The Story of My Life

Track   Song Title    Artist      Topic     

1.                                     Chandelier                              Sia                   Neuroscience

2.                                     Turning Tables                      Adele               Mental Health

3.                                       Good Life                         One Republic        Behaviorism

4.                                        Cool Kids                       Echo Smith         Social Psychology

5.                                        Kingdom Dance               Alan Menken        Cognition

6.                                      The Monster                          Eminem             Mental Health

7.                                        Radioactive                   Imagine Dragons      Cognition

8.                                       Wide Awake                        Katy Perry            Mental Health

Today, I would consider myself a well-rounded, optimistic, and hard-working person. I take everything I do as seriously as I can and I will always see the bright side in every situation. Throughout my life I have dealt with a lot of obstacles, but there are a few that I would like to reflect on. These life events all fit under specific categories relating to psychology including events that are in correlation to cognition, neuroscience, behaviorism, conformity, and mental disorders. I chose these topics because I strongly feel they were the most prominent in my own life. In the future, I hope to become a student at the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in psychology and minoring in French. I have always been slightly interested in psychology, and I have thoroughly enjoyed this class. As for minoring in French, I have finished my fifth year of French last year and I absolutely love the language. I also just have a passion for learning new languages in general.

The collection I have created is a list of events from my life, and some music to go with each one. In many of the songs, emotions are attached to them, some because of association, and some because the lyrics reminded me of these events. I have included some of the more sad and dark songs in the collection because their lyrics somehow invoked an associative emotion to specific events. The goals I had for creating my collection were to make it easy to understand, yet relatable and make someone feel like they know me better once they have seen it.

Event 1: Becoming a Half Marathon Runner

The name of the song I chose for my first life event was Chandelier by an artist by the name of Sia. I chose this song because it is my favorite running song and now whenever I hear it, I automatically think of running. It is an important song to me because it represents a key event in my life that I will never forget, and will continue to pride myself in daily. The rest of the items on this event are important to me because they represent the progression I have made through my running journey. The picture of me wearing my medal reveals that I am a very strong and perseverant person, as well as self-driven, for being able to run a half marathon without any coaching. It also shows that I find health to be extremely important in my life, as well as staying strong. This song paired with this event in my life relates to the topic of neuroscience, as during my half marathon, I experienced a “runner’s high”. In psychology, we learned that this phenomenon is caused by the release of endorphins in the brain, primarily in the brainstem. I also experienced the feeling of buildup from lactic acid in my legs everyday from running through my sensory cortex.

Event 2: Coping with OCD

For the second event, I chose a song called Turning Tables by Adele. The items shown in this event are important to me because they represent a tougher time in my life. I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder when I was twelve years old. This song in particular draws me back to this time in my life because it is a sad, slow song. Learning how to manage OCD is a slow process that can begin to wither away your happiness if you let it. This song and picture reveals that I am a person who has suffered from having OCD and am trying my best to cope with it. It also demonstrates that I think it is important to acknowledge the bad times in your life, but not dwell on them, and move forward. I would much rather learn how to cope and manage the tougher things in my life rather than avoid them and let them take over my life. This song relates to the topic of mental illnesses because Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental illness that is characterized by tendencies to do certain things over and over again for no rational reason, and obsessing over performing certain actions in order to feel in control of a situation they are not in control of. Often times, this is driven from anxiety, which is the case for me.

Event 3: Parents Taught me Right from Wrong

The song from my third event is called Good Life by the band One Republic. This song is important to me because it displays the way my life seemed to turn out in my opinion-a good life. I feel that this song connects to my life because my parents taught me right from wrong very well and although I believe I already have some of my own ideology in my head independent of their influence, I do still think that they had something to do with the way my life turned out. This item reveals that I am a very optimistic person. I could tell a person all about the darker times in my life and focus on those, but I choose not to dwell on the tougher times and look ahead in my life. I think it is important to always at least try to look at the good in every situation. Even if it is a horrible situation to be in, a positive outlook can change the way I feel drastically. Good Life relates to the topic of behaviorism, as this is centered around the idea that a person’s surrounding environment is crucial to how they turn out in their life. It also deals with the area that is based on learned behaviors and that most behaviors are learned from other people around a person.

