Author Archives: Jessica Lynn Horton

My College Life?

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My College Life?

Not so much college life, but the preparation of college life is what I will be talking about. The stressful junior year turns into the even more stressful senior year. College applications, scholarships, high school grades still needing to count, and let’s not forget about all the anxiety and anticipation that comes into the process of applying into all of this.
Most of the time, for me that is, the scholarships applications are more stressful and cumbersome than the actual college applications themselves.
Personally, I’m so happy to get everything organized, and ready to go. I’ve been so caught up in my delightful course choices and independent readings, that I don’t have time to blog about it. If I didn’t have to work so much in order to survive and actually be semi successfull in my dreams, I would blog day after day with no care. I could blog about any and every topic that I wanted to. The problem for me is that I hate being unorganized. I love even numbers and I love patterns.
For my blog, I have tried every other day. After I started getting more and more busy, it moved to every 4 days, then once a week. I have decided not to push myself into the routine at this moment, but to do it as it comes along.
I am actually quite sad about this decision because I have so many thoughts that I want to share! I just simply don’t have the time.. you would think this would be the life of a college student, but sadly it is the life of me, who is merely a high school student.  Balancing a 36 hour work week with only minimum wage, school, and homework, sadly my wants and interests are pushed aside and left for the few minutes I have in the day, where I am already so out of it, that all I want to do is sleep.
Oddly enough, I like to read in my downtime. Unfortunately, I have to feeling of rush put on me everytime I open a book now, because of the schools requirements. I wish that I could freely read in my spare time, and truly take in what I want and need to take in. I really want to know the path I am most interested in traveling. I will never know until I read all these books that tell exactly what I want to do. Do you like this?.. then you should do this! Essentially anyway…
But hopefully I will soon come to a point where everything will slow down to how it was when I started. It helps me grow, I think, when I can get everything out that I want to analyze, whether its wrong or not, and share it for anyone else to see or comment or even just think I’m crazy. I love it! And I will soon be doing it again more often, as much as I can.
P.S. I really appreciate the few people that take their precious time as well to actually look at my blog. If I didn’t think atleast one person cared, I wouldn’t be so encouraged to speak or even think my own thoughts and grow as a person, adult, and hopeful psychological scholar. It is you few people that make me feel like what I want to do with my life is practical, and that I actually can do it. And for that, I thank you very much.

Your Real Brain

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Your Real Brain

You can’t talk about the psychological effects a person gets from their brain without actually knowing how it really works. I feel like its just nonsense to talk about something that you have no knowledge of whatsoever. So if someone is into psychology and people, you have to be into the brain.
Before I started thinking about psychology as a major, I never thought about learning the technical aspects of the brain. But as soon as we got into it, it intrigued me more than I would have imagined. But you kind of have to like it in order to go into that subject.. I’m just glad I do.
When it comes to the actual brain, its cool to see how it works. Just to know that things can repair themselves just to do what the brain is supposed to do, even when the necessary structures aren’t there.
When I start learning about the brain, I get the same feeling as when I look at a sunset; weird I know, but let me explain. I am absolutely amazed by anything naturally beautiful, such as a sunset. It’s awesome to think that this world is just making that without thinking about it. So when I learn that the brain has all these different compartments and processes for thinking and creating things, its like that sunset. Of course it would be odd to say that the brain doesn’t have to think about anything because that’s exactly what our brain does. But, in reality, its natural and it doesn’t get paid to do it.. it doesn’t get in trouble if it doesn’t do it right.. its not run by a machine. It is essentially what is letting us do what we do. We don’t control it, it only let’s us control what it wants us to. But the problem is that we don’t respect it well enough. We have blown it off and decided that we’re not going to make use of its abilities. Instead, we’re going to do everything that we can in order to seem like we are in control of anything and everything.
So when somebody is talking to us, and we don’t hear it right away, we say “what?” And then they repeat it. But if its within a certain amount of seconds, our brain says that its been listening the whole time, so here’s what they said. And then that’s when we answer right after we ask “what?” But your excuse is oh I was listening the whole time. No you weren’t! You weren’t paying attention and you know you. It’s the brain that gives us that leeway to recovery from our mistakes. Even when you don’t want to listen to something, you still hear it. And that’s when our emotions come into play. There’s a difference between arrogance and healthiness.
It’s not our fault that we feel the way we do. We can’t help it. The chemicals that are released, or not released, in certain situations are what make us feel angry or sad or happy or hyper. But ultimately, you really can control it. If you can connect to the way your body is feeling, and figure out why, you can change your feeling to a certain extent. As long as its healthy..
If you’re watching a boxing show, jumping everywhere, and mimicking the moves, you’ll have so much adrenaline running through you that if all of a sudden someone that you don’t like walks over and says something that you don’t like, you could probably punch them in the face and keep going for awhile. But if you have the realization that that is in fact what’s happening, you may be able to sit down, breathe and simply tell the person to go away. You can hide it, and not let it get to you if there is a threatening situation. It’s different, though, if you’re sad and want to hide it. You can’t just repress your emotions so much that eventually you won’t be able to help but explode. That is not a healthy way to calm an emotion. Some emotions are actually healthier to let out as they come. But, really, when you do it is the most important because if you put yourself in a situation where it will just make it worse and you know it, you can get in a different situation. You really can’t just let every emotion out whenever you want. That’s why we don’t scream out in a high school class room when we get an itch. We have learned and trained our brain by now certain rules to fit in our certain society. You actually do need to train your brain in a way that can make you a more healthy person. You need to be aware of how your brain works in order to do that. And you need to be open minded to the fact that you can’t control everything. And you need to be at peace with that.

