What College Students Say About Ignoring Text Messages, Sharing Their Lives Online, and Being a “Melting Man”
This image depicts the reality of how exhausting life can be at times, highlighting a struggle we all know. From an outside perspective, you don’t know exactly what the man is going through, but it’s obvious that something he’s going through in his life is weighing him down, eroding his overall energy. As someone who has a very busy and stressful schedule as an AP student, employee, girlfriend, daughter, sister, etc., this photo says it all. After a long, stressful week full of deadlines and finish times, it’s easy to feel so tired you could melt. This photo shows how all people are probably feeling at times, although we may not know exactly what they are going through.
— Mikayla, Bryant High School
Warnings about getting too settled into routines
For me, this image shows how easily a life can fade into a monotonous lifestyle. And about how it’s all too easy for a life to become boring and uneventful at school or at work. For me, I would feel that way because of school. I wake up at the same time every day, just to take the same eight classes for eight hours every day. And once I’m done with that, I go home and continue to do my homework for a varying number of hours each day, usually about two to three more hours. And once I’m finally done with all of that, I have some time to live my life the way I want to before falling asleep just to wake up and repeat the whole process. It gets tiring and boring, and no one wants that. So I think this image is telling you to change up your life a bit once in a while to avoid blending into a monotonous lifestyle.
— Peter, Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn IL
I think this image captures the feeling that accompanies a lack of motivation or inspiration. It’s the feeling of laziness that seems to accumulate in one place, sticking to it like melting ice on a hot sidewalk. When devoted to motivation, it’s hard to get out of a specific mindset. We usually tell ourselves that we just can’t finish that project late, hang out, or even see friends and family, simply because lack of motivation makes those things impossible. It may even seem that keeping us upright, at the very least, is impossible. This is when we feel stuck, both physically and mentally, and can feel ourselves “melting away” from the stresses, pressures, or boredom of everyday life.
— Keweenaw, Glenbard West High School
Or the importance of taking care of your mental health
I think the artist is trying to represent mental health. The image shows a man looking upwards while melting away, which may represent that he is just going through the motions of each day without thinking too much about it. When Covid-19 hit we were on strict lockdown and limited where we were allowed to go. Because of this, some people may feel like they are trapped at home, which can eventually lead to anxiety or depression. I can relate to this personally because during the second year of confinement, my mental health was really bad to the point that I had panic attacks every 2 days. Overall, the message I think the image wants to convey is to indulge in self-care.
— Madeline, Hawkins High School, Los Angeles, CA
I personally think it can mean a lot of things. But the main subject I thought of when I first watched this was someone overwhelmed, drowning in their own thoughts. The peace shown in his eyes could be the uncontrollable urge to look like you’re okay, or the look you have when you look inside your head, not in front of you. The melting eyes I feel represent the tears that are flowing from all the stress and sadness that self-doubt can cause. The melting head is like the feeling of losing your head, of no longer being yourself. And the casual pose could mean it can be a daily thing for someone. That he’s used to not feeling well every day.
— Yosibel, Classical High School, RI
Her eyes melt with her face, giving the illusion of crying. And although crying is usually associated with sadness and negative emotions, I think it’s worth mentioning that both of her eyes look upwards, symbolizing that there is hope in every situation. I believe that no matter what circumstances we go through, we will always have within us the ability to pull through in the end. Whether you believe in a God or not, we are constantly tested. Although we may feel discouraged and ‘melt down’, it’s up to us to get it right, and I believe we’re all more than capable of doing it.
— Teak, Hoggard High School in Wilmington, North Carolina
Melting man speaks
Sitting there watching. She’s at the front of the class talking endless spiel. Again and again…American Revolution…John Locke…George Washington…Catch every couple of words in a sentence. Feeling the walls begin to close in on you. Maintain eye contact. Keep nodding your head. Close your eyes, you’re being disrespectful. To wake up. Your head starts to feel heavy, every sound you hear in the room around you blends together as if everything is distant. The impression of drowning alone in a fog. Waiting for something to happen. Nothing.
— Maya, Block 1, Hoggard High School Wilmington, NC