The Great Escape

I want to give up my bearings, slip out of who I am, shed everything, the way a snake discards old skin.

Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed

Escapism, the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.

Many people have said high school will create the greatest memories of someone’s life. Yet many have to experience changing themselves to be liked. The need for validation is more important than being true to yourself. Why would anyone want to be themself if you could always be someone better? Living a life not yours feels comforting. It is a change of pace, a second chance that not many will get throughout their entire life. No matter how much you try to change, you’ll always be the same. Humans didn’t have a need to escape, but it developed over time secretly and slowly. Fight or flight isn’t an option if you avoid the problem completely. Escapism comes in many forms, listening to music, daydreaming, and reading. It can be anything that drives you away from real life. The stress of living up to standards is gone even if it’s just for a little while. Personally, I use videogames.

Photo by zhan zhang on Unsplash

Playing games allows anyone to create a mask, almost as they are customizing their own persona as one can do in life. Just like in real life you can customize yourself based on the ‘game’ and cater your responses to whoever you are talking to. More importantly, using video games for escapism is like wearing rose-colored glasses, all of your problems are gone for a short amount of time.

When you look at someone wearing rose-colored glasses, all of the red flags just look like flags.

Wanda Pierce, BoJack Horseman
Photo by Stephen Kraakmo on Unsplash

Video games create a different reality, ones that may never come to life and some that you may never want to become reality. They are a reward for me and a way I can cope with daily troubles. It is one of a few motivations to get me through my assignments. Being able to mellow out after spending hours on math homework and experiencing lives far more action-packed than mine. I don’t need to be worried about an upcoming math test if I am repeatedly dying to the same boss. I forget about the matches I’ve lost while trying to grind to a specific level. They give me something to do, always keeping my mind occupied.

Playing online games helps me interact with more people who I can’t see in person. Even though one of my closest friends lives in a different state, we are still able to have fun moments together while playing games. It doesn’t matter where you are from, you could be living in the US and be talking to someone from France. No one online knows who I am, I can become the person I want to be, but can never become. Even though there are many opportunities to do so, I will still stay myself.

You are who you are because of memories and experiences. There are reasons why you are yourself. Change happens over time so don’t try so hard to force it. It is always ok to escape for some time, but ignoring problems for too long will make it worse.

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