Triggering Your Blind Spot

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Triggering Your Blind Spot

Everyone knows that we have a blind spot. But we can’t tell unless we do those cute blind spot tricks with the dot and cross. So why don’t we ever notice it before? Well, your eye can’t really see it, even though you think that you can. Your brain actually makes that spot up. It takes in your surroundings and composes that spot as a guess of what it really would look like if you were to look at it directly. But that, I think, is not always true. After learning this, I realized that some peoples brains aren’t always the same. When it comes to mental disorders, I believe this blind spot has something to do with it.
If somebody has a disorder where they think that they see or hear things, we know that the mind is making it up. But it most likely is happening in that blind spot. The made up image is not right, bringing back other scary associations from the memory. Everything in the mind can be associated unconsciously to other things. You may not remember something that happened to you when you were ten years old. But it unconsciously arises when there is a trigger. And this trigger could be anything.
Personally, I see a shadow in my blind spot. When I move too quickly, it brings back a memory from a dream years ago that surrounded me in scary shadows. That movement quickly triggers in my brain that the shadow is a threat. It’s unconscious, so I can’t help it. That is what gives me my panic and anxiety. It may very well have started with that small blind spot.
So a good way that I have learned to slightly control it, is make up something else. Force your mind to think of something that won’t make you jump, but smile. Whenever I see that shadow now, I change it to a highlight; a bright angel watching over me rather than a dark demon trying to capture me. But that can’t always work. If I’m already in a bad or scared mood, it has the opposite effect. But closing my eyes can help. I pretend to shoot everything away and that I’m the star hero in a movie. It’s a little dramatic, I know. But it sure does work!
For less threatening situations, it would probably be easier to just forget about it. Let it make you jump for a second, then let it go away. Even though this one little blind spot could have started the chain reaction of other mental disorders, it can’t be the whole cause. But how can we truly ever know?

Letting Go

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Letting Go

Letting go anything can be hard. I know from personal experience. But how can you do it without overwhelming yourself or completely forgetting? Or do you want to forget? I guess it depends what you’re letting go.
I have let go and tried to let go many things in my life. I’ve lost a brother, who was my best friend. That was the hardest thing for me. I’m not sure if I’ve totally let that go yet, but I don’t know if I really want to. I’ve been to therapy about it, camps for that specific reason, and I’ve wrote many letters that have been attached to balloons and sent up into the air and were supposed to get to my brother. I’ve done that atleast twice and I almost felt at peace with that. But then I always have to look at the reality of things. I know that that balloon won’t really make it to heaven. It will eventually pop and some one else will find my note that’s not for them. So right after I find the peace, I get panicked and it was all meaningless. If I weren’t so realistic all the time, it would have worked. So I try other things like getting pictures of us together and thinking about the good times. That helps when I need a good solid cry. Then I feel much better. For the time atleast. So honestly, with that subject, I don’t think I’ve quite let go, and don’t know if I ever will.
A much smaller thing would be my baby blanky. To try not to sleep with it every night. I used to try not to atleast. I would throw it somewhere else and say I’m such a baby. But eventually, I realized that it’s okay to sleep with a blanky. I don’t sleep with it every night and it’s not essential to my living. But it’s theraputic when I need comforting, and reminding myself that my granny, who made it, is watching over me and helping me through everything.
Going down even farther, is letting go of a bad habit. Everyone has one, and for me, I have many. I crack my knuckles, along with everything else on my body. I shake me legs 24/7. And I used my bite my nails. I’m proud of myself for quitting this bad habit. It’s one of the worst in my opinion. I bit my nails for years and years and years. It really hurt my teeth but it would bother me to not bite them. But I wanted to grow my nails out really badly. So I quit cold turkey. It’s the best way to go. Although I’d slip every once in awhile, I had back up support to remind me not to do it.
Just the simplest things, and the slightest help from others, got me through the bad and the worst. It’s hard to give up or let go of anything. Whether its a bad habit or a lost loved one, it’s nice to have support, and know that someone does care. Find that person or group of people that can get you through anything. And you will be able to accomplish anything that you want to. If you’re willing and passionate enough, you can let go.

