For Alissa Maglothin, self-recognition has become her savior, whether it be realizing that she is having a 'colorless day' or not enjoying something that she used to, she can acknowledge her bad days.
"The biggest turning point in my life has been when I get so low that I don't realize it," Maglothin said. "Some days when I realize I am not acting like myself or enjoying the things I used to, it almost feels like I am stuck in a day-to-day repetitive motion."
Admitting to having a problem has been hard for Maglothin. Being ashamed to admit she has a problem or not knowing how to ask for help has also become an issue.
"It's hard to admit that I have a problem when I'm suffering. It gets difficult to look at myself and realize I'm not well. It feels like I'm failing," Maglothin said.
To get help out of the low point, Maglothin copes by recognizing that she is dissatisfied with her life, which has been challenging. Taking breaks and talking to people she trusts has helped her a lot in her life.
"Taking mental health days is super important," When taking mental health day, it's essential to reach out to counselors, therapists, people who are trained to help with mental health," Maglothin said.
For Katie Driskill, quarantine was a turning point. Taking a mental and physical break from reality was a critical restart.
"I think when quarantine hit, I was able to take a break from school and kind of recover from anxiety,” Driskell said. “I was able to take a break and not worry about everyone judging me all the time.”
Learning new things over quarantine has been very helpful for Driskill. She now knows how to better deal with her mental health.
"I've learned not to be so perfectionistic and to back off, do my best,” Driskell said. “I am now better at knowing when to stop. For example, I would get four hours of homework a night when I was in eighth grade. So now, if I get that much homework, I know to contact counselors and teachers and say, like, you're giving too much work.”
Coming back to in-person school was a little stressful for Driskill because there was a fear of the unknown with not being in-person school for so long.
"I still struggle with anxiety because I haven't really been around people much other than my friends,” Driskell said. “But, I'm more confident and like, I feel comfortable wearing the clothes that I like.”
Hours spent at the ice rink playing hockey have become a staple in Aidan Moran's life. He is happier playing hockey and more confident than he would've been if he hadn't started playing. He has built strong bonds with his teammates from a young age, whom slowly have turned into his family.
Moran's relationships with his teammates aren't like those with his school friends. Moran believes that you don't experience hard practices and losses like you do when you're a part of a team. Going through these ups and downs, like losing in the state regional finals, brought them closer.
Being a hockey player gives Moran an easy talking point to introduce himself with. The joy he gets from the game is reflected in so many areas of his life; it reminds him to be resilient.
"It's enjoyable; even if I'm feeling down, I could always try again," Moran said. "It's always something that if you try it, you'll eventually get it right."
Sports can develop character. For Moran, his confidence has grown through competition and hard work.
"I would say hockey really brought that competitive side out with me," Moran said. "It was something that I discovered at a younger age, so it really pushed that amount of competitiveness."
Moran's time playing competitive hockey with his teammates has brought out the best of him.
Vara Hopkins was about nine years old when she discovered she had cancer. It was out of her control, she had to accept it. The situation was what it was and there was no going backwards once she took the first step.
Her support system was her mom, who was with her through everything. But there were still times late at night when she was alone, the last one awake. Dealing with cancer was difficult; sometimes ignoring her state while going through it was the easier option.
However, being a child with cancer sometimes presented Hopkins with unique opportunities to go places and speak to new people.
“I've gotten to do a lot of cool stuff, I got to do carpool karaoke with James Corden.” Hopkins said. “I've gotten to go to all these different places, do interviews, speak, whatever, it has been really fun.”
Hopkins was able to represent a community of people while being exposed to the public, it was an experience that allowed her the ability to give back.
Nowadays when Hopkins is living her life, things people say bring her to a realization. Whether it be an insensitive joke or seeing people make bad decisions, she questions peoples’ actions because she knows how valuable her life really is. Her experience brought her close to death; she now knows how quickly life can be taken away.
“I have no idea what I would have been like if I hadn't gone through it.” Hopkins said. “I guess it probably did change me as a person cause now I just appreciate life a little bit more than I probably would have.”