Mental Health of College Students

By Mallory Johnson

Staff writer

College is the stepping stone before you enter the workforce. Many college students struggle with stress and anxiety because they become overwhelmed with work. Many students have to balance their time between class, work, family, and other matters. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness one in four students have a diagnosable illness, 40% do not seek help, 80% feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities, and 50% have been so anxious they struggled in school. Depression is a common, but serious illness that leaves the person feeling despondent and helpless. Depression is the number one reason students drop out of school. Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain and are likely caused by a combination of genetics, biological, psychological and environmental factors. Symptoms of depression are feelings of sadness or unhappiness, change in appetite or weight, loss of interest in activities or social gatherings, fatigue, loss in energy, sleeplessness, trouble concentrating, and indecisiveness.

Many college students also experience some kind of anxiety. A person can experience a generalized anxiety disorder that is a constant, severe anxiety that interferes with day-to-day activities, a panic disorder which is a frequent sudden attacks of terror, panic and constant fearfulness, or a social anxiety when everyday interactions cause irrational anxiety, fear, self-consciousness and embarrassment. Anxiety disorders occur when anxiety interfere with daily life, halting your ability to function, and causing and immense amount of stress and fearful feelings. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. They affect 40 million adults over the age of 18, yet only one-third seek and receive treatment. Common symptoms for anxiety disorders are feelings, of stress and apprehension, irritability, sweating and dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, irregular heartbeat, and frequent upset stomach or diarrhea.

Millions of college students develop eating disorders during their college years, and a vast majority do not seek help or don’t realize the extent of their issues. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), people ages 12-25 represent 95% of those with eating disorders, anorexia is the third most common chronic illness in adolescents, 91% of college women attempt to control their weight through dieting, and 25% of college women binge and purge to manage their weight.  Common eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa which is an unhealthy fixation on thinness, distorted body image and fears of gaining weight, Bulimia Nervosa which is a binge eating disorder, involving recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food, followed by behavior that compensates for binging, like purging, fasting or over-exercising, and Binge Eating Disorder which is when a person has constant cravings that occur any time of day and that then result in binge eating.

The signs and symptoms of eating disorders vary by person and condition, but several red flags are dehydration, excessive exercise, fear of eating in public, and constantly making excuses for eating habits. Colleges place entirely too much pressure on students. This is a main contributor to the mental derailment that we experience as young people during college life. It is important to take mental health seriously and to seek help.


Syrian Refugees

By Mallory Johnson

Staff writer

Syria’s conflict has devastated the nation.  More than 240,000 people have been killed, including 12,000 children. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 3 million have fled to Syria’s immediate neighbors Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. 6.5 million are internally displaced within Syria.

The number of refugees do not show any signs of slowing. Increasing numbers of refugees are attempting to reach Europe. Of the nearly 478,000 people who have arrived to Europe by sea in 2015, 54 percent of them come from Syria, the UN Refugee Agency says.  Many refugees are in great need of supplies. Refugees need food, health assistance, clothing, shelter, and basic household and hygiene items. They need reliable supplies of clean water, as well as sanitation facilities. The World Food program had to cut food assistance to one-third of the Syrian refugees in the region.

Where are these refugees living?  Iraq is hosting about 250,000 Syrians and is facing its own arm conflict. Turkey is hosting more than 1.9 million Syrian refugees. More than 1.1 million refugees are in Lebanon. Many refugees reside in abandoned buildings, sheds, spare rooms, garages, and in tent settlements. In Jordan, 630,000 refugees have settled with families or in rented accommodations according to World Vision. 80,000 live in Za’atari, a camp near the northern border of Syria.

Many refugee children are not receiving an education. Between 2.1 and 2.4 million school-age children are not attending school. The decline in education for Syrian children has been the sharpest and most rapid in the history of the region, according to UNICEF. The refugees that don’t live in camps are struggling to pay for rent and other expenses and can’t afford books, uniforms, and tuition fees for their children. Some children gave up on going to school in order to start working and to help provide for their families. The government in Lebanon have opened public schools to Syrian children, but language barriers, overcrowding, and the cost of transportation keep many refugee children out of school.