Abortion: Controversy or Psychology?

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Abortion: Controversy or Psychology?

Controversy or psychology?
Actually, I feel like the controversy has psychology in it. The debate about whether or not abortion is right or wrong, has nothing to do with this article. I’m not going to say what side I’m on, but I will only talk about the psychological effects either side can have.
When debating about abortion, its mostly about the morality of it. But nobody ever talks about the psychology of it.
All traumatic times come with a psychological side effect; whether wanted or not. Abortion is no exception. When somebody thinks about aborting a baby, they obviously don’t want to deal with the consequences. Quite harshly, they want to kill their baby.
So even just thinking about it and not going through with it, leaves behind some emotional pain. Could the mother ever get over the idea that she thought about killing her baby? Especially if she raises her baby.. it could change the way she acts and disciplines her child. Especially if that one child wasn’t the only one. The mother most definitely would treat them in a different way, whether good or bad, than the others. Aside from that, the memories scarred into the mother could ultimately change the way she views and handles her life.
But how about on the other, and most obvious side: when the mother aborts her baby. When she actually goes through with it and may not actually know what that means for herself. She has to be there when the baby comes out. It has to come out. I feel like mothers aborting their babies don’t think it through as much as they should when making a huge desicion like that. The baby does come out, and you will see it and all it’s bloody glory.
Seeing any dead thing that was once living leaves a huge scar in the human brain. Maybe not on tv because we are so desensitized so it. But once that image comes to life, and you know it’s real, it burns in your brain forever. Especially if it was your fault. Can you imagine birthing a dead baby? That’ll do some damage.. nightmares for the longest time, seeing the image in other scenes, commitment and relationship problems, and fear of having another baby. The list could go on and on.
Overall, I think, without viewing the morality of it, the psychology of it can show all of the effects that just one decision, or almost decision, can take a toll on your mind and body.

Music Therapy

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Music Therapy

I bet you can think of many times where music is the only thing that can calm you. I know I can. Sometimes it seems like the only thing that will relax you. But sometimes, even when you don’t think it will, it can be the most nurturing over other ideas or medications. You don’t need a bunch of medication to make you feel better. You might need one that actually has a purposeful use. But when you don’t have to… that’s when it’s best to find anything that can take the place of something that isn’t real.

Don’t get fake happiness or a false sense of reality with pills and other drugs. All you need is music.

Or is that really all you need? Sometimes, music is a great way to help you relax, or focus. It’s great for doing homework, falling asleep, relaxing after a stressful day, and even just plain zoning out of the world. But it depends what can do that for all people. Nobody has the same mind or outlooks of what one thing could mean. While ocean waves and birds chirping could mean peace to one person, it could mean complete annoyance and discomfort to another. So if you truly do think that music would be a helpful side-kick to your life, you need to discover two things:

What you want and how to get it.

You need to decide what you are going to be using this for. To fall asleep to?  To do homework to? To relax to? Or to zone out to? Or anything else that could help you… When you find it out, you have to stick with it to work. Then you need to decide how it applies to you, and how you can get it. What makes you fall asleep? Turn it into music… Google it if you have to! What helps you concentrate or relax? And what just makes you completely lose yourself?

Now make a playlist of all your different moods, and you’re set! I think that if everyone could simply go through these steps, they could eliminate as many bad things as possible. That is, if they want to. But why not? Just think about all of the things you may have heard;  Music in the womb can stimulate health and growth to a fetus… that learning an instrument can keep your mind off bad aspects of your life… and simply that music can always, and will always, change your mood to how you feel about that music.

