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Escapism for Students: Finding a Personal Outlet

With the constant notifications and obligations, how can students find time and ways to take a break every once and a while?
Escapism for Students: Finding a Personal Outlet
Ilene Goddard

With the holiday high season behind us, it is now crunch time for many students and staff here at St. Petersburg High School. With all the academic stress the second semester can bring on top of things like spring season sports, busy work schedules, and more, stress will rise. Everyone has their own methods of escapism, even if it’s minor like taking a walk or even just taking a deep breath. How does music, film, and art play into our everyday coping mechanisms? What kind of refuge can we find holding a paintbrush, or in watching our favorite rom coms or listening to our limited edition vinyls?


As high schoolers, our lives can change on a dime. Not only are we growing and changing each day, but we all have our personal responsibilities on top of our school obligations. I have definitely had to learn how to balance my social life with my academics, family, sports, work, and extra curriculars. I quickly realized that there was one crucial part that I was missing- me time. Blocking out time to spend it with yourself is so important to stay in tune with your body and mind. When our bodies and minds are harmonious, we can put our best foot forward in everything we do. A great way to keep in touch with yourself is through forms of art, literature and activities. Our minds are constantly busy, especially as teenagers. Not only are our brains most vulnerable, and in a state of growth, but our attention spans have also drastically decreased as well. Instant gratification jackpots like Tik Tok and Instagram have contributed to this, however it isn’t a bad way to unwind. Sometimes when students get home, the best thing they can do is just partake in some mindless scrolling to give the mind a break, while still staying somewhat engaged in activity. Escapism comes in many different forms, and can be minor and large. The exact definition of escapism says that it is “the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities…” (Oxford Languages). However, some may argue that it’s not necessarily about avoidance, but more about creativity and freedom to express oneself. The easiest, most straightforward one is music. Not only listening to music, but exploring and learning about it can help the mind make sense of the world it is immersed in. Music has the power to evoke emotions and “make you think” says Cameron Lehtovirta, a IB Sophomore at St. Petersburg High School. The beautiful thing about music (I learned this from Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour this past summer) is that artists are able to write about their own lives and experiences, but by publishing it for the world, listeners can take them and weave them into their own relationships and routines. 

Another form of escape is art. Art is one of the most powerful forces on Earth. Not only can art let you paint a pretty picture, but it can give you a voice. Sometimes when our minds are racing and we have a million things on our plates, art and our creations can speak louder than words. Aside from being a noteworthy tool for expression, art can be very relaxing. Painting with watercolor paint, or even feeling the wax of a crayon can bring peace and calm to the mind. Art enables the mind to focus on one task without having to follow any rules. Anything goes. 

Lastly, film and photography. Similar to art, capturing a certain image can help the mind to see what is important and worth worrying about. Little things tend to build upon each other until suddenly you have a giant mountain of small nuances. From 6 am to 2 pm, high school students’ headspaces are never not working. A camera in hand can be a great way to convert that working energy into creative energy. By using your mind as a lens, you can curate your own dream world, capturing the beauty in everyday mundane activities. Whatever it is that peaks your creative interest, it is imperative to find that escape, that outlet that is right for you. Especially during a 6 plus hour school day. By keeping your mind on track, you can do anything with passion, and focus.  

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About the Contributors
Sarah Rowland, Staff Writer
Ilene Goddard, Photography Editor

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