Many refugees have been seeking haven in Europe. Thirty-eight European countries recorded 264,000 asylum applications.  The top five EU countries to receive asylum applications were Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, and the United Kingdom according to the UNHCR. UNHCR continues to be greatly concerned by forcible returns or barriers placed by some countries preventing the entry of asylum-seekers and refugees.

The economic situation in the region is having an impact on the capacity and readiness of many countries to strengthen their protection systems. Xenophobia and intolerance have led to incidents of discrimination and violence. States have responded by curbing irregular movements, including tighter border controls and detention and penalization of those entering illegally.

The refugees are facing many hardships. They have lost their homes and former lives. There are children who have lost their families and are all on their own.  The refugees are facing discrimination and aren’t being helped. They live in poor conditions, barely scraping by. These are the many struggles that the Syrian refugees are facing right now.

After 9/11

By Mallory Johnson

Staff writer

Americans are still feeling the impact of the September 11 attacks 14 years later. After the deadly 9/11 attacks – the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil – the country has been scarred. Because of the attack the U.S. has been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Homeland Security was established, and Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the attacks, was killed.  The Patriot Act and other legislation expanded presidential authority and government intrusion into our personal lives while decreasing our civil liberties. The U.S still feels the rippling effects of 9/11 and it still affects the American lives today.

The most obvious changes that Americans faced after the September 11 attacks have been at the airport. Travelers must check in at least two hours before their flight takes off. There are restrictions on what travels can bring onboard. Liquids and toiletries have to be a certain size and be placed in a clear sealed bag. No food or bottled water is allowed through security. Passengers are selected at random for screenings. The extra security protocol means longer lines. Today, travelers can move a little faster through the lines because they are now more accustomed to the procedures.

The airport is not the only thing that received tighter restrictions after the 9/11 attacks. Public buildings have also tightened security since September 11, requiring most American workers with office jobs to enter the building with a security badge. Guests who enter these buildings must sign in. Food and flower deliveries must be left at the front desk. Television studios that once let their fans in for tours have closed their doors to the public. According to some travel insurance companies, such as CSA Travel Protection, now provide coverage for terrorist attacks committed in the United States.  Before 9/11, travel insurance only covered terrorist attacks overseas.

The American people have also been affected psychologically from the September 11 attacks. Some Americans responded with fear, anger, as well as a growing intolerance for immigrants, especially against people who were or appeared to be from the Middle East. In the days following the attack, the government launched a war on terror and searched for suspects internationally. Many Muslims and Asians in the U.S. reported that they were victims of harassment and hate crimes. Sikhs, who follow Indian religions, were targeted because they wear turbans, which are stereotypically associated with Muslims. According to FBI reports, people and institutions that identified with the Islamic faith had an increase of hate crimes.

Anger and fear aren’t the only lingering psychological repercussions of the September 11 attacks. According to figures from three New York City 9/11 health programs reported by , at least 10,000 police officers, firefighters and civilians directly exposed to the World Trade Center attacks have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. When the Twin Towers collapsed, thousands of tons of toxic debris containing carcinogens were released. Exposure to these chemicals led to illnesses among rescue and recovery workers. Residents, students, and office workers in Lower Manhattan and nearby Chinatown have experienced health problems since the attacks. Several deaths have been linked to the toxic dust.

Worldwide sympathy has faded since the 9/11 attacks. Much of the Arab world resented the U.S. occupation of Iraq. In May 2011, the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden, has further strained relations with Pakistan.  Throughout the Middle East and Pakistan, protests against the United States have continued over the years since the attacks. This country has still not recovered from the biggest terrorist attack that happen on its soil. Security measures have been put in place, but Americans are still feeling the impact of what took place on that fateful day of September 11.

Love yourselfie

By Marla Newsom

Staff Writer

This past year selfies have taken over every social media platform. On Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and any other app that allows you to post a picture you’ll most likely see a selfie and I don’t see a problem with that. Everyone should be able to love theirselfie, although it seems like people rather judge those who are taking pictures instead of letting them be.

