What Students Are Saying About Objects of Comfort, Lessons From TV and Political Divisions

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Like Ms. Lalami, I also have an object of deep significance to my life and culture: a jade bracelet. When I move out, my mother promises to pass it on to me just as her father had passed it on to her. In Chinese culture, the gemstone jade symbolizes a variety of qualities, but most often, it represents wisdom and protection. In addition, the more intense the green color of the jade, the more valuable and strong the jade bracelet is. Traditionally, the jade bracelet can also be seen as a status symbol, but to me, her pale green bracelet simply represents a token of my mother’s story. When she chose to immigrate to the US, she brought just a few things with her, such as passports and clothes, but she also chose to bring the jade bracelet. Reflecting on it now, she dismissed the idea of holding on to photos of her family, so the jade bracelet is now the last gift she has from her father. In my eyes, the jade bracelet is not only a symbol of love and purity but has also become a symbol of my cultural heritage and my mother’s courage. Lucy Wu, NY

An object that has a special meaning to me is a necklace with beads on it spelling out my name from Kenya. My cousin, aunt, and uncle moved to Kenya for two years when I was around five. The necklace was one of the things they sent. This is similar to what Ms. Lalami said because I was also scared that I was drifting away from my past and my family, so I held on to the things they sent me from Kenya, including the necklace. The necklace helped remind me of them and it helped me feel closer to my cousin, even when we were far away from each other. Tess M., J.R. Masterman

The objects that bring me the most comfort are photographs. No matter the medium — physical or digital — photographs of myself, my friends, or my family are always able to bring me comfort. I think this is related to my tendency to look at memories and the past ‘through rose colored glasses’. When I see a picture it reminds me of that moment in time, and all the positives in my life at that point. I don’t reflect on the little, insignificant stressors or negatives I felt were so strong in the moment, only the general calmness and happiness I felt during that period of my life. This makes reflecting on old photographs exceedingly comforting, as it’s an easy way to remind myself that eventually all my current struggles will be mere afterthoughts, overshadowed by my general joy and excitement. Joe, Glenbard West HS

As a teenager one of my must sentimental items I possess is my phone. While some might be posing the question how does a phone hold any sentimental value in ones life? To me my phone has so many memories that I will hold close forever. My phone allows me to remember all the great trips I took with my family and all the fun Friday nights I spent with my friends thanks to all the pictures I hold on my phone. Similarly, the contacts in my phone allow me to connect with my family that lives afar. In other words growing up with technology has allowed me to consider my phone my most sentimental item to me, because all of the memories I have on there. The largest reason I consider my phone extremely sentimental is also because I know that I will make many more memories and my phone will always be there to capture the moment. Maggie McDonnell, Glenbard West highschool, IL

In Texas, Dr. Pepper is the most popular soda. How can it not be? It is literally liquid comfort and happiness in a can. I have some anytime I’m celebrating a birthday with my family, after spending hours playing basketball with my friends, or even when I need a pick-me-up after a hard day. I think Dr. Pepper started to bring me comfort because every time I would go to my grandma’s house to eat dinner I would have one, and slowly I just associated it with good times until it became a symbol of happiness. Brady Jacobs, Lubbock, Texas

Something that brings comfort to me is my watch. A watch wouldn’t usually have much sentimental value, but I have been putting on the same watch every morning for the past three years. A part of my night time routine is taking my watch off and placing it in the upper right corner of my vanity, just a little in front of the barn shaped Scentsy warmer in the corner. This is what helps start my morning routine. I wake up, put on my workout clothes, go over to my bathroom and put my watch on before doing all the other normal things (brushing my teeth, putting my contacts in, etc.). I start everyday putting on a small black, digital watch, with silver hardware. I put it on the second to smallest hole so I can have the right ratio of looseness to snugness. I run cross country at my school and it is very nerve racking before a race, but I have my watch. The watch that I can time myself with, but not get disqualified for, the watch that I wear everyday, the watch that makes me just the slightest bit more relaxed each day. My watch, a silly $15 watch from Walmart, is one thing that brings me comfort. Paige Campos, Lubbock, Tx.

The objects that bring me the most comfort, are my art supplies. One of my favorite things to do is make art. I do it when I am happy and excited, but also sad, nervous, mad. In other words, it brings me peace. Using my supplies are my escape from any negativity in my life. My paint brushes, oil pastels, color pencils and paint are the objects that allow me to express myself and they are so important. Brooke Benson, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

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