The Case For Study Halls

The Case For Study Halls

Do we care about our students?
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Anyone who religiously reads my articles or listens to me talk hears me, inevitably, talking about school. I'm deep within my junior year in high school, and the stress of 5 AP classes, studying for the SAT/ACT as well as subject tests and AP exams, extracurricular activities, playing lacrosse and working part time is really hitting me hard. Time, it seems, is the biggest crunch, especially when I come home exhausted with an agenda full of assignments that I absolutely cannot put off one more night. I'm frequently found at Starbucks at around nine at night, walking out with an iced coffee to help me check off my to-do list.

And I truly doubt that I am alone in always feeling like it's a struggle to keep my head above the water, so to speak.

The solution, I believe, is a built-in study hall, a time when we are forced to sit and review everything. The schedual logistics could be worked out, but there would never be a time when the study hall was a waste. Kids can catch up on their homework, work on projects, catch up on absent work or study for tests. Seniors could work on college apps and underclassmen or juniors can prep for standardized tests. Almost every literature class is reading a book concurrently to class lessons, so kids could catch up on reading. Now that we have devices, kids can re-review their lessons or read ahead. They can work on club projects or competition entries, or they can work on art projects or practice lines for an upcoming play.

Society and its pressures have done an amazing job of making sure that high schoolers always feel like they should be doing something (and those who do not feel this way usually have outstanding work that they could be doing anyway, which almost certainly would help their grades). Working a specific scheduled time into the daily routine to allow them a bit of a life raft would be completely invaluable to kids' grades, sleep cycles and flexibility in afterschool activities. There are many times in which opportunities have gone passed up because there is simply no time to attend another meeting and complete my homework in time to still receive a functional amount of sleep.

And okay, we have lunch, but there are still commitments during lunch - time to make up assessments, or, if one of my clubs is in the midst of a project, time to meet and catch up on the project. An academic support program meets twice a week at lunch, and many people either attend to catch up on their work or go to help others catch up for service hours. People even attend help sessions at lunch. And there is an extremely valuable social aspect to being around peers and just talking and interacting out of the classroom, whether it is playing games together on one's phones or catching up. Not to mention that most people spend lunch catching up on work anyway.

Homework is a necessary evil. The workloads of certain classes, especially AP or honors classes, cannot be abbreviated or cut short; students accept this. However, if we are going to sit and champion how the health of our students is our greatest priority, we need to actually act on this. Receiving tea at lunch is nice, but I would much rather have some time during the school day to catch up on all of the classwork that I am assigned every day, given that I probably could not completely be up to date and feel adequately prepared for the next day if I worked, uninterrupted, for 24 hours.

Study hall periods are invaluable and extremely necessary. Having them would help students plan their own study schedules more effectively as well as giving them some time to work together and ask each other questions, a group approach that has been praised and advocated for for the entire time that I have been in school. It would also give students more time at home to sleep, follow their own passions and spend time with their families.

I'm looking at you, Fulton County.

Cover Image Credit: Maria Nordvall

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Why Passion Leads To Success

Success is based on what a person wants to accomplish and the journey they take to accomplishing their goals.

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Passion is extremely important to a person's success. I think success is when a person is happy and content with their life and they have the career they have dreamed of and they make the right amount of money to live the way they want. I also think it is that a person meeting their goals and taking advantage of opportunities in their lives to better themselves is important to become successful. Success for an individual is usually based on their goals in life and the passions they have for certain subjects and career choices.

Kids always are forced into doing what their parents want and high school pressures kids to go to college way too much. I chose the path to go to college, but it is not the only option or always the right one. All people are different and they all have different interests, and that is the key point to their success. People have plenty of hobbies they enjoy, but they are always certain subjects and activities that people are passionate about. After graduation, the options are endless, because there are jobs a person can advance in to become a top employee in the company. A person can also go to all kinds of schools such as college, trade schools, tech school, beauty school, dental school, and so many more. A person can also join the military and serve their country while trying to find a career to enjoy in the military, so they have options after their service. Some people cannot handle the military, college, or trade school and there is nothing wrong with that. The journey a person takes and the goals they achieve cannot be rushed, but takes hard work on finding out what makes you happy and what makes goals achievable.

I know some people that are still trying to find their passion in their early twenties and there is nothing wrong with that. Some people are having kids or getting married, while others are achieving some goals or getting into trouble. The point is everyone is in a different place and have a different journey as they attempt to find out their passion. An important quote to me comes from Walt Payton. Payton was a running back for the Chicago Bears in the 1970s and his quote was "If you're good at something you'll tell everyone, but if you're great at something they'll tell you." This quote is important because usually if an individual is great at something and people tell you, then a person will likely fall in love with that activity. People love to be complimented and hear positive comments about themselves to boost their self-confidence. People perform their best at the subjects that they care about and have a passion for, but they also need the praise and support from the people around them to push them to be their very best. This is how I found my passion, but some people will stumble on it themselves. I started writing papers for English classes and computer classes in high school and my first year of college. I enjoyed having the freedom to write about what I wanted and being recognized for that made me feel confident so I decided to major to become a journalist. I never imagined that I would become a journalist, but that turned out to be something I loved doing and I continue working hard to improve my writing skills.

Society judges a person's every move and they peer pressure many people into feeling they have to make all the money they can or they have to go to college to be successful. I know people that have not attended college and they are making good money at their job and enjoying what they do. I know some friends who go to trade schools or are getting certificates to establish their career. The best thing America offers an individual is the ability to have the power to choose your career based on personal interests and skills a person possesses to make themselves content with their lives. People should take advantage of the opportunities around them and try to do their best in their profession. People do not live forever, but their work and impact they leave around them are important, so people should make the best of their life and find their passion.

Passion is important for every human to find, but do not rush your life or career, because people will find their passion at all different ages and periods in their lives. Young adults should enjoy their lives and have fun with their peers as they find their passion and set their goals to become the best they can be in their career. I have seen people of all ages in my college classes; Kids from high school, young adults, and even adults in their thirties to sixties. This proves people can change their current situation any time they want and find their passion at any age. People need to get more confidence in themselves and put their best effort into every aspect of their lives, so they can be happy and successful. Life is all about what a persons makes it because they are in control of their destiny, but they must find their passion and capitalize on their opportunities.

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