Of course these are all myths, and can’t really be proven. But if you want my opinion, music changes the world.

Don’t Talk to Strangers

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Don’t Talk to Strangers

My nephew is not shy with anyone. Stranger is not in his vocabulary.
I was talking with my brother and he told me that my nephew, if he woke up and there was a random person on the couch, he would ask them for milk. It’s cute when he tells it because he just wants milk so bad that he’ll ask the person on the couch. And, while hearing the story, we all know that the person on a couch is a friend. But my nephew didn’t know who it was at the time. This struck as odd to me.
It’s very scary to think about how sociable my nephew is. While, when you’re older it’s a shining aspect, when your a little kid, it’s different. It makes a person vulnerable. He will give anyone and everyone a hug and a kiss. It sure does make a person feel special when they haven’t seen him in so long. It’s amazing that he remembers! But I don’t think he actually does remember. He just wants everyone to feel loved and he wants to know that anyone can love him. Atleast this is what I think.
It truly is scary to think that if he were to ever get lost, he would have no trouble adapting to a stranger or their family. Nobody would ever notice that he wasn’t their kid because he would just act so conformed to it.
So I want to know how he got this way. My brother and his girlfriend are very loving, and my nephew is the only child. But I don’t think being an only child would make him love everybody. I think it would do the exact opposite; only wanting their mom or dad. But that is certainly not the case here. So if we want to look at nature vs. nurture, I don’t believe that we can go with nurture. Something had to of happened in the genetics. My brother and his girlfriend’s kindness could’ve gone overload in him, making a new kind of comfortability and conformness.
Then again, I guess there is a reason that the whole nature vs. nurture debate is so big. Because, thinking back, I remember them being, and still being, in a very small house with many many animals. And when I say many, it doesn’t come close to how many animals they have. So obviously my nephew had to adapt to all the new animals coming into his home. He absolutely loved naming them, and eventually became best friends with all of them. So maybe it is his surroundings that made him this way..
I feel like nothing can be rested on sole environment. Or, in the same note, nothing can be rested on sole genetics. I do think it is very interesting, though, how many strong facts can be presented to both sides of most  nature vs nurture debates.
With this specific one, I don’t think a study has been done. But it is a very personal topic, seeing how it worried me and still does worry me.
If there even was a study to be done, it would be quite rare to find subjects for it. I’m sure there would be quite a debate about it, and my guess is that they would find the “nurture” aspect to be the most prevelent. In any case, arguably, if something is “nurture” instead of “nature”, it is more likely to be reversed. But in my nephews case, this may not be true. He’s already been in and out of his learning stage. I’m afraid that the only change that could occur would be whenever he gets to high school and becomes shy. I don’t see that happening with this little guy! But in the world of psychology, I guess you never know.

Go Right!

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Go Right!

Did you know that when you and another are approaching each other, you are both supposed to go to your own right? Well, probably not. But its kind of an unspoken norm in our culture. We drive on the right.. ride bikes on the right… and even walk to the right.
Most of us are right handed, yes, so maybe that’s the reason it feels so natural when approaching someone to walk to the right. But we always get those people that bump into us because they want to go to the left. Or sometimes, even, they will go across the whole walkway just to cross you on the left. Maybe they’re left handed..
I’ve never really thought about the writing hand of the person I’m approaching, when I’m approaching them. It’s not what’s on my mind at the time. But thinking back, that would be such a good explanation as to why they go left instead of right.
You would think they’d learn though, being in the American culture, where everything is based around the right and not the left.
While I am amazed at left handers, they are the same as the right handers. I don’t know why they amaze me so much. It’s just so rare to see. Almost as rare as the occasional painful collision between two walkers. Yes, I have had this happen more than once, I don’t know about you..
And it bothers me when it happens. It makes me feel uncomfortable when somebody tries to pass me on the left. It’s so far out of my comfort zone, that it may bother me the whole day if one person ALMOST ran into me, but I had to dodge them. And with a crowded school like mine, that’s hard to do.
But I wonder if they feel that same awkwardness when they are forced to go right..
It could be their culture, in fact that goes left. Or maybe to stop and let the other one pass first. Have you ever had that happen? When you’re walking towards each other, and neither one of you goes a certain way, and you both just stop right in each others faces..
Yes, again, this has all happened to me. Quite more than once actually!
So let’s just conclude that its in their culture, or not in their common sense at the time, when somebody goes the “wrong way.”

