Summerville High Student Uses Art to Cope

Amaya Mansman, Contributor

Frinces Jhana Galera (Jhana), a Summerville High School student, just won first place in visual arts for the PTSA Reflections competition and is now going to the state competition. Art has been a stable coping mechanism for her during her whole life no matter what she was feeling like right now. I’ve known and been best friends with Jhana since seventh grade.

The loss of the recent Summerville student, Jaquarie Perry, has affected her and her living situation. She was asked how third quarter started out, and she said, “It’s been overwhelming because so much is already changing and the block schedule messes it up because we have to meet new people second semester just when we were getting comfortable.”

Jhana is a very different person, and doesn’t always want to feel the same as everyone else, so she was then asked if she’s willing to try new things? “Yes, I don’t always like to feel comfortable especially with my art.” She’s been doing art since she was little, and does lots of art for other people.

Just like any other teenager, she has lost a lot of friends or grew apart from them. Since high school began, what she looks for in a friend has changed.

“I want a friend to be someone I can tell anything to without having them judge me for what I tell them.”

Growing up having to get jobs, save, and worrying about yourself also consists of doing more for yourself. She was asked if she’s willing to do more for herself. “No, because I’m lazy, and always focus more on what other people need.” Jhana spends much of her time being a better friend to everyone else.

She grew up with Jaquarie and also lived in the same neighborhood as him. It took a very big toll on her when she learned of his passing. After the recent loss of someone, how much does it affect you?

“I just never knew it would happen to someone I know or grew up with; someone that’s also my neighbor and next to my house. I can’t process it.”

Recently, through 2019 into the start of 2020, the lives of many people have been lost, but a majority are young people. Her thoughts on the whole situation on losing young people is that “It’s crazy I can’t imagine how people would feel that would talk to him daily.” At Summerville, balloon releases and a ceremony have occurred in remembrance.

Along with that, her whole opinion was that she pays attention to all the deaths she’s been hearing about–not just the younger people.

Ever since the loss, and even before that, Jhana hasn’t always felt the safest. She said it’s very unsafe because “everything that happens between drive-by shootings and bad people living in my area.”

Jhana doesn’t even feel safe sometimes in the car with her brother because of the shootings. It scares her to leave the house.

Many bad things happen in the world, so she explained that she is unsure of what her strategy would be to get out of a bad situation; she gets anxiety, so if something really happened she doesn’t know what she would do.

Emotionally, teenagers take the deaths of other teens very hard due to the thought that things like that could happen to them too. Some parts affect Jhana because so many bad things are going on between politics and bad people. She constantly thinks about the what-ifs–if something happened to a best friend, or even herself.

Jhana wishes change for next generations due to bad causes and situations the world has had to watch. “Hopefully  better generation teach them how to act and not act how we do now…have better morals and be open minded.”

Teenagers have a very hard time dealing with everything around them. People are everywhere and everyone is growing and expected to be an adult, but they are still kids. Jhana says it’s very stressful and adults think it’s not a big deal because “we are kids, but because we are kids it’s harder to deal with; adults should understand that.”

She deals with whatever comes to her. There is no schedule so her life just revolves around going along with everything.

Jhana hopes to have a successful future with her art, and she’s proud of all her work since middle school.

Summerville itself was all over social media and had a very hard week. Everyone being sad can have an effect on you, too. Jhana explains this happened to someone who no one would expect; it doesn’t feel the same and no one can talk to him, so now everyone has a heavy heart.

Other source Lena Busco has been best friends with Jhana, and Lena says she can always tell when she’s sad and how much the loss hurt her. She needed comfort even if they didn’t talk everyday. Jhana would say her heart was heavy, and cried almost any time he was talked about.

Lena wishes more good for the world and that there is no reason to fight. There are fights at SHS, but it made the whole school treat each other as one when the news about Jaquarie got around.

During that week, there was a moment of silence, and a memorial at school where everyone was mourning and crying. The balloon release felt like everyone was “letting go,” stated Lena.