Students Share How They Escape From Reality


Katie Fikes

Call me crazy, but I love to run. I ran cross country and track in high school, and run every day now—well try to run every day.   I have people ask me why I run and I only have one answer for them. I just do.

Pounding out the pavement allows me to clear my head as well as think about whatever I like to.  It doesn’t matter whether the topic is God, school, family, or trying to figure out if my crush feels the same about me as I do.  Running is just my way to re-discover myself.

Releasing all the tension that builds up over the hectic lives we lead is important emotionally, psychologically, and even physically to release.  Everyone has their own way of setting aside the trials and tribulations of everyday living.

Whichever avenue or medium you take as an escape for a moment from reality is important.  It may seem weird to some, but don’t let that deter you from doing what you love.

Students all over USAO take different approaches towards having peacefulness within their lives.

Many students do choose physical activity.

Freshman art major from Shawnee Jo Burkhead said she escapes reality by finding a punching bag. The physical exertion that is required to punch things (presumably the bag) at a constant and steady rate drains Burkhead of physical strength.  Only when her hands start to hurt and she is “worn out enough” can her mind is clear to where she “can think things through clearly.”

Senior early-childhood education major Shaylee Kimbro also falls within the number of students who crave physical activity.  Her mode of action: basketball.

Because sports have always been a major part of Kimbro’s life growing up, she did not stray from that passion once in college.  Going to the gym to shoot basketballs is what Kimbro uses to clear her head.

“When I feel like school or life is weighing me down, going to shoot and play takes all of the stress away,” said Kimbro. “It is nothing else.  It’s just me and the ball.”

However, physical activities don’t appeal to everyone.  Some students prefer to take a more relaxed physical

Freshman Madison Russell, a deaf education major from Hennessey, likes to sit outside during nice weather to people watch and clear her mind.

“I go sit on the bench outside [Sparks Hall],” Russell said, “and enjoy the weather,” along with watching students as they walk by.

Sitting and enjoying the cool autumn weather is an excellent way to not only escape reality through the deep thought humans are capable of, but being more connected to other students on campus.

“I like to talk to people who go by,” said Russell.  Talking to being and hearing about how good their day has gone is an easy way to lift spirits along with clearing any negative and overwhelming thoughts that accumulate throughout the day.

Some students put their own unique spin on classic alone time and how they unwind is unlike most other people.

Kieran Brennan is a senior physical education major from Windsor, England so airplanes are not new to him.   Actually Brennan is rather familiar to planes.  Well, technically, Brennan basically lives on planes.

This year he has been on 22 flights from Oklahoma to California, where he works, and even has a few already booked for later dates.

The flying experience, though terrifying to others, relaxes Brennan as well as allow him to catch up on sleep lost being a college student.

Although most of his end destinations summon more stressful situations due to work, the time in the air relaxes him before landing.

Brennan said flying is his “alone time” because even in a sea of travelers, he knows no one around him.

Whether it is strenuous physical activity or more laid back hobbies we choose, it is important to find the one thing that allows us to stand back, assess, and unclutter whatever may be in these minds of ours.  Starting with a new slate every now and then will stop the escalating stress that builds up and allows us to take a break.  It is healthy.  Go and find what works best for you and capitalize on the opportunities you have.