By Ella French
Thanksgiving. An American holiday where family and friends gather to celebrate what we are thankful for, and celebrate our country's history of the pilgrims and native Americans coming together and giving thanks, but is that really the truth of Thanksgiving?
The historical truth of Thanksgiving might not really be what it seems. The way we learn about Thanksgiving in school isn’t always true. We learned about a peaceful, friendly, inviting relationship between the Native Americans and Pilgrims which isn’t completely true. The historical context surrounding Thanksgiving that we get is that the Native Americans and Pilgrims were unified and built our country together, that their relationship was peaceful. In reality, prior to Thanksgiving, pilgrims brought over illnesses and diseases that wiped out approximately 80% of the Native American population.
Thanksgiving followed a huge massacre on the Pequot people in 1637 which resulted in the death of around 700 natives, and the captivity of many more. Also, the fact that the Native Americans were invited to the pilgrims feast is a misconception as well. Although it is speculated, it has never been proven.
This Thanksgiving, we should take a moment to recognize the true story and historical context surrounding the holiday, and look into the truth behind our history in order to better understand where we as Americans have been and where we are going.
By Dayshaun Clark
Many students are stressed over the long process of finding a college that is a perfect fit for them because they wait too long.
Many high school students don't start looking for colleges until their senior year. Some students might even think that they have all year to pick out a college but you don't. For most colleges, “The majority of college deadlines will fall in November or January of your senior year,” explained blog.prepscholar.com. It is better to know or have an idea of what college you would like to attend before heading into your senior year. Especially if you play a sport because not every college has the sport you play.
There are a few steps that you will need to do before going to college like getting financial aid with FAFSA, which is an application that will take a few hours to complete with a parent or guardian. Look for a college that has everything you need to be successful, looking for scholarships to lower the cost of college and having connections would also help especially as a recommendation. If you have already done these before your senior year, you can get a head start by getting to know the people there first hand and building a connection.
Personally, as a senior I wished I had an idea of what school I would want to attend because I have options to go to college here in Rochester, in Florida with my mom, or Arizona with my dad and now I have less time to decide where I want to go especially with me wanting to play lacrosse in college so my environment is also a factor of where I want to go. So there's a lot of thought that has to go into picking a college and it can be stressful so to help avoid that it is better to get a head start into knowing where you want to go.
By Ryan Bernard-Amico
Video games have been very popular in groups of teenagers, some even play up to 8 hours daily which is substantially harmful toward thought and learning processes. According to Trailcarolina.com, “Intense action and shooting games tap into the fight or flight response in teen’s brains. The overload of stimuli causes stress to increase and this hyper arousal leaves the teen mentally depleted. This can lead to a shortened attention span, impulsiveness, and lowered ability to deal with frustration.” Video games can also make students focus more on gaming than on submitting assignments and attending school then fall behind the rest.
Though gaming can have a negative effect on the brain it can also have some positive effects. According to Brainlife.com, “Video games can help the brain in a number of ways, such as enhanced visual perception, improved ability to switch between tasks, and better information processing.” Certain games can help teens with focusing troubles focus on the content of the game and help them to focus on more crucial things. One of the most harmful effects of gaming is losing sleep at night which throws off sleep schedule and makes it harder to stay awake during the day. Parents are concerned about this for their children’s future and whether or not video games are right for their children and the reasoning behind it because their child might be headed down this path and want to know what to do in order to help them stay on track to a successful and meaningful future. Like anything, moderation is the key.
By Lex Cornell
The First Amendment states that no part of congress or government can make laws with the regard of religion. When we take a look at many of the abortion laws we will see a lot of them stem from religious beliefs, specifically The Texas Heartbeat Act, which went into law September 01, 2021.
Currently, the abortion laws within Texas are the most ruthless. Texas Right to Life, a Christian group, was also quick to celebrate the court’s move. “This is a tremendous victory,” Elizabeth Graham, vice president of Texas Right to Life, said in an interview. “We hope that pregnant women will have all the resources they need to be empowered to choose life. We are celebrating this and thanking God for the blessing of this law.” Her group has already created a ‘Pro-Life Whistleblower’ website that encourages users to supply anonymous tips about people they believe have violated the law. Faith-based perspectives are forcing their beliefs that abortions are wrong in “God’s” eyes and that those people are blessed to be with child. Based on the “Pro-Life Whistleblower” website they make it very hard for women to get abortions because if they get the abortion or attempt it they could get sued for $10k and have to keep an unwanted fetus.
Relating back to the laws around abortion, “The new law that came into effect in September outlaws most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is usually around six weeks into a pregnancy. There are exceptions for medical emergencies, though those are not clearly defined in the law, and no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.” To break this down, in Texas they outlaw abortions before most mothers even know they're pregnant and they make it impossible for the mother to make the choice even in cases of rape or incest. This means that people who’ve already gone through a very traumatic event can’t get the help they need which will result in the fetus being a reminder of the event or to the mother attempting a “home-made” abortion.
Relating back to religion and abortions, people think that abortion laws are unrelated to religion. Rather, they are related to many religious beliefs, which in the end violates our First Amendment rights.
By C’Morra Cuffie
We’ve all heard the phrase “money can't buy happiness.” This saying means money can buy material things but true happiness should come from within. But is that really true? In the article “Money can buy happiness after all” says, “Previous research has indicated that money stops buying happiness after $75,000/year. However, new research finds a strong correlation between income and happiness, trending upwards even after $80,000/year.”
Three reasons why money CAN buy happiness are #1: Money can help others, if you're a giving person who loves helping others, having a lot of money can make you happy and just knowing the person you helped is happy is just a very good feeling. Also if you have billions you can stop things like world hunger. #2: Money control, in the article proceedings of the national academy of sciences it says, “Control seems to be tied to respondents’ happiness levels. In fact, having a sense of control accounted for 74% of the association between income and well-being.” #3: No worries about any form of debts, if you have to borrow money from anyone your conditions worsen and cannot return the debts that you owe to them. If you have enough money then you would not have to worry about borrowing any money from others.
Now, three reasons why money CAN’T buy happiness. #1: You will never be satisfied because you will always want more shiny and new things until that new thing becomes old. #2: Money can't buy friends. Although it may seem like the wealthy are surrounded by people who may have friendship qualities such as being supportive, honest and a good listener. Those “friends” tend to fade away and may envy you because you have more money or they use you because you have more money and might stab you in the back one day. #3: Happiness is doing what you love. Happiness should come from doing what actually makes you happy, not what's in your bank account. Why become a nurse if it's boring and tiring? Do what makes you happy and what you have a passion for because that's what genuine happiness is.
In the article, “there's no $75,000 earnings cap on happiness,” and a Wharton study finds, “more money means more happiness. It says “To measure emotional well-being, respondents were given yes or no questions like, “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?” Most answers for those making $75,000 were “yes,” and those making more than $75,000 also answered “yes.” This advanced the perception that happiness does not increase after a certain point. However, the findings might reflect the fact that respondents were not given more choices beyond a simple “yes” or “no.” There was no scale to denote how happy you were.” Furthermore, this is a very controversial topic and you have to know that there are different people with different mindsets who do not know the real meaning of happiness and so they are not able to know how to utilize the money.
By Aryana St. Marthe
Do you ever think about why serial killers kill? I wonder what goes through their mind when they have the urge to kill. I searched up an interview with a psychologist and the serial killer Arthur J. Shawcross. Shawcross, aka Genesee River Killer, was an American serial killer active in Rochester, New York. His first known murders were in 1972 and were a young boy and a girl in his hometown Watertown, New York. He has killed up to 13-16 women and young men and is serving 250 years in prison. In the interview, the interviewers asked him multiple questions about what made him the way he is and asked if he remembers his victims and remembers killing them.
In the video the Rochester Police chief, Captain Lynde Johnson, said the more Shawcross spoke, the more aggressive he got. Captain Johnson said the killing he remembered the most was a woman named June Stock. Stock wasn’t a prostitute like the rest of his victims, she was just a young girl who had mental health issues (she acted younger than her age). Captain Johnson states, “ I think the thing that was the most disturbing about it is that when her body was turned over she was on her stomach and they turned her over he had come back and eviscerated her cut open right from the neck right down to the vagina.” Shawcross’s response was, “It was a fit of anger. We spent a day down Turning Point Park feeding the ducks and walking around and making out and she (June Spock) just flipped jumped up and said I’m gonna scream, I'm gonna tell the cops I had snapped her neck. Stayed there all day until dark and split her open.”
This is where I start wondering why he thought killing her was the only way. This interview (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQNwjEkszvg) is telling me that this man has no emotion, that he doesn’t care about what he has done and his only excuse for the killing is that he was just angry. I wonder if there is an MRI scan or some test that shows the science part of it and shows what happens in his brain specifically. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find one but hopefully in the future I will find one.
By Ramir Wearen
It is no secret that isolation or any form of social isolation could lead to mild social anxiety or in some cases even severe anxiety. Many people tend to think that social anxiety is just fear of interacting with others. Although that plays a part in one realizing that they may be dealing with this condition, it is in all actuality much more than that.
So what exactly is social anxiety? According to the Mayo Clinic, “social anxiety disorder includes fear, anxiety and avoidance that interfere with relationships, daily routines, work, school or other activities.” This disorder typically begins in the early to mid-teens, though it can sometimes start in younger children or in adults but, can these types of conditions be triggered by isolation?
Many studies have shown that throughout the pandemic a large share of young people reported symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder. These types of problems are very common in teens and young adults when facing isolation or disassociation from a specific structure or people they are used to.
“Even those who would consider themselves naturally more extroverted could be struggling,” said Leslie Adams, case therapist at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital when discussing why some may feel anxious about returning to ‘normal’ after living through a year of a global pandemic. As stated in healthline.com, “Dealing with long periods of isolation can increase social anxiety.” These problems need to be addressed more often because most people may be dealing with these issues and have no clue how to overcome them.
If you or anyone else you think may be dealing with social anxiety or other metal conditions especially caused by isolation or the pandemic please seek out professional help or mindfulness practices that could be helpful to them.
By C’Morra Cuffie
There are many types of depression but one people may not know about and can be found in teens more than adults is called “smiling depression.” Yes it's actually a real thing but it is also known as high-functioning depression. According to Newport Academy it states, “Experts believe that smiling depression may actually be a condition known as major depression disorder with atypical symptoms.”
Researchers estimate between 15 and 40 percent of people with this depression encountered present atypical symptoms. This depression may be misleading as it is very mysterious to look for. Sometimes even teens may not realize that they are depressed. For example they may have the persistent feeling of sadness or loss in certain interests, changes in sleep, appetite and energy level. However, coping with high-functioning depression can leave teens feeling isolated because no one can see what they are going through because they hide it so well. Without any help, teens with this type of depression are at a higher risk for self-harm or suicide.
Teens put on a happy face to the world because they don't want to stress other people out with what they are really feeling on the inside. They are exhausted with trying to hide their depression 24/7 and because of this they may feel overwhelmed, hopelessness, lack of confidence and self-worth, anxiety, mood swings, difficulty concentrating or and making decisions, suicidal thoughts, feeling “too fast” or “too slow,” and even headaches.
Some reasons why teens hide their smiling depression is because they feel that struggling emotionally is a weakness and don't want anyone to see them, thinking they “lack personal character.” Teens with smiling depression are often perfectionists and afraid to fail, having high expectations of themselves and don't want to let anyone down. Usually teens with this depression have past grief that they build up inside them holding all their feelings in.
Furthermore if the teen is having family problems such as financial issues or their parents are divorcing they sometimes hide their depression because they think it's a burden, causing more problems. According to Newport Academy, “That may be one reason for a possible increase in smiling depression, along with other mental issues during the pandemic.” That is to say teens may feel guilty about complaining thinking they don't have it as “bad” as somebody else or they're just in denial about them having depression.
There are no specific treatment options available, however. According to Medical News Today it states, “Psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) and medication. A doctor may prescribe various drugs, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).” Not everyone responds the same way to these drugs, so people should speak up to their healthcare provider and let them know about any side effects they have in response to the medication.
By Mckenna French
An antidepressant is a medicine to help treat depression and other mental illnesses. They work by transmitting nerve signals to corresponding receptors in the brain. But are they really helpful? And if so, are the side effects worth it?
According to NHS, there are different types of antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Side effects of SSRIs and SNRIs can include - anxiousness, loss of appetite, stomach aches, dizziness, insomnia, headaches, etc. Common side effects of TCAs can include - dry mouth, blurring of vision, drowsiness, weight gain, excessive sweating, heart palpitations or tachycardia, and more. Potential health risks may occur while taking antidepressants, as well as serotonin syndrome, hyponatraemia, diabetes, and suicidal thoughts.
There are times when these side effects and health issues don’t show up in people on antidepressants. According to Very Well Mind, antidepressants will affect different people in different ways. “While the antidepressants in a class will tend to have similar side effects and mechanisms of action, there are differences in their molecular structures which can influence how well the drug is absorbed, disseminated, or tolerated in different people,” the article states. People tend to have a variety of reactions to any medication they are taking that the next person does not experience.
Though antidepressants are one of the most common ways to treat depression, there are other alternatives. These alternatives include, counselling, interpersonal therapy, exercise and self-help groups. For more mental health resources, visit https://www.verywellmind.com/national-helpline-database-4799696
By Ella French
It was an ordinary Sunday morning, I felt the cool breeze sneaking through the window. While I was cleaning my Nana's kitchen, I reached for a book with a pink spine that was on the floor. I turned the book over and the title read, “How to Survive Breast Cancer: The Manual”
Breast Cancer. A scary topic. A cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. According to the CDC, “Each year in the United States, about 255,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,300 in men. About 42,000 women and 500 men in the U.S. die each year from breast cancer.” October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month because in October of 1985, the American Cancer society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries formed a partnership. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of Breast Cancer.
There are many ways that you can spread awareness. According to nationalbreastcancer.org, “You can spread awareness by Rallying in Screening everyone such as make a donation to provide life-saving mammograms to women in need.” You can also Rally in Serving Everyone by volunteering to “join virtually in Helping Women Now.¨ Lastly, you can Rally in Supporting everyone by, “spread[ing] the word about Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.” These are just a few ways that you can join in and support those in need.
Breast Cancer is extremely common and devastating worldwide and deserves awareness. My Nana, as mentioned previously, survived breast cancer. You have the power in your hands and to help against the fight to increase the survival rate. Feel free to visit nationalbreastcancer.org to learn more about how you can spread awareness. You can also donate at fundraise.nbcf.org.