My Ticket To Paradise

My Ticket To Paradise

My ticket to go anywhere in the world could possibly be someone else’s ticket to staying in the world.

Some of the most beautiful places in the world often mask some of the most devastating realities. I would be excited to visit South Korea because of Busan's beautiful beaches, the aromatic smell of Korean Barbecue, competitive gaming and high-speed internet, booming Korean pop-stars, and hiking over their beautiful, scenic mountains. One of the world’s best educated and advanced countries cannot mask the devastating truth of how it has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. This phenomenon is caused by all types of societal and cultural pressure.

All across Asia, there lies a stigma that mental health does not really exist. To many people, if you cannot see the epidemic of depression, then it must not be there. One of my college essay prompts asked me where I would go if I had a ticket to go anywhere. This is one of my many responses on how I would tackle the stigma that mental health does not exist... because it does. And it is very much present.

My ticket to go anywhere in the world could possibly be someone else’s ticket to staying in the world. I would grasp the opportunity to take others to a better place in their minds; that would be my ideal paradise.

In order to tackle South Korea’s mental health problem, I must first understand their culture and language. Their idea of mental health is that it is better left in the dark and untreated because once someone is labeled with a mental disorder, he or she is seen as weak or dishonorable. I would aim to target younger generations since they would have greater insight towards changing eras than their older, more traditional parents and peers. I hope to educate younger generations about the importance of this plight so they can identify warning signs and potentially help combat the problem as they grow older.

The more young adults invest in battling the stigma behind mental health, the more widespread the battle cry can become and therefore lead to seeking help. Those who support one another can unify their voices, create a movement, and shine a brighter light on a hidden issue that takes many people's lives. By doing research with the Yonsei University Health System, I could develop my knowledge over general health and treatments all across Korea. Although the process may be controversial in the beginning, an important step is to seek out more effective methods to combat the negative connotation of mental health. Even though it may be ambitious to change an entire country’s mindset and culture, I would help inspire many to aid other countries further fight the stigma.

I chose to target South Korea first because by challenging mental health in a highly developed country, it can more effectively lead other developing nations to similar initiatives over time. Therefore, rather than initially targeting closed off places in the world that currently lack resources like North Korea and smaller areas in the rural world, I can first spark a change in a more developed country that has the tools to aid other regions of the world.

The first step to making that happen would be to encourage people to take my hand and not their own lives.

Cover Image Credit: Nicole Ma

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Poetry On Odyssey: Moving On

Healing hurts but it's necessary to move on.


I just want to make it clear, that I by no means am or plan to a poet. I have only written one other poem my entire life. But to keep myself from going off and hurting myself mentally, emotionally, and physically after a break up, I started to read, (and reread) my poetry books. I wanted to vent, but I didn't want to write long Facebook status or share every sad post. I didn't even want to tell anyone. Although, I knew I needed to turn my hurt, pain and confusion into something healthy and healing. I started to write an article but I couldn't get the words out, unless they were in short pieces. So I tried, to with a poem.

Moving On

I want to change how you made me feel

I want to numb all the pain and hurt

that you left me to deal with

but how can I do that?

How can I numb the pain,

when I'm already numb?

I feel nothing at all

and at the same time

I feel everything at once

I'm like a walking corpse

begging for life again

And I would anything to get it

but nothing at the same time

How can one thing so simple

make me feel completely empty

and so full of pain and confusion

I've never been left more confused

more vulnerable

and so full of self hate

I've never felt this type of sadness

I was verging on depression again

But I slowly realized that I'll be okay

because I can see what you truly want

and what I truly need

And while my heart was with you

I learned why it should be with me

and I know I'll be more okay than ever

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