Congratulations to our latest Student Voices writer, Monica Stack from the Montrose School in Medfield, found on BostonHerald.com here.
Check out what students had to say when given the chance to choose their own topic in the January round of Student Voices:
At this time of year, high school seniors face the expected “which college” question that unfailingly pops up at family gatherings. My standard response remains, “well my top choice is ____, but we’ll see.” With the nation’s college students battling $1.2 trillion in debt, the choice of “which college” increasingly hinges on costs. So when President Obama announced his initiative to make community college “as free and universal in America as high school is today,” students should have thrown away their financial woes, right? Not so fast. A sampling of college and high school students in the Boston area remains unconvinced that free community college will solve college financing strains. One source of skepticism involves the one-size-fits-all concept of federalizing community colleges. Julia Lay, a senior at the Boston College Lynch School of Education, said that funding for education “should be local because the states are so diverse. We need agriculture schools out west but not in the Bronx.” The federal mandate seems out of sync with varied state needs. Brenna Mitchell, a senior at the Montrose School voiced concern that the attention paid to community college misses the mark for most college-bound students. “A better option, at least in Massachusetts, is to make state schools cheaper or to make government-funded scholarships and grants more accessible. An associate’s degree is a foundation, but that shouldn’t be the limit.” Mitchell’s concerns reflect the pattern among Massachusetts students. Of the 75.6% of high students in Massachusetts who attend college, only 28.3% choose community college, according to a 2012 Massachusetts Department of Education study. While free community college may work in some states, Obama’s plan seems off the mark for the needs of college students in Massachusetts. Consistently, students voice that more effective and wide-reaching solutions should focus on lowering the cost of four-year degree programs.
Monica Stack, Montrose School in Medfield
As the Patriots settle into practice sessions in Arizona, Patriot fans at home are digging out from the confusing media coverage surrounding “Deflategate.” What do high school students have to say about this history-making scandal which calls the Patriot’s reputation for fair play into question? Recent polls show that 68% of Americans hold the Patriots accountable. Eleven out of twelve footballs used to play in the Patriots vs. Colts AFC Championship on January 18th were under-inflated, with the Patriot balls two pounds less than regulation. While national polls cast doubt on the Patriot’s, high school Pats fans in the Boston area remain skeptical about the inflated media coverage. A high school junior from Wrentham, Marie Lacke dismissed the scandal: “The only reason this has spiraled into this enormous of a problem is because the press needs a story to make money.” Lacke added, “Even if the balls were deflated, Tom Brady shouldn’t be taking all the heat. He isn’t the only player on the team. The entire team had an amazing game. and that skill level at which the Patriots were playing is what led the team to victory. The deflated footballs had nothing to do with it.” An avid football fan from Westwood, Laura Bergemann put the current scandal in historical perspective: “Deflating the footballs has gone on for over 40 years, with the first recorded incident between the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers. This is not a new problem. If you look at the extreme difference in scores from the most recent game, it is clear that the deflated footballs were not a deciding factor in the winner of the game.” High schoolers in Patriot nation question the media’s motives and fair minded coverage of “Deflategate” more than they doubt the Patriots earned AFC championship.
Margaret Sparicio, Montrose School in Medfield
The desire to be perfect has become an epidemic in today’s society, especially among teenage girls. This struggle with perfection is found in every environment — from school to sports and extracurricular activities to physical appearances. Perfectionists believe that their accomplishments are failures if they fall short in any perceived way. What advice do teenage girls have for fellow perfectionists? Focus on your own girls and be yourself. Arlene Perez, a 17 year old from Roslindale said, “Focus on your goals and don’t let anything distract you from accomplishing them.” 16-year old Rachel Solomon of Newton added, “What they take into account is what they think other people think of them when in reality, we should only be concerned with our untainted opinion of ourselves.” While seeking perfection seems benign, there are dangerous consequences and side effects. Perfectionists take the desire to be perfect from the realm of external challenges to their internal self-concept. Perfectionism is recognized as a form of fear. Society instills this fear of not being good enough into girls’ minds through magazines filled with underweight models and tips on how to get that “perfect” body or how to find the “perfect” guy. Girls are led to believe that if they don’t follow the steps outlined in the article and mirror the models presented, then they won’t be considered beautiful or be able to find love. Socially-prescribed perfectionists strive to be perfect because they are influenced by others. Depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and low self esteem are common results of perfectionist thinking. While society does place too much pressure on girls to be perfect, staying true to yourself will allow you to accomplish anything.
Rylee Booth, Montrose School in Medfield
Thank you to all of the students who submitted articles to Student Voices. Students can get published in the Boston Herald each month by writing an article in 300 words or less. Find our submission details here, due on Thursday, March 26.