera and had decided which one I was going to get, I anticipated my camera arriving in the mail. The anticipation alone made me feel alot happier. I had a horrible year and it was nice to know that I would be getting SOMETHING that would make me happy. When I finally got it, I immediately starting taking pictures and from then on I had a hobby. Now I go out and take pictures around campus and its something that I really enjoy. I highly recommend trying photography if you are looking for a fun, creative hobby to take up.

These are some of my recent pictures:

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Depression and Counseling

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This year, counseling has been the reason that I have made so much improvement in dealing with stress and depression. Without going to counseling I don’t think that I would have been able to start learning how to cope with the symptoms of depression.
Not only has going to counseling taught me how to cope, seeing a counselor has made me understand what changes I need to make in my life to make me a more mentally and emotionally stable person. In February, I had a bit of an emotional breakdown. I had never felt that depressed and hopeless in my life. It felt as if I had no control over my state of being. I really had no idea how to recover from this breakdown. However, I did recover because of the help of my counselor, who I have been seeing every week since February. I have made a huge amount of progress. I’m being more social and getting out of my room more. I don’t mope around the way that I did last year. Even though I have made progress, I still have much more to improve upon. For instance, even though I am being more social, I tend to sleep when I don’t have anything to do or anyone to hang out with. It hard for me to go out and do something on my own. I’ve always hated going places or doing things by myself, but I feel that being ok with being alone is part of growing up. This is one aspect of my life that doesn’t necessarily have to do with depression, but is still an important issue in becoming an adult.
While people may think that you only go to counseling if you have serious mental problems, marital problems or etc, going to counseling can help anyone, no matter their mental state. I think that everyone should visit a counselor atleast once in their lives. It may make more of a difference then you think.

Gaming: My outlet for frustration

Since I was seven, video games have been a huge part of my life. Every time a new gaming system came out, I had to have it. When I was younger, I always stuck to easy, family friendly games but as I got older I started to play more mature games such as Grand Theft Auto.
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At the time, I didn’t realize how therapeutic video games could be for me. I just thought they were fun and they kept me from being bored during the summer.
Last summer I started playing a game called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. This game is ridiculously addictive, so I used to play for hours at a time. Again, I didn’t think it was an outlet for frustration; it was just something to pass the time.
But this year, as my stress level started to rise, I realized that playing this game (a newer version called Black Ops) actually helped decrease alot of stress.
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Whenever I was upset and needed to blow off some steam I would go over to my friend’s room and play this game for an hour straight. Afterwards, I felt better and more relaxed. I’m not the type to hit or damage something when I get upset so I feel that this is the perfect outlet of frustration with me. Not only do video games give me a way to release some steam, they give me something to focus on to take my mind off of stressful things or issues that I may be having at the time.
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Being alone: Is it really THAT bad?

Usually, it is encouraged to get involved on campus when you first start college.  You attend club fairs and meetings to find new interests or meet other people who share the same interests as you.  You try and join sororities or fraternities.  Basically, most people get to college and feel the need to be as social as possible.

But what about people who enjoy being alone?  The article gives examples of how bad social isolation can be for your emotional and mental health.  It also states how it can contribute to stress.

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In this article, it only states the cons of being anti-social, but in my opinion there are plenty of ways to still be mentally and emotionally healthy without being an extrovert.

This video is a perfect example of how rewarding spending time by yourself can be.  Before watching this, I hated being alone, because it seemed like EVERYONE else was being social except for me.  I was almost afraid that I was incapable of being social because striking up a conversation wasn’t as easy for me as it was for other people. However, I learned that being an introvert is just a part of me that I had to accept. I don’t have to go to a party every weekend or join a sorority or club to keep me “mentally and emotionally healthy”, all I have to do is do what makes me happy.  If that happens to be browsing the internet, taking photographs, napping, eating or playing violent video games (by myself) then so be it. Just do what you want to do, rather than what your peers and society expects you too.

How To Be Alone by Tanya Davis

“Lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless. And lonely is healing if you make it.”

Hikikomori Syndrome

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Hikikomori is a Japanese term that refers to the young teens and adults who have shut themselves off from society, family and friends for long periods of time (at least 6 months).

I thought that this was an interesting article because this is a disorder that is exclusive to Japan.  There aren’t many cases of Hikikomori syndrome in other countries.  I think that this is because Japanese parents set their expectations for their children high.  They expect them to graduate from high school and then continue on to college.  This seems like a normal expectation for parents in other countries, but in Japan you are not guaranteed acceptance into high school. Therefore, the pressure put on them is more intense than the pressures that American students may face as they leave middle school and head for high school.

Before entering high school the students must take exams.  You also must apply for the high school you would like to attend and if you don’t get accepted then you have the option of taking the exams again.  After a few months, the chances of being accepting into a high school are slim.  Their only option is to enroll in a private school.  If they aren’t wealthy enough to pay the tuition, then they have to give up on their dreams of high school and get a job.

I try to imagine how I would react to not being able to enter high school.  All of my friends and classmates would be advancing, but I would be stuck behind, all because of a low exam score.  Personally, I would feel embarrassed and ashamed.  I understand why these young adults feel the need to retreat to their bedrooms and homes.  When society sets expectations, its always disappointing when you don’t meet them.  Whether it be body type/size, personality or activities, we try to fit the standard that is set for us, no matter how outrageous or high they might be.


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