The Pride https://wwsthepride.org The Student News Site of Wheaton Warrenville South High School Tue, 05 Nov 2019 23:49:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Mental Health Days https://wwsthepride.org/1184/opinion/mental-health-days/ Tue, 05 Nov 2019 23:41:58 +0000 https://wwsthepride.org/?p=1184 According to Psychology Today, “The average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950’s”. With the amount of tasks and activities students have to handle every day it’s easy see the origination of this high level of anxiety. 

Students at Wheaton Warrenville South High School are desperate for a solution to help  control their stress and anxiety. A senior at South, Zoe Jethani, has found a solution of her own. She calls them mental health days and she takes about 4 or 5 of them every school year. On her mental health days she, “sleeps in and catches up on work”. Jethani usually takes these days off during her most stressful parts of the year, such as finals week or even a week that is so busy she doesn’t have much time to do work. “I feel less stressed and more prepared for the rest of the school week”. She has felt results from these days off once she could finally focus on catching up on work, reducing her feeling of being overwhelmed.

Mental health days seem to be the only solution to help students control the amount of work and activities they have to handle outside of school. However there are other options in school for students needing more advice and support–high school counselors. However, the National Association of Secondary School Principals reports that “By the 2014–15 school year, there was one school counselor for every 482 students. The recommended ratio from the American School Counseling Association is one school counselor for every 250 students”. Counselors are supposed to care for each student individually and meet each one’s needs, but it’s hard to keep track of more than 482 students and the unique life of each one. 

However a good support system at school is important for students to get the attention they deserve and keep in check with them if their families can’t. The National School of Psychologists states that “Schools offer an ideal context for prevention, intervention, positive development, and regular communication between school and families”. Even though counselors can’t give their all to each student, those in need of immediate help can have a strong support system. On the other hand, the school environment could be the whole reason for stress and anxiety in students.

The Washington Post reports that “83 percent of teens said that school was “a somewhat or significant source of stress”. Taking this in account, it’s clear that something needs to be done to help students cope with the stress of today’s life. “I think that mental health is an issue and needs to be addressed on a more day-to-day basis with students and teachers” says Jethani. Students can get so caught up in the idea of perfection that they forget their own health should be first priority. Yet she isn’t the only one who thinks this mental health days are beneficial. Fiona Deguzman, a senior at South, takes those days to “recharge when the pressures of school and outside activities are too overwhelming”. 

High school students are calling out for help and are looking for the school district to pay attention to the needs of stressed students. If the school was to give a student one mental health day each semester, students could finally use a day to improve their productivity and lifestyle, leading to better habits for the future.

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My Two Cents https://wwsthepride.org/1240/opinion/my-two-cents/ Tue, 05 Nov 2019 17:18:15 +0000 https://wwsthepride.org/?p=1240 Walking down Michigan Avenue, the tall buildings glistening overhead, a man with a small dog and a wheelchair sits at the street corner with a sign that reads, “Money 4 food.” Feeling unsure of what to do, you give him a wide breadth and guiltily hurry away, not knowing whether to look or to avoid eye contact. You have heard the rumors, “All they will ever spend it on is drugs and alcohol,” but your heart hurts as you pass by. The struggle of whether to give or not to give money to homeless individuals on the street is one that people of all ages are faced with, especially those who live in more densely populated areas. Although giving money directly to homeless people has the potential to alleviate their immediate needs, the best way to benefit the homeless population is through hands on volunteering and providing a way out of poverty. 

Homelessness is a widespread issue that affects multiple sectors of the population and is prevalent in the Chicagoland area. According to the Chicago Tribune, “With more than 80,000 people who are homeless or lacking adequate shelter in Chicago, according to a May 2018 Chicago Coalition for the Homeless analysis of 2016 census data, this may be a problem you run into almost every day as you make your way through the city.” 

