Oct 24, 2016
The Cannabis landscape has changed, and so have what schools experience
But teens exploring and experimenting with marijuana is not a novel occurrence. For decades, adolescents have been known to test boundaries and societal norms, often leading to instances of drug use, including marijuana. However, the landscape around the legality and availability of marijuana has transformed dramatically in recent years, leading to new challenges and concerns.
One small Manhattan high school said students caught getting high during the school day to attend peer-led restorative circles. Another is mandating three sessions with a staffer who has a background in substance abuse counseling. Officials at Manhattan’s highly selective Beacon High School told parents this fall that students caught vaping in school will be suspended, while offering information sessions for parents about substance use
In many parts of the world, particularly in the United States, the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana have led to the establishment of regulated markets for the drug. This shift has inadvertently made it easier for adolescents to gain access to cannabis products. The commercialization of marijuana has also led to the development of products with increased potency compared to the less potent forms commonly available in previous decades. Products such as THC concentrates, edibles, and vaping cartridges are not only more powerful but can also be consumed more discreetly. This can make it challenging for school authorities to detect usage, making it possible for teens to use these products before or even during school hours.
Parallel to this issue, a youth mental health crisis has been gaining momentum, heightened by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Isolation, uncertainty, and disruption of regular social and educational structures have left many young people grappling with increased stress, anxiety, and depression. This situation may be leading to an increase in self-medication behaviors, with marijuana being a substance of choice for some. The drug is often perceived as natural and less harmful than other substances, which can mislead young people into believing that it's a safe method to cope with their psychological distress.Unfortunately, this perception might be far from reality. The use of marijuana during adolescence, particularly heavy and frequent use, has been linked to an array of negative health outcomes, including potential harm to cognitive development, increased risk for mental health disorders, and poorer educational outcomes. Hence, this nexus of increased availability of more potent marijuana products and a rising mental health crisis among the youth creates a complex problem requiring thoughtful and comprehensive solutions. It necessitates a robust response involving educational interventions, mental health support, and possibly regulatory measures to shield this vulnerable demographic.
Additionally, several studies have linked marijuana use to decreased academic performance and increased school dropout rates. This is believed to be because marijuana use in adolescence, when the brain is still developing, can negatively impact cognitive function and memory. So what are your thoughts? How can we use this legally and in a balanced fashion? Or can we?
It's easy to overlook some of these, even just one - don't.
Why think locally? Think big and consider traveling to the best capitals in the world.
What makes a capital "the best" – culture, sights, history & things to do, to say the least.
Here's a ranking from 1-10:
This is a destination you can't pass up. With its rich history dating back to BC times, there are multiple historical sites you can't miss and there's a modern side to Rome too for the tourist in you.
This sprawling capital on the Nile River is another can't-miss. Royal mummies, all kinds of artifacts and the nearby iconic pyramids all make Cairo an attractive destination.
Surrounded by mountains and oceans, it's the ultimate getaway destination. Some of the scenery is truly out-of-this-world.
This list wouldn't be complete without Paris. Highlighted by the Eiffel Tower, you'll enjoy charming cafés and extraordinary pastries, as well other fantastic sights and history.
A large city with a vibrant street life, Bangkok boasts a boat-filled river and network of canals, as well as sacred temples and an enormous Buddha. Worth a visit!
For a great time in South America, you have to go to Buenos Aires, rich culturally with modern art and an all-around vibrant capital city that has a touch of Europe to it.
With BC-era landmarks, the capital of Greece has excellent museums that are well worth your time if you have any interest in history.
Washington, D.C. has a rich history, and its national monuments and museums are well worth a visit.
Well known for its architectural wonders and tourist attractions, New Delhi also boasts excellent Indian cuisine and culture.
For a unique experience down under, Canberra boasts all kinds of culture, arts & museums, as well as national attractions as the capital of Australia. Package it with a trip to Sydney which is about a 3 hours drive.
I think it's fair to say that anyone who watches "New Girl" knows about True American. This crazy, nonsense drinking game which pops up every so often throughout the seasons and first introduced in season one, episode 20.
The game, as described by "New Girl" character and fan-favorite Schmidt, is 75% drinking game and 20% Candy Land with a floor of molten lava.
The point of the game is for players to navigate through the Candy Land-like spaces to the "castle," which is a table in the center of the room that holds beer "pawns" and the "king" bottle. The first person to reach and sip from the bottle wins.
