University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Student Blog | Japeth


Sometimes life gets in the way—and it’s ok!
Posted , by Japeth
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Spring semester is almost over and my blogging life is halfway through. This area of work as a student ambassador has been a privilege and has served as a good way for me to share a bit of my life to all. This post is, by far, the most personal that I am posting; I am not one to post my thoughts and emotions online, but I feel like this post could be inspiring to everyone who might be going through a lot, all at once.

2019 was a good year to me: I was able to come to LA and take my MA at my dream university; I met so many friends from my cohort and other cohorts, and even outside of the Chan Division; I got the ambassador position which I really wanted; I am now specializing in the areas of OT that I am most interested in, and etc! So, how can one think that 2020 would be not so nice, right? When 2020 started, I had the most positive of thoughts I could ever think. However, as days and weeks unfold, I feel as though bad news just keep coming.

January-February have been really tough, not just for me but for most of the people I know. When bad times occur, we need to trust our coping mechanisms to help us get through the obstacles. Mine happens to be doing a lot of stress eating, retail therapy, or something spiritual like hearing a mass. In addition to these well-established coping strategies, I explored a new one this semester: self-talking. I think that it has been really helpful to me, especially in shaping my thoughts from a negative standpoint to becoming more positive, or at least to see the positive side of every awful situation.

My two takeaways in this entire two-month emotional and psychological rollercoaster ride would be:

  1. There will always be things and situations that will come our way and are definitely out of our control; but what we do have control in is how we react to them. One example I can share would be the cancellation of our international externship. I am sure that everyone is frustrated and sad about this. But when I thoroughly reflect on the situation, I realized that nobody wanted this to happen and we are all victims of such circumstance. Maybe the healthiest way to deal with this is to accept that we cannot change it; rather, we can find a solution.
  2. It is all about perspective. This is really difficult to practice because when we are under high levels of stress and tension, our perspective gets blurry. For me, it took me a long while to be able to really do this by heart. One time, Dr. Milman, one of USC Chan’s best professors, greeted me while we came across each other in the hallway. She asked me if I was having a good day since I was really smiling at her. All I said was, “You will have a good day if you think that it is a good day… perspective is everything!”

I have been using “Fight On” many, many times when I end a blog post, so now I want to end this one with the line that I have been telling my friends lately: “When you hit rock bottom, there is no way to go but UP!!!”

1. Comment by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on Feb 28, 2020

Fight on, Jap! You’ve got my admiration and respect. Looking forward to where you go from here. Proud of you!

2. Comment by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on Feb 28, 2020

Thank you so much for sharing something so raw and personal, Japeth! It’s encouraging to hear about student successes, but also your reassuring to know of their struggles, and I appreciate your genuine openness in writing this blog post. Stay strong and good luck with everything!

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