As a result of the ubiquity of homeless people and the severity of their situation, some are inclined to donate money directly to the individual in need. According to Diane O’Connell, a community lawyer for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, “If you believe in the dignity and autonomy of other human beings, then you believe and understand that money is what they need to meet their basic needs.” Regarding the fears that the homeless will simply turn around and spend the money on alcohol and drugs, O’Connell states, “Whether or not a person has an addiction they also have personal needs.” 

Mrs. Williams, a teacher at Wheaton-Warrenville South High School, expressed a similar sentiment when she shared her philosophy from when she used to live in the city. “I don’t feel like it’s my right to impose on someone else what they can and cannot [spend the money on]. They can spend it on whatever because that’s part of human dignity […] You’re not going to save someone from destruction whether you give or don’t give, it’s a systemic problem that stems beyond an individual donation,” Williams stated. 

Some South Students expressed similar viewpoints. Nicolas Kozee reflected, “I’ve always been told that if I give money to homeless people, they’ll just use it for drugs. I don’t think this is always true and frankly, what happens with the money after I give it to someone is none of my business. The changes of the money I give being used to help someone outweighs any possible negative outcomes.” 

While it is true that donating money directly to those in need has the potential to be very effective in eliminating their short term hardships, this method is not without repercussions. According to The Atlantic, “We choose to donate money based on the level of perceived need. Beggars known this, so there is an incentive on their part to exaggerate their need, by either lying about their circumstances or letting their appearance visibly deteriorate rather than seek help.” In a sense, donating enables the beggar to remain a beggar. 

Although donating money has certain drawbacks, these drawbacks can be eliminated when the donation is accompanied by support. The old proverb comes to mind, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” The homeless do not just need money, they need a way off the streets and a way to get started–they need a guiding hand. Instead of donating to the individual, effectively giving a fish to feed them for the day, people should donate to charitable organizations that have the necessary tools to provide services such as addiction recovery, medical care, job placement, shelter, food, sanitation, and other necessities that plague the homeless population and make getting off the streets so difficult. 

To this end, according to The Atlantic, “If we drop change in a beggar’s hand without donating to a charity, we’re acting to relieve our guilt rather than [the] underlying crisis of poverty.” Therefore, although the decision is entirely up to the individual and varies based on the situation, it is more beneficial in the long run to donate funds and volunteer at nonprofits that benefit the homeless. In this way, we are donating more than just the loose change from our pockets, we are showing that we care.

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Quote of the Week: Nov. 3rd – 9th https://wwsthepride.org/1217/quote-of-the-week/quote-of-the-week-nov-3rd-9th/ Sun, 03 Nov 2019 12:00:10 +0000 https://wwsthepride.org/?p=1217

“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way can always give meaning and transform it into something of value.”

-Herman Hesse

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4 Easy DIY Halloween Costumes https://wwsthepride.org/1207/features/4-easy-diy-halloween-costumes/ Wed, 30 Oct 2019 02:32:18 +0000 https://wwsthepride.org/?p=1207 Dressing up for Halloween is so much fun, but sometimes it’s hard to decide what you’re going to be. No one wants to be stuck buying the first thing they see at Target, but they also don’t have time to create an elaborate costume by themselves. Fear no more! This collection of 4 DIY costumes will help people scrambling for ideas at the last minute.

Skittles or M&Ms

  1. Get a red or brown shirt.
  2. Cut out different-colored circles of construction paper.
  3. Write “s” or “m” on each circle in white crayon, colored pencil, or pen. You could also paint the letters with white paint for a bolder effect.
  4. Use a glue gun to adhere the Skittles or M&Ms to the shirt.

Pro Tip: Give the glue gun time to heat up so that the glue is nice and liquidy. Also, be extra careful to avoid burning yourself.

Jellyfish

  1. Use an umbrella that’s clear or is a bright solid color.
  2. Get feather boas and tulle that go with your color scheme.
  3. Using a glue gun or clear packaging tape, adhere the feather boas and tulle to the edge of the umbrella like tentacles.
  4. Add eyes to the umbrella using either felt or drawing with a marker.
  5. Dress up in colors that go with the jellyfish.

Pro Tip: Add LED lights to the umbrella to make the jellyfish glow.

Stuffed Animal

  1. Grab your favorite animal onesie.
  2. Make a tag of a popular stuffed animal brand such as ty, Douglas, or Build-a-Bear.
  3. Punch a hole in the tag and use a ribbon to create a bracelet or lanyard for the stuffed animal.

Candy Corn

Warning: This one requires more time!

  1. Get a plain white shirt.
  2. Using tie dye, make the bottom third of the shirt yellow and the middle third orange, leaving the top white.
  3. Put the shirt in a plastic bag and let it sit for about a day.
  4. Then take the shirt out of the bag to squeeze out excess dye and wash it for the first time in the washing machine.
  5. Pair with black pants for extra warmth!

Pro Tip: You can also make the iconic white candy corn tip by taking a plastic headband and taping a white paper cone on top.

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Are Sweatpants the New Skirt? https://wwsthepride.org/1187/features/are-sweatpants-the-new-skirt/ Mon, 28 Oct 2019 22:12:48 +0000 https://wwsthepride.org/?p=1187  

            Sweatpants are the best article of clothing ever invented.  In today’s world, most people are more motivated by convenience rather than appearance. The ease of slipping on a pair of sweatpants and walking right out the door as well as the comfort these clothes provide are two of the main reasons students have begun to lean towards wearing sweatpants and hoodies rather than a skirt or a nice top to school. 

In the past, all of the studies conducted by researchers have proven that dressing up in nicer clothes has a direct correlation with people performing better on tests and being more successful in general. Although this may be true of past generations, nowadays only 19.2% of the students surveyed at Wheaton Warrenville South High School report that they dress up two or more days a week. That means that at least half of the week, students are dressed in comfier clothes over nice or professional attire. This casual style was not always “in” as Dierdre Clemente from Time Magazine wrote, “The idea of wearing sweatpants during my teenage years, the 90’s, was something almost every highschooler would scoff at.” Ironically enough, if someone walked into a highschool classroom today in anything more than jeans, they would definitely get some stares or questions.

As the number of students wearing dressy clothes decreases, so does the pressure highschoolers feel to look nice for school. On a scale of one to five, only 15% of students report feeling a pressure level of three to wear nice clothes. All remaining students stated that the level they felt was a one or two, meaning the amount of pressure students feel to dress nice has significantly decreased from past generations. The idea of what dressing up is has also evolved over time. When asked what dressing up was to her, senior Taylor Jamieson said it was wearing a “skirt or dress.” This was a very popular response among those who answered the survey. Others definitions described outfits of khaki pants and nice shirts as well as jean skirts with a nice top. According to similar studies done in the 90’s by Time Magazine, jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt was as casual as most students went. Many, in fact, opted for nicer clothes on a daily basis. Adults have attempted to point out flaws in this change stating that casual dress causes kids to be lazier and less productive. In reality, grades and GPA averages for highschool students are on the rise as according to a pew research study. 

The rise in popularity of comfortable clothing can be attributed to many things. Overall, our culture has become much more relaxed. The tech industry and the development of dress codes has greatly impacted what the countries youth wear. When kids see successful adults such as Steve Job doing presentations in jeans and a t-shirt, it supports the idea that they no longer need to wear a tie or dress to be successful. Societal influences are just one of the many influences of today’s trends, though they are the main reason so many highschool students walk around in sweats everyday of the week. 

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Quote of the Week: October 27th – Nov 2nd https://wwsthepride.org/1140/quote-of-the-week/quote-of-the-week-october-27th-nov-2nd/ Sun, 27 Oct 2019 11:00:51 +0000 https://wwsthepride.org/?p=1140

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on- it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”

-Napoleon Bonaparte

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Teenagers Are More Aware of Climate Change Than People Expect https://wwsthepride.org/1154/uncategorized/teenagers-are-more-aware-of-climate-change-than-people-expect/ Tue, 22 Oct 2019 12:17:09 +0000 https://wwsthepride.org/?p=1154 According to Climate Chat, 70% of Americans realize that climate change is happening; however, 30% see climate change as a distant problem. Climate change has been a hot topic in the world of politics for many years, but recently it’s taken a turn. More people in the world are aware of climate change than ever and this creates an opportunity for discussion and change.  

Climate change is the overarching problem affecting the Earth’s health and is one contribution to global warming. Two thirds of the sun’s heat enters the atmosphere and then is absorbed by the planet. Gases such as carbon dioxide and methane trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere naturally, a phenomenon called the greenhouse effect. So when there is an increase of heat from inside the atmosphere, such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation and emissions from forms of transportation, then there are more gases to trap more heat (refer to figure 1). Out of over 50 surveyed at Wheaton Warrenville South, 85.5% of students said climate change is a huge deal and large-scale actions need to be taken. “I try not to use plastic bags,” said Carly Briggs, a senior at South. “I have my own metal straw, I recycle what I can” and “I try to take short showers.” 

Earth Journalism explained that human activities including “industry, transport, energy generation and deforestation all produce these greenhouse gases. The total concentration of these gases has risen greatly since the start of the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the average global temperature has also risen over that time period.” As the Earth’s temperature increases, “sea levels will rise as water takes up more space as it heats up” and “dangerous disruptive effects on the Earth’s climate” will become apparent. Students at South have taken it upon themselves to aid at an individual level and a total of 44% report that, when given the chance, they always recycle. 

Frank Novakowski, AP Environmental Science teacher at South, comments that when students say “I’m only one person. I can’t create change” he says, “What if everyone said that? I believe anyone and everyone can make a difference. Think big! What kind of impact do you want to have? Environmental problems do seem insurmountable at times, I’m sure, but we can’t let that discourage us from producing change.” Despite the overwhelming amount of change one person would have to take on, it is still possible. A total of 51.8% of students surveyed at South try not to use straws and 17.9% use metal straws. This goes to show that students at WWS are individually supporting the movement. 

“I recycle and stopped using plastic water bottles and always recycle when possible,” said Erica Simmerman, a senior at South, “No one is taking global warming seriously! There are catastrophic effects around the globe and this all could be prevented if we take action.” 

Many students at south agree that climate change is an issue, but while “students are definitely more conscious of environmental issues due to social media,” says Novakowski, in reality the “increased awareness” has not had a “significant impact on taking action.” He says that students can get involved and help in many ways such as “[writing] to businesses, lawmakers, etc., and demand change.” The trend of environmental consciousness is growing among teenagers and will pave the way for more change in the future. 

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Not So Real Reality https://wwsthepride.org/1150/features/not-so-real-reality-2/ Tue, 22 Oct 2019 12:14:57 +0000 https://wwsthepride.org/?p=1150 Why is it that people are so fascinated by the lives of reality TV stars? It is most likely because reality TV is not actually real. Since when did multi-millionaire divas who make their fortune off of arguing on public television become reality? People are attracted to reality TV because it displays situations that are so far-fetched and unrealistic for the average person. Many use reality TV as a plug to forget about the stressors of ordinary life. Sure, watching people act foolishly in everyday settings can be pretty entertaining. However, childish behavior and immoral actions of reality TV stars are beginning to have negative consequences on society.

Eighty percent of Wheaton Warrenville South High School students reported they watch some form of reality TV every week. Since the late 1940s, television shows covering people’s unscripted lives have grown immensely popular. Reality TV covers situations ranging from emotional dating experiences, to stressful court cases, and everything in between. These shows are intended to depict the entertaining “real” lives of ordinary people. Although they pride themselves on catching life’s impromptu moments, reality TV programs have begun portraying people in an unrealistic light.

Most fans of reality TV admit to watching at least an hour of reality TV each week, yet believe this genre of entertainment has negative effects on our society. Fifty-six percent of Wheaton Warrenville South students watch at least one hour of reality TV each week. One Wheaton Warrenville South student reported that they watch between five and six hours of reality TV each week, specifically “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”. This student does not believe that they act like those on reality TV, but has observed their peers mirroring some of the behavior of the overly-dramatic actors. Given the fact that many reality TV stars are self-centered and spoiled, this is not a change people hope to see in society. Many watch mindless, foolish shows to escape the stress of life, but are unaware of the negative impact this form of media has on their personality.

Skeptics of reality TV believe this kind of entertainment is creating a false sense of real life for viewers. They see a future of insensitive people with misaligned morals and motives. Contessa Schexnayder of Brain World Magazine worries that reality TV will portray unethical situations as societal norm. “Reality shows have a capability to desensitize us to situations and events by which we once might have been appalled,” stated Schexnayder. She is one of many critics that foresees an increase in corrupt behavior as reality TV normalizes this immature behavior. 

Wheaton Warrenville South junior, Buddy Moore, feels like reality TV, “makes society as a whole more like dramatized television.” Moore reported that he, too, notices the characteristics and actions of reality TV stars spreading into the lives of ordinary people. The appreciation many viewers have for reality TV may lead average people to take after the personalities of their favorite TV stars. It appears as if as little as one to two hours of reality television per week can have lasting effects on viewers. 

Holly Peek, M.D., M.P. H., of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, is convinced that the self-centered, phony personas of reality TV stars particularly affect younger viewers.  “Reality TV typically reveals inappropriate behavior within peer groups, often promoting interpersonal drama, aggression and bullying,” states Peek. She believes that reality TV is especially harmful for malleable minds, as it provides adolescents with ideas of how to gain more attention from others. Adolescents may begin to view the absurd and contrived behavior of reality TV stars as common, acceptable ways to act.

Some fear that society is facing a moral dilemma as the number of reality TV fans increases. Viewers young and old may be adapting to the egotistical, artificial manners of their favorite stars. Before we know it, society may begin to feel like a reality TV show. Shocking scenarios and actions may become standard ways of life. Young adults may look up to reality TV actors as role models. Perhaps what many view as a guilty pleasure is contributing to several of society’s moral and behavioral issues. 

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“Accessing” Students’ Feelings https://wwsthepride.org/1148/opinion/accessing-students-feelings/ Tue, 22 Oct 2019 12:12:38 +0000 https://wwsthepride.org/?p=1148 By a Wheaton Warrenville South student’s Senior year, they are surely used to the same system of making it through the first part of their day, going to lunch/access, then finishing their day with some more classes. While the Seniors are seasoned veterans of this system, they are no longer able to take part in their traditional routine, as WWS went through with the decision to end access for Seniors, instead giving them a full period of lunch.
This new initiative took many Seniors, and even teachers, by surprise, and there were several mixed reactions to the new system, as many students did not even know about the change until the first day of school, which had many seniors “up in arms”.
Senior Jackson Dieden was infuriated with the lack of communication from the faculty about the change in lunch plans for the school year. “Access makes it very convenient to be able to get homework done in school,” said Dieden, “and to not be told about this change in a darn shame.”
However, many students are very supportive of the initiative. Many underclassmen are optimistic about the change because it might mean that the same might occur for them in the coming years. In fact, many students, based off a school survey, preferred the full lunch period over a divided period. This may be confusing to many, as research that has been conducted on the subject has proved the opposite: that students prefer a study hall time. According to an Education World study, most students “Have not only performed a study hall, but have seen academic improvements as well”. However, these studies have been done on a period in the day, independent of lunch. Nearly half of the students surveyed at Wheaton Warrenville South agreed that having a mandatory study hall time in the day, while still having a full lunch, would be much more beneficial.
On the faculty side of things, staff members are sad to see this change. About 75% of the staff members surveyed felt that access is indeed helpful.
Principal David Chambers was interviewed regarding the Education World study. “Its initial effect was to increase faculty morale quite a bit. When you go from 30 percent of students turning in homework to 90 percent, it makes you feel like you’re really having an impact.” said Chambers.
With a seemingly divided staff and student body, is there a common ground?
Meg Davis, an English teacher at South, brought up having an option as a student to take access or to not take it: “I think access is an untapped resource and that Seniors should still have the option to take advantage of it.”
Having this option might be better for students due to them not feeling obligated to eat lunch and socialize. Perhaps certain rooms dedicated to students that want to get work done might be the option. If that were the case, there might be days when students have nothing to work on and want to relax with a full lunch period, whereas other days a student might be “slammed” with work and might feel it would be better to work in a quiet environment. Either way, this method for seniors promotes independence, which is something that will be crucial for a successful life after primary school.

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Minimal Makeup to Artistic Expression https://wwsthepride.org/1145/features/minimal-makeup-to-artistic-expression/ Tue, 22 Oct 2019 02:10:26 +0000 https://wwsthepride.org/?p=1145 According to Science of People magazine, there are two reasons why women wear makeup. The first is for “camouflage,” as women tend to feel more secure and calm when they appear less noticeable. The other is “seduction,” as women feel more confident, attractive, and sociable if they have makeup on. As makeup becomes more popular in Gen Z and millennial women, it has additionally turned into a form of artistic expression.

Makeup is a topic that pulls interest from young girls to elderly women. Everyone not only wants to look and feel their best, but also to present themselves as confident individuals. YouTube is home to many beauty channels ranging from teenage girls experimenting with their style to professional, sponsored artists like James Charles or Tati Westbrook. Beauty influencers continue to demonstrate “full-face” trends to the public, posting beauty tutorials on contouring and eyeshadow looks, showing just how much makeup some people use on a daily basis. 

The article, “Beyonce’s Makeup Artist Sir John Says These Will Be the Coolest Makeup Trends of 2019,” in Marie Claire fashion magazine lists “bold colors,” “glitter accents,” and “strong brows” as the trending looks of the year. Senior Melissa Marcheschi recognizes the importance of social media platforms like YouTube or Instagram to promote new makeup trends like “glitter accents.” “Social media platforms are great for sharing different makeup looks and getting them out to the public. Without the introduction of social media to the beauty community, I don’t think that makeup would have become as popular as it is,” she said.

Some express concern over body image as social media becomes a consistent aspect of daily life in America. Senior Katie Weisheit, while she loves playing around with makeup, is concerned over the self esteem issues that the mixture of makeup and social media can cause. “I do think there is a standard of quality expected in the pictures you post,” she said. 96% of surveyed students said that social media influences beauty standards and many cited self-confidence as a reason they use makeup.

Science of People magazine’s observations still hold true, but it is important to note the influx of artistic expression that makeup provides girls nowadays. Makeup is no longer a must, rather it’s a want to stand out and to have fun. Despite the concerns over self image that social media constitutes with it’s post-worthy standards, makeup is becoming less of an everyday necessity and more of a hobby. This is inspiration for the girls of the future as image requirements lessen and imperfections are proven to be okay and accepted. The increase in YouTube influencers also help to push makeup use to be more of a fun hobby than overbearing necessity.

Out of 50 female students interviewed at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, 70% of them describe their everyday look as minimalistic, using only mascara or concealer. None of them described their look as a “full-face” of makeup, despite the impact social media has on styles.

According to Marcheschi, this contrast makes sense. “To me, putting on that much makeup would mean going somewhere fancy or there’s a special occasion like a wedding or homecoming,” she said. “I find it a bit odd when someone wears a full face of makeup to school.”

While still used as a way of enhancing features and boosting confidence, in recent years makeup has proven to have artistic aspects that allow women young and old to express themselves, thanks to its promotion on social media.

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