SEE ALSO:15 Things "New Girl" Fans Know to Be True
Here's how to play:
First, set up your "castle." The castle is made up of beer "pawns" and the "king," a bottle filled with the alcohol of your choice.
The bottle should be in the middle of the table, surrounded by four lines of beer pawns. There is no exact number of beers necessary for each line of beer pawns. Choose any amount of beers that seems appropriate for the amount of players.
Set up spaces using pillows, chairs or any other objects players will be able to stand on. Place an equal amount of spaces around the table. You'll want about 5-8 spaces on each side, depending on the size of the room you're playing in.
Only four of these spaces should reach the castle, lining up with the parade of beer "pawns" and allowing players to take a beer pawn from the castle. For example, in the photo above, each of the chairs touch a corner of the table at the end of the line of beer pawns. Therefore, these are two of the four special spaces that allow players to take a beer. Unlike the pillows pictured, which are just regular spaces that the players can use to move around.
Teams are optional. To pick teams, all of the players will place a certain number (1 to 5) of fingers against their forehead on the count of three.
Any players who hold up the same number are a team. Unmatched players can team up as needed or simply pair up with the person standing closest to them.
Begin with a shotgun "tip-off" to determine which player goes first.
The winner of this shotgunning contest will yell, "One, two, three...JFK!" to announce the official beginning of the game. All players will enthusiastically respond, "FDR!" then quickly grab a beer pawn from the castle and run to any space they wish to start at, excluding for the four special spaces that reach the castle.
The winner of the shotgunning contest has earned the first turn. From then on, the order of turns will move in a clockwise rotation. During each turn, the player will move one space toward the castle and choose to play one of the following mini-games.
Mini-game No. 1: The player whose turn it is will count to three then all players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers on their forehead. Any player who selects a number no one else selected can move ONE space.
Mini-game No. 2: The player whose turn it is will recite the beginning of a famous American quote. The first player to complete the quote can move TWO spaces.
Mini-game No. 3: The player whose turn it is will name two famous American people, places, or things. The first player to identify what the two have in common can move THREE spaces.
For example, say it's your turn. You will move one space then choose one of the three mini-games. You and all of the players will participate in that game, and the winner will move accordingly. After this, your turn is over and it's the next player's turn (in the original clockwise rotation).
Continue playing by these rules until one lucky winner reaches the bottle and sips from its royal glass.
The bottle cannot be opened until every last pawn is removed from the castle. Any players who fail to keep at least one beer in hand, who accidentally end up with more than three beers in hand, or who touch the lava are immediately disqualified. Disqualified players can rejoin the game by shotgunning a beer.
You are now able to impress all of your "New Girl"-loving friends with knowledge of the workings of the epic True American drinking game. Know your limits, drink responsibly, and enjoy!
How I figured out what I want to do with my life.
Yes, that's me in the photo above. I was around 10 years old in that photo and was obsessed with that pink and purple sweater. I wore it on a daily basis.
I asked my discord server what my first post should be about. The majority picked a story from my life. Now I didn't expect this one to win over the options but my only idea was to write about how I truly found what my dreams and goals were. I feel like a lot of people struggle with this, so hearing about my journey might help some people.
Being my mother must have been difficult because as a kid I almost never had a time when I just sat there and enjoyed being a kid. I always thought and spoke about the future and what I wanted to do/be. My mom always stated that I was years beyond my age. When hearing this as a kid I didn't believe her and didn't start to believe her until I started forming friendships and having conversations with people my age instead of older than me. I quickly came to realize I was the only one thinking these things and I soon started to feel a wall within most of my friendships. As a kid, all I thought about was becoming good at something and doing it for a career. I had huge goals and dreams that honestly even now I look at them and think "Oh what was I thinking"
At the end of this "story," I wrote a list of all of the things I wanted to pursue (I can't fit them all in one story, trust me so I will only be telling you the stories about the most important dreams)
Now let's start from the beginning.
My first dream was to actually be a doctor. That dream quickly dissolved when I found out that sometimes you can't save everyone. From this point I knew I wanted to help people in some way but not one that had to deal with death. I then started to realize my love for animals and how I wanted to help them. Again that dream fizzled out when I realized that I would deal with animals who were hurt. As you can see my heart wasn't the strongest when it came to hard subjects like these. A couple of years later I also found out I am extremely squeamish when It comes to organs and blood.