Event 4: Growing up in Highland Park

The song I chose for this event is called Cool Kids by Echo Smith. This song is important to me because it is relatable to me. Often times I have felt the same way as the lyrics are describing in the song because of where I live. I realize that conformity happens worldwide and does not solely exist in the town of Highland Park. However, I have found that in this town, conformity is a very prominent ideal. In Highland Park, there is an element of peer pressure framed in the way of the way people clothe themselves. There have been multiple occasions, even dating back to my elementary days that I have come across people asking me why I wore certain things and why I didn’t have certain items that most people had. This song reveals to others that although I realize it goes on, I try not to conform to society at least in some way, shape, or form. I have found my own style and I am not afraid to wear it. It also reveals that I think individuality is a right to everyone and more people need to respect that, especially in Highland Park. This song and event relate to social psychology because it has to do with conformity. Conforming to social norms makes a person more likeable in today’s society because it makes people feel more comfortable around that person. The person will also feel more relatable to them.

Event 5: Becoming Bilingual

This song called Kingdom Dance by Alan Menken from the Tangled soundtrack seemed fitting because the feeling that I get when I listen to this song is how I feel when I am in French class, or speaking French. I have a genuine passion for the language and I cannot help but feel upbeat when I speak it, much like how I feel when I hear this song. This song connects to my life because when I hear it, I feel adventurous and happy, ready for something new. I feel that this is how I feel when I learn new languages. Not only did I learn the language in my French class, but I also learned about the cultural aspect of the language. This made me feel like I was more connected to the adventurous side of the language, almost like I was paying a visit to France when I walked in the door to my French class. Kingdom Dance reveals that I am a person who loves to venture into life with a smile on my face. I love trying new things, and I welcome change in my life. This event relates to the topic of cognition, as it took many years, but I finally became bilingual through a lot of studying of the language. When I would study, the information would be stored first in my short term memory, and then in my long term memory. I would use an abundance of mnemonic devices to help me remember things to be prepared for a test. I would encode ideas in more ways than any other class because it was a language class. Learning a language requires one to encode the information in more ways than one. I had to practice speaking the language by listening and repeating my teacher, this was using my echoic memory. I also had to learn how to write, read, and understand the language in all aspects. This required me to use my iconic memory while studying, and retrieval of the information while I was taking the test.

Event 6: Growing up with a phobia

The name of the song I chose for this life event is The Monster by Eminem featuring Rihanna. The song is important to me because it has always reminded me of a very prominent and troubling event in my life. Dating back to as long as I can remember I have always had an intense phobia. This song is about a person who makes “friends with a monster” that is under their bed, and “get[s] along with the voices inside of [her] head”. These two lines in particular really reminded me of coping with a phobia. Through therapy, medication, and hard work, it is possible to become friends with your “monster”. To me, the monster in this song is representative of my phobia, and over the years, I have made very good progress in managing it. This song reveals that I am a very strong and capable person. I do not give up when I am faced with a problem, I welcome it and try my absolute best to conquer my fears. I think it is important in life to be perseverant, and not let anything get in your way or stop you, regardless of how intense a fear is. The only way to rid yourself of a fear is to face it head-on.

Event 7: Studying hard for a good GPA

The next song in my collection is called Radioactive and is by the band Imagine Dragons. This song is important to me because it reminds me of getting things done. The song itself is very powerful and that is how I feel when I get a lot of things done. It connects to my life because whenever I have a lot of things I have to get done such as homework, I feel the way this song makes me feel when I listen to it. Making good grades to ensure a good GPA for instance, is hard work and requires a lot of studying as well as time. I think this song reveals that I am a person who likes to get things done and out of the way instead of procrastinating; it also shows that I strongly value my work ethic and work hard to keep it at its best. This song relates to cognition because in order to study for all of my many tests and quizzes to receive a good GPA, I had to store the information in my brain. The information was stored primarily in my short term memory through all types of encoding methods, and was later stored in my long term memory. I have also noticed that certain classes seem to store information for a longer amount of time compared to others. For math classes, I have found that the information has stuck in my long term memory for the longest amount of time. This is most likely because math is a cumulative subject and each year you use information from prior years of math.

Event 8: Car Crash

The song I chose for my last event is called Wide Awake and it is by Katy Perry. This song and picture are both very important to me because it represents a very difficult time in my life. The song reminds me of this event because of the lyrics such as “I was in the dark” and “I was falling hard”. These specific parts of the song bring me back to the time of my life during and after my first car accident. It was a very troubling and dark time in my life and I definitely felt like I was in the dark myself. I think it reveals that although I do suffer sometimes, I will get back up from where I fall every time, and I think it is important to not dwell on things and move forward in life. This relates to mental health because after the accident, I suffered from a mild case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I would be terrified to even set foot in a car, much less drive one, and I felt that I couldn’t drive for months. Instead of driving, I would ask my mom or other friends for rides, and if they could not take me, I wouldn’t go to where I needed to be. Although this was a horrible time in my life, I have come back from it and learned a lot.

Through the study of Psychology, I have learned that a lot of the events in my life have related to it. I hope to study it more in college, and be able to find more things in my life to connect it to.

The End!

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