Recently there was a video posted of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority sisters from Arizona State University taking selfies at a baseball game in Arizona. The video was a few minutes long and it consisted of the MLB announcer mocking the girls rather than letting them do what they want without commenting. The comments varied from, “Here’s my first bite of the churro. Here’s my second bite of the churro.” to, “That’s the best one of the 300 pictures I’ve taken of myself today!’  All of the comments were unnecessarily rude, but of course there are people who saw the comments to be funny, because making fun of girls taking pictures with each other is something laughable… right? What’s laughable is thinking people don’t go to the games for the Chickie and Pete’s fries and pulled pork sandwiches.

Many people don’t understand that selfies have become second nature to teenagers. When we make plans with our friends, we already know while getting ready that there’s going to be selfies taken. We already know that we are most likely going to post it on Instagram and add a cute caption relating to the picture. Taking and editing pictures is just a way teenagers have fun and express themselves and it shouldn’t be ridiculed or the center of anyone’s joke.

Selfies are a bigger deal than most people want to accept. Selfies take a lot of self-confidence and self-love. I know there is people who think taking selfies means you’re self absorbed, but a large amount of the time it’s the complete opposite. Many people go through a phase in their life where they aren’t happy with themselves, so when they get to a point in their life that they feel good about themselves why are people so quick to bash? It takes some people years to be happy and feel beautiful, so what if they want to post a picture? Let them feel good in that moment!

Rather than criticize people who take pictures when they go out, or take pictures when they stay in we should learn to spread selfie love. If you’re feeling hot, take that selfie! If you’re at a new place you have never been to before, take that selfie! If you’re at a party, take that selfie! If you’re at a baseball game, take that selfie! Don’t stop taking selfies, because someone made fun of you for it. If someone is making fun of you for it, just post even more.

Obama Proposes Two Years of Free CC Tuition

In January of this year, President Obama proposed a new program for participating states to offer free tuition and to make two-year community colleges available to all new students.

As posted on the White House website, “Put simply, what I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it,” Obama said. This would of course require backing by Congress, which is primarily controlled by Republicans. Under Obama’s new proposal, students who attend as minimally as part-time, make progress towards completing their degree, and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average will have all of their tuition paid.

In Obama’s proposed plan, Congress would need to pass a law for the federal government to pay for 75 percent of the country’s community college tuition. The states cooperating in the program would pay for the other 25 percent. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) just proposed the new bill in July of this year. According to the legislative bill, an estimated nine million students would benefit if all 50 states joined in Obama’s new tuition plan. Full-time community college students would be able to save up to $3,800 on average, as reported on CNN’s Money site.

In a July 2 speech at the University of Wisconsin, President Obama acknowledged his plan for free community college.” Now, in an economy that’s constantly changing, we’ve also got to give every American the chance to earn the skills they need to stay competitive,” he said. “That’s why we’ve got to be investing in job training and apprenticeships that help folks earn the skills for that new job or better-paying job. That’s why we should make community college free for responsible students — like Tammy Baldwin is introducing in the United States Senate. No middle-class family should be priced out of the education that they need.”

Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, one of the largest supporters of President Obama’s free community college tuition, instantly proposed an amendment to the Senate budget to make two-year community college free.

This program will not qualify for all programs given at the community college level. Community colleges will need to be required to offer programs and degrees that can easily transfer to four-year colleges. Currently, Tennessee, a state with republican leaders, and Chicago, a democratically-run city, have had active free community college programs without any problems to date.

Obama recently amended his proposal to not include students from families with an average income of $200,000 or more. According to the Department of Education, only 2.7 percent of community college students come from families that make over $200,000 per year on average. It is not a money issue since those students would not cost the federal government much more. His proposal is specifically geared toward those who cannot afford it. As it is projected, Obama’s new plan will cost the federal government $60.3 billion over the next 10 years.

Obama calls a community college education as a “central pathway to the middle-class.” There is more planning needed to get this proposal off the ground but hopefully it will bring great changes to the economy.

Back to the Future Celebrates its 30th Anniversary

Thirty years ago, Back to the Future was released upon the world and became the highest grossing film of 1985, starring Michael J. Fox, in his first major film role, as Marty McFly, Christopher Lloyd as his friend and scientist, Dr. Emmett L. Brown, Lea Thompson as his mother, Lorraine Baines McFly and Thomas F. Wilson as school bully, Biff Tannen.

The movie takes place in October of 1985, where Marty is accidentally sent 30 years into the past by “Doc” Brown’s newest invention, a time machine in the form of a 1981 DeLorean. Due to complications out of his own control, he alters his parents first meeting in high school, threatening his own existence. It becomes a race, with the help of Doc Brown of 1955, to save his parent’s relationship and consequently himself.

This film is amazingly well done. It is a perfect mix of science fiction/fantasy, action/adventure and comedy. Fox plays the stereotypical teen and dedicated high school student that you cannot help from cheering on as he is trying to fix his own mistakes. As his best friend and helpful mentor, Lloyd as Doc Brown brings in his performance as the perfect comedic match to Marty’s serious circumstances. He is a very full of life and lovable goofball.

This film keeps you at the edge of your seat with well-choreographed skateboard runs, car chases and death defying stunts. The story pulls you in. You will be engaged and on your toes until the very end. The music and the clothes make the film dated. The message of the film is timeless, even though in an over exaggerated plot device of time travel. Children always feel they have the weight of the world on their shoulders and need to help their family in anyway they can. For Marty, if he does not fix what is wrong with his own timeline, he will cease to exist.

The cast and crew bring that same energy and amazing story telling to Back to the Future’s two sequels. Filmed back-to-back, Back to the Future II and Back to the Future III continue the adventures of Marty McFly and Doc Brown into the “far future” of October 21, 2015, all the way to the frontier of the Old West of 1885.

Directed by the Oscar Award-winning director of Forrest Gump, Robert Zemeckis, Back to the Future won one Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing and was nominated for three others, Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen), Best Sound and Best Music (Original Song) for “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News. Back to the Future also won the Saturn Award of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror for Best Science Fiction Film and Best Actor for Michael J. Fox

Back to the Future and its sequels will be re-released on DVD and Blu-Ray on October 20, 2015, to culminate with this 30th Anniversary.

Tipping for Dummies 101

By Marla Newsom

Staff Writer

Many college students are students by day and employees by night. Some students make money just on tips alone and I think most people forget that. Tipping your waitress or delivery driver is more important than you think, and you have to remember that when you’re ordering a large $15 pizza when all you have is $15 and spare change.

The percentage you should always tip is between 15-20%. You should think about this before you order lunch or go out to eat with your friends. I’m sure if you have a job that pays minimum wage or more hourly you don’t think about the fact waitresses only get a dollar or so hourly plus whatever they make in tips. When I asked Josh Carll, a Public Relations major about what he’s paid as a waiter he said, “I get paid $2.15 an hour. But after taxes, I don’t see my paycheck, so I rely on tips.”

“My food took forever to come out, so I’m going to leave them a bad tip.” No, no, NO. Your waitress has nothing to do with how long your food takes to be made. Their job is to take your order, bring out your food, and ask if you need anything else. I asked Josh how it made him feel when he wasn’t left a tip and he said, “It’s annoying because that’s how I make a living and when I run around like a crazy person trying to make them happy and they thank me by just saying have a nice day it blows.” You have to remember they have nothing to do with the speed, or quality of the food. If you are not happy with something during your time at the restaurant ask to speak to the manager after your meal, but do not take your frustration out on your server.

“It’s been 45 minutes and my food still isn’t here.” That is unfortunate and I understand you are hungry, but you have to remember you’re not the only one ordering food between 5:00 and 6:00 on a Tuesday night. Delivery drivers will do their best to get there as soon as they can, but they can’t make a red light turn green, or the car in front of them drive any faster, and they most certainly won’t risk their safety for your food.

The fact of the matter is, when you order food you have to expect a longer wait than if you were to pick up, but that still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tip any less. Just like a waitress, delivery drivers should be tipped 15-20% as well. Delivering your dinner is probably not their dream job, but it might be a second job for them to help with bills or something else. Think about if you were in their position. Josh appreciates those who do tip well and says, “People have tipped me over 20% and made my life enjoyable and it’s people like them that make all the hardships worth it.”