The next big dream I remember having was becoming an astronomer. I absolutely love space and was always wondering what is out there. I still have that love. I remember that dream also coming from a place of fear. That fear drove me to want to know everything about it. But as we know space is endless and I couldn't get the answers to something we didn't have the answers for. I'm not sure when this dream dissolved because I still do really love space, for example, a little off topic but my dream date is in the back of a truck watching the sunset to then stargaze. It's oddly specific, but I'd also take a day at the planetarium if they didn't want to go above and beyond.
Back to the "story" since this isn't the definition of a typical story. When I was 6 years old I joined my first and last girl scout troop (I left around the age of 16 almost 17). In this troop, I met my first childhood best friend. She was the one who introduced me to the singing and acting world. When we were around 7 years old, we auditioned and got into the musical Annie. (Yes I was a musical theater kid). I wasn't the best or worse. I was mediocre, my love at the time was acting over singing. I got to essentially pretend to be someone else. For some reason that got me excited. I did musical theatre till I was around 15, I was there for around 8 years. After I got older the theatre companies got very cliquey and I chose to leave since I felt not only myself was left out but others were too.
Once I left the musical theatre world that's when I really took a pause and was like "Hold up what in the world do I want to do if I don't want to be an actress" (Remember I worked really hard at that for around 8 years) I had my main focus on acting for 8 years, I did other things on the side, but after removing that one huge thing I proceeded to think "Was all that for nothing since I wasn't going to pursue it?" I then thought "Well I have always loved writing stories what if I became an author?" I wrote a lot of stories and loved it. Which is why that's still one of the things I want to become. (Yes, I have a list, you can laugh) After theatre not only is when I started writing more but also when I took gymnastics more seriously. I had been doing it since I was around 9 I think, don't quote me on that. I did more classes learning as much as I could. Although I pulled away from gymnastics when I started to get injured. After I injured my neck my passion for it evaporated. This is when I started to really focus on school and nothing else. The one thing I knew, is that I had a born talent of studying. Not the best thing to be good at don't you think? That's what I thought at the time. But recently I realized that studying is the best talent to have, I can learn anything essentially, and at a rapid speed.
Then covid hit around when I was 15 turning 16. This threw me into being alone without seeing my friends and at 15 my friends were my life. I fell into having to actually face my deep inner thoughts and demons which I had been cleverly avoiding by staying distracted and always on the move. To put you into perspective I had around 3 different classes daily. This is when my depression truly started to express itself. Covid was probably the worse and best thing that happened to me. It forced me to face my inner demons and all the things I hated about myself. Covid also pushed me into being online a lot more, which sprouted my body dysmorphia, this was because I was on social media looking at all these other people and how different they were compared to me. How their bodies were shaped in ways mine wasn't.
I feel like most people will think I'm talking about having boobs (I'm going to talk about body parts get over it), but I was actually wishing I didn't have boobs. Most people wouldn't know because of my online presence I never really showed my body and honestly tried to hide as much as possible. But growing up I developed very fast and very big. Around 9 is when puberty hit me and they still have not stopped growing and it's been 10 years.
But anyways, the point was these girls on social media were wearing cute clothes that I loved and would only fit their small chests and small bone structure (I have a more built muscular build) and didn't look good on me and never would because my body was just genetically different. I was insecure about my body so much that it threw me into a place where I couldn't bare to look at myself without having an episode. My mom saw this as a big problem and guided me towards her colleagues to help me out (my mother was a counsellor, she still kind of is but she does a lot more). I actually got over it, it took a lot of work but I did do it, which is when I started to have a love for social media and wanted to do it as my career.
I had always loved gaming ever since I was younger and I have my brothers to thank for that. So after a while of posting random videos on YouTube, I then started to post YouTube videos about gaming, specifically playing Minecraft. I then decided I wanted to join an SMP (survival multiplayer) with other people who wanted to be YouTubers as well. I fell in love with the community of it which is around when I started streaming on Twitch.
I am a talker. I love to talk, which Is why streaming came easily to me. I would sit there and talk even when no one was listening. After being around people who had the goal of being a YouTuber link me I started to really desire my own community. So I did what anyone would do and turned to short-form content, also known as TikTok. I studied the algorithms of TikTok for around 3 weeks. I then brainstormed how I could apply what I knew to my content for around a week. Honestly, I also posted on TikTok for fun at first as I was learning the algorithm, let's just say I have since deleted those videos. But after I studied and knew everything I could about how TikTok worked, that's when I started to see results. I remember coming home from work and seeing someone had commented on my video, at this point, I didn't focus on responding to comments. I focused on getting content out. When I finally decided to pull the one notification up (I later found out it had glitched to show just one), I was baffled to see my video had hit 12k views in under 24 hours. After that, my content grew at a speed I could barely keep up with. I grew from 1 follower all the way up to 100k within two months.