How I Sleep

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How I Sleep

My feet in a pocket and my small blanket up top, I never go without a blanket. Even in the hot hot summer, I always have my comforter atleast around my feet. I don’t know why, but it helps me sleep better. It makes me feel almost safe.
I’ve gone through this many times.. I try to let one foot out of its little pocket, or let my hand fall off the bed every once in awhile just to test myself. But it almost always gives me just an unsafe feeling. Even though I know that nothing will happen if I simply leave my feet under the covers without a pocket. So I don’t understand why I have this fear. Even if I do somehow get over it, I already have it as a habit to get into bed and tuck my feet in.
This past summer I kept a foot out for a bit. I found that as long as it was above my other foot, it felt fine to me. I’ve kind of tested myself, in a way, to get to the root of this problem.
Another thing I noticed was that I felt safe when my dog was next to me. Although she is nice to have next to me, its safer when she sleeps at my feet, or on the side of my bed, so that if my hand falls down, she is there if anything is to worry me.
I believe that this is a sort of loneliness feeling that brings all this out. Not that I am lonely, but maybe something as a child made me feel unsafe in my own room.
Actually, looking back into my childhood, I remember something happening in my room. I had been awaken at night, and I could not get this creaking noise out of my ears. I tried looking around and I remember seeing my closet doors opening, or seeming to, from completely different sides of the room. I tried to scream for my parents, but it wasn’t loud enough. I tried to close my eyes tight and make myself fall asleep. I remember feeling like the only person in the house. Like nobody was there to rescue me. It was probably the most scary and lonely moment of my childhood I can remember.
Even though it was all probably a dream, and I probably wasn’t actually screaming, it felt very real to me. And it stuck with me. That’s probably the moment I tucked myself in everywhere so that there were no cracks that anything could get me through. But the most important thing was my feet. My feet had to be in a huge pocket atleast to my knees. They had to. If I didn’t do it, I’d get pulled under the bed just like the people from “Don’t Look Under Your Bed” on Disney channel. That was the first scary movie I had seen, and it scared me to death. I don’t think I’ve ever had a free nights sleep since that movie entered my mind.
So why do I still act like there’s monsters under my bed? Well its not like I actually believe with all my heart that there are monsters under my bed; I actually don’t have an “under my bed.”
Conveniently, I like the look of a mattress without a frame. I have a box spring with a mattress and that’s it.
I guess I don’t want the temptation of that fear to get to me.. but I also don’t want the temptation of throwing all of my clothes under the bed either.
In reality, I think that that one moment as a child, made everything about my room completely different. I’ve adapted to my fear, so that It’s ideas unconsciously follow me throughout my whole life.

A Dog’s Life

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A Dog’s Life

It sure would be nice to have a dog’s life. Their day includes all of sleeping, eating, playing and pooping.
I feel like it could be very boring at times, but if you think about it: no stress, no worries, no regrets or grudges. I mean seriously, have you ever had a dog? They hold no grudges whatsoever! So are they just that forgiving, or is that just how their brain works? It makes me wonder if there even is a filter for things like guilt, and other emotions. But I know that can’t be true. If they do something wrong, you can see it on there face, no coincidence in that.
When I leave my dog alone for just a few minutes, I can hear her crying for me. When I come back, she jumps all over me in excitement and just tells me how much she missed me. I know they can’t actually speak, but dogs express so much emotion, that they don’t have to.
So why is it that they will always come back to you if you do something wrong? If you spank their butt for Pooping on the carpet, they just want your love back.. you yell at them cause your in a bad mood, and they will eventually forget.. or seem to anyway.
So I think it’s their sense of loyalty and ownership..
Or maybe its just that they don’t think.. they don’t think about what they’ve done, and they don’t understand why you’re mad an hour after they pooped on the carpet..
They have no idea how human life is; they can’t think about it and process it like we do. They can’t give us the benefit of the doubt; they can only love us and cherish the moments they have with us.
Maybe that is what they do; live in the moment. So maybe we underestimated them this whole time. Maybe they can think and just prefer not to think hard.
Or maybe their ignorance is really bliss..
Their laziness, happiness, and willingness to almost anything.. It’s almost sad that they have no idea about the world around them.
But then again, they don’t have to have any idea at all. They just don’t have to.