You may think "HOLY SH*T THATS AMAZING TEACH ME". That's what I thought for a while, but after those two months of posting every day, I started to get overwhelmed and burnt out. It was a lot of work on top of streaming and posting videos. I spent 3 hours minimum on one video for TikTok. Don't forget I still had homework and work I did every day. I went to work with usually 3-4 hours of sleep.
A lot of people know the beginning to now. But a brief summary is I grew from 1-100k on TikTok, I then gained up to 3k on Twitch and made around $1500 in total on Twitch, Im guessing honestly, I haven't checked in a while. I gained a lot of experience doing this. But around last year In August is when I started my current job. Which is when I dropped from TikTok to just stream. I streamed for a while after that but it was off and on. My mental health was extremely bad at this point, I could barely get up in the morning. I had also not seen my therapist in months since I was doing fine until then. I then decided to take a break from streaming. I took about a month off, and after that, my mental health got better but then dropped to even worse. I didn't know how I was going to keep going and in fact, I didn't know how I was supposed to keep living. I felt like I didn't have a purpose. That's around when I met someone that fully changed my life. I was feeling bad things, which were caused by some incidents from my past that involved some people. But they showed me that not everyone is like that. They told me I would be the best streamer in the world and to not give up. I found my motivation again and started streaming again and even posting on TikTok again. A little while after knowing them for a while, something happened. In short, they weren't here with me anymore. Which screeched my streaming to a stop again.
Losing someone you truly care about is bad, but when they care about you just as much as you did them is something I would wish on no one not even someone I didn't like. I pushed myself to start making gym content since that is the only thing I could get myself to do. Gaming started to cause me more issues than help me relax, which is why I shy away from it. I then started college because I had decided I want to focus on fitness and health. I chose a bachelor's degree in exercise science. The first required class was yoga, and let me just say, this is the class that truly helped me decide what I wanted to do with my life. (I know, weird that a yoga class is what helped me, I even have a tattoo of a yoga symbol now). In this class, I learned about connecting the mind to the body, and how to decrease stress. I have chronic stress disorder, which a short description from Yale Medicine states chronic stress to be. "A consistent sense of feeling pressured and overwhelmed over a long period of time" If you are interested in learning more about it, I have the link at the end of this article. Yoga brought me to be able to think without the stress. I fell in love with it and enjoyed that class more than any other class I have ever taken. I started to think yoga helped me drastically and I want to help others like this. I love fitness and specifically lifting. So I decided my goal was to open the world's best gym. A gym that not only helps your physical body become stronger but also your mental strength and a place to help your health as well.
So in conclusion I was a jack of all trades and still am. I loved trying things, and if I hadn't tried all of the things that I did, then I wouldn't have been able to cross the things I had tried off the list of things I wanted to become. The more things you try, the more you'll know what you don't want to pursue. My mom has always said that the people around 17-22 who have no idea what they want to do with their lives are in a way better place than someone who is set on one thing. I was confused as to why my Mom stated this, and she said "Abii, the people who are set on one thing will most likely change their minds down the road because they didn't explore all of their options for what they wanted to be".
My entire life I have known I've wanted to help people but I wasn't sure how I wanted to do that until I met my yoga instructor. Now as promised there's a list of all the things I tried when I was younger below.
This is Abii signing out-
List of all the things I thought I might want to pursue:
Horseback riding, gymnastics, cooking school, drawing, painting, photography, writing, acting, singing, dancing, astrology, gaming, social media, Nature science, graphic design, videography, screenwriting, editing videos, editing photos, business owner. ( I can't think of any more right now but there are more xD)
Here's the link to the article about chronic stress: https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/stress-disorder#:~:text=%E2%80%A2A%20consistent%20sense%20of,changes%2C%20medications%2C%20setting%20realistic%20goals
Some things other than coffee to motivate you
Songs About Being 17
Grey's Anatomy Quotes
4 Leaf Clover
1. Brittany Morgan,National Writer's Society
2. Radhi,SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign