All posts by mariaruiz

High School v.s. College

MariaRuiz, Editor-in-Chief

Since we started high school we have been told that these would be the best years of our lives. Our parents reminisce on this time, describing these years as “the good old days” time and time again. Going into freshman year, I expected parties and football games and to create friendships better than I had ever had before. High school gave me all of that; it gave me some of the best friends I could ever ask for and memories that will last me my whole life. Sometimes I wish I could just go back to freshman year just so I could relive it all again. However, those moments are fleeting once I realize what is to come.

Yeah, I know I’m going to miss high school. I think back to certain moments that changed me and will stick with me forever and know I will miss them. But there’s even those moments that we take for granted that will stick with us forever. Coming home after school to your dog every day, getting food on a whim with your best friends, knowing everyone in your school despite whether or not you talk to them… it was all a part of the experience and it will stick with us forever. It’s these kinds of things that you won’t notice until you’re sitting on the floor of your empty dorm moments after you hugged your parents goodbye.

I’ve gone through high school with the greatest friends anyone could ever ask for. It took some time, but eventually everyone finds who they are supposed to be with. Even so, I know that college will hold even better years. In college, you make friends based off your interests whereas in high school, no matter how close you and your friends are, there are always those hobbies that you feel a little shy talking about or showing off. College is about surrounding yourself with people who inspire you– who will push you to accomplish all that you wish to do. You don’t have to be friends with anyone who holds you back just to maintain friendships that only ever started out of  convenience So, even though we’re leaving so much behind, there really is so much to look forward to.


Chattahoochee Senior Takes Home State Championship

MariaRuiz, Editor-In-Chief

Wrestlers from 14 North Fulton and Forsyth County schools competed in the GHSA Traditional State Championships Feb. 11 at the Macon Coliseum. Overall, 29 wrestlers placed in the top-six in their weight classes and five took home the ultimate prize of a state championship title. Chattahoochee’s own Ethan Phillips (SR) captured a championship title in the 138 lbs weight class, finishing his high school career with a 44-2 overall record. Meanwhile, Keegan Connolly (SR) and Noah Latzch (JR) placed 4th in their respective weight classes while Daniel Gladwell placed 6th.

Achieving a state championship is something that every high school wrestler dreams about. It’s the ultimate title and the most you can accomplish at the highschool level. Wrestling requires more endurance and dedication than most other sports. “I started wrestling when I was six, so I have been doing it for about 12 years now. I really only started because it’s something my friends were doing, but it quickly grew to be something I really cared about,” stated Phillips, “Over the years, it has taught me mostly how to keep trying no matter how hard something is and to never get down on myself.” Luckily for Phillips, his dedication payed off.

Now that the season is over, Ethan’s plans are uncertain. “I feel pretty happy about winning since it’s been something I’ve expected from myself since I got into highschool, but it is still something I’m really proud of,” explained Ethan, “My future plans with wrestling are still undecidedI’m not sure if I want to wrestle at the college level or give it up for now and just focus on school.” With such a physically demanding sport, it’s understandable to want to focus on his education for the time being. Coach Hicks, the school’s athletic director and one of the wrestling coaches claimed he is “certain that Ethan will make the right decision for himself. Ethan is a smart kid who knows what he’s doing. Getting to watch him reach this point after so many years has been great. I’m sure he is going places.”

The Truth on School Counselors

MariaRuiz, Editor-in-Chief

Stress in high school is inevitable. You’re moving from an environment in which you are the oldest peoplethe big shotsto one in which you are freshmaninconsequential little blips in the high school hierarchy. As you get older, you think it would get easier seeing that you have grown accustomed to your surroundings. However, it doesn’t. As you make your way through high school, you begin to realize that the expectations set before you are being raised daily. First you’ll have to decide what friends to make, who your social circle will be. Next you’ll pick your classes, but if you pick wrong, it could not only affect the rest of your time in high school but also your entrance into college. You think your friends will be able to help you, but they really only know as much as you do. You think your parents will be there to guide you, but you fear that you’ll disappoint them. When the people closest to you seem to lack the answers, it’s hard to decide which is the right path for you.

Far too often, we as teenagers put too much on our plates. From the time we start middle school we begin to feel pressured to join honors classes. As time wears on, this burden only begins to weigh heavier with the addition of AP classes, extracurricular activities, clubs and just regular social drama. No matter what you do, if you continue to overload yourself you’re bound to break. That’s where school counselors come in. Yes, I said ityour school counselor. The person assigned to take care of you by your last names. Believe it or not, they are there for more than just to help you with your college recommendations. School counselors are there as a resource for you to take advantage of.

One common misconception is that a school counselor’s job is only to help students with their college plans. In the past 20 years, the role of school counselors has evolved substantially. “We actually don’t like the term ‘guidance counselor’ because it’s outdated terminology that does not represent the broad scope of what school counselors do.  Our role encompasses a wide range of topics: academic, college/career and personal/social development.  In a single day, I could talk to one student about their post-high school plans, another student about high school graduation requirements and which classes and levels would be the best fit for them, another student who is feeling anxious/depressed and finally another student who is struggling with issues with their friends or at home” said Ms. Blount, a counselor at Chattahoochee. A lot of the time, students feel as though the adults at the school are intentionally antagonizing themmaybe they have a mean teacher or the workload is too much for them. When life starts to get a little too overwhelming, it’s important to know that they have an asset in the schoolsomeone who will be on their side.

Sometimes, it can get hard as a teenager. To you, your problems are as real as ever; however, every adult you talk to seems to never really take you seriously. For us, our GPA is the end-all-be-all of our academic success. The parties we get invited to dictate our social standing. When those things don’t go as planned, it can get stressful. It’s reassuring to know that you have someone on your side no matter how inconsequential your problems may appear. “Our goal as a department is to teach kids to keep balance in their lives,” stated Ms. Blount, “Some students want to know the ‘magic number’ of AP or Honors classes they should take to get into a certain college and what their class rank is.  Our answers are:  (1) there is no magic number of AP or Honors classes, and (2) we stopped reporting class rank because we wanted to remove some academic anxiety since Chattahoochee is a high-performing school, and it is becoming increasingly less important to colleges as an admission factor. We encourage students to find the “best fit” school for themselves, not the “best school” according to someone else. What really matters is that students are working to their potential and challenging themselves appropriately, but also that they are able to balance their academic work with having fun and enjoying high school.” School is meant to develop students into well-rounded people; however, it has morphed into a competition to be the best in only one or two areas. Your GPA or test scores do not define you. In the words of Ms. Blount, “be your best self and be authentic to who you are as a person. That will set you up for success and happiness!”

Limitless Potential

MariaRuiz, Editor-in-Chief

How would your daily life change if you could actually concentrate? What if you weren’t spacing out in every class? Imagine: a school day without distractions. As midterms are approaching, the idea of this sounds especially enticing. But what if you didn’t have to study for those finals because you somehow managed to absorb every piece of information that your teacher relayed to you in class.

At high schools and colleges everywhere over 30 percent of students are using some sort of “brain-enhancing” drug in an attempt to achieve this standard. In an environment where the workload appears endless and stress levels are at an all-time high, Prescription ADHD medications like Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse have become increasingly popular.

Though it may seem like these drugs could be the end-all-be-all of bad studying habits, each of them have their drawbacks. First off, notorious for its ability to increase mental focus and alertness, Adderall has been linked to increased paranoia, anxiety and severe depression with extended use. Similarly, Ritalin, which is used to treat those with ADHD and narcolepsy, is highly addictive and carries the risk of psychological dependence. Then there is Vyvanse, which has been known to cause nausea, insomnia and loss of appetite. Ultimately, these pitfalls tend to ruin the desirable appearance of these drugs.

However, there is one drug that seems to outrank the rest: the “Limitless pill,” Modafinil is the only product clinically proven to improve cognition. Not only does it actually work, but studies show that there appears to be very limited side effects. Though its effects are not nearly as astounding as Bradley Cooper’s ability to use 100 percent of his brain in the movie “Limitless,” the drug does in fact help with thinking skills, planning, decision making, learning, memory and creativity.

So what’s the problem? Now that we know that it works, the ethical question is whether or not we should let it. Modafinil was originally synthesized in France during the ‘70s for the treatments of sleep disorders, particularly narcolepsy. Though it functions similarly to amphetamines and cocaine, it lacks the detrimental side effects of withdrawal that come with the use of other drugs. However, because it alters the brain’s levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, this means that with long-term studies, it could ultimately be linked to addiction. In addition to its potential negative health effects, its use is controversial because of the discrepancies it causes in intellectual edge. Similar to the use of performance enhancing drugs in professional sports, “smart drugs” like Modafinil can create an unfair advantage in exam situations, which is why its use has been banned from popular game shows like “Jeopardy!”.

Adult Pot Use Flies High

MariaRuiz, Editor-In-Chief

In the past, the use of marijuana has been perceived as just a trend among adolescents. But recently, this movement has gained a significant amount of followers from the adult population. A recent study showed that for the first time since 2002, middle-aged people are more likely to smoke marijuana than teenagers. Dr. Robert Mahn, of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health stated that the CDC is now seeing “more people over the age of 18 are sparking up as well.” An American study displayed that only 7.4 percent of teens smoke marijuana while 9 percent of their adult counterparts are users- marking the first time that the adult population has outsmoked the younger generation.

Ever since the beginning of the counterculture trend of the 1960’s, marijuana has slowly gained prevalence. It follows tobacco and alcohol, ranking as the third most popular recreational drug, despite its illegal status in many states. According to the 2014 Pew Research Survey, about 1 in 10 Americans had used marijuana in the past year, and the number continues to climb. Those numbers include many successful people. “Marijuana smokers come from all walks of life. We have jobs, we pay taxes, we even recycle,” stated Cannabis Consumers Campaign Founder, Mikki Norris.

This increase in popularity is suspected to be caused by the time frame in which the drug has been relevant. Due to the Cohort effect, those who first started smoking or using marijuana as teenagers are more likely to use it as adults. Those who started using in the ‘60s will continue to use it now; the number of users has only continued to grow as more and more states have begun to legalize its use. While some states have legalized cannabis solely for its medicinal benefits, others like Washington and Colorado have extended the legalization to general recreational use- with regulations similar to those on alcohol or tobacco.

One concern of this increase in marijuana use is the danger of abuse. However, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that while there was an increase in adult use of marijuana, there was also a 12.5% decline of marijuana abuse in the same year. Though this decline would be beneficial, the survey used to measure dependency was subjective to how reliant the marijuana user believed he or she was on the drug which could affect the accuracy of the study.

Freshman Paints Way into Capitol

Maria Ruiz

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize artistic talent in each congressional district. This past month, Congressman Tom Price awarded Chattahoochee’s Robert Hunter (FR) first place in the 6th District Congressional Art Competition.  His painting entitled, “Guardian of America,” will be displayed at the United States capitol for one year.

“I’ve been painting for five years because it gives me the opportunity to express myself. I chose to submit this piece in particular because it has political meaning,” stated Hunter.

This year’s competition consisted of 40 pieces of student’s artwork from seven schools in both Fulton County as well as portions of Cobb County. Second place was awarded to “Gastown” by Su Min Lee of Johns Creek High School, while third place was given to “Bustling Streets” by Amy Rhee from Mt. Pisgah Christian School.

The award ceremony was held at the Roswell Visual Arts Center over the weekend of April 16. At the ceremony, The Atlanta Art Institute offered $23,000 worth of scholarships to the top three finalists, while the Savannah College of Art and Design awarded $3,000 in scholarships to the first place winner, Robert Hunter.  

“We’re pleased to announce that his painting will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol. Our second and third place winners, as well as our honorable mentions, will be on display in my Roswell office. A huge congratulations to Robert and all of this year’s artists for their brilliant work,” said Congressman Price.

Hooch’s First Sadie


Staff Reporter

This year Chattahoochee High School’s football team will be sponsoring its first ever Sadie Hawkins Dance. A Sadie Hawkins Dance is different from other high school dances because rather than the boys asking the girls, it is the other way around. The idea to have a lady’s choice dance came from Chattahoochee’s principal, Tim Corrigan, who was “inspired by a similar dance held at his high school called TWIRP– “The Woman is Requested to Pay.” Corrigan hopes that this dance will spark a new tradition here at Chattahoochee, as well as get the upperclassmen more involved in school events since homecoming has recently been generalized as a lowerclassmen dance.

The theme of the Sadie Hawkins Dance is Mardi Gras; it will be held in Chattahoochee’s cafeteria on February 27th from 8-10 pm. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased from any member of the football team. The music will be provided by Ms. Tangela McCorkle who is a professional DJ outside of her teaching career at the school. The cafeteria will be decorated with lights and banners, similar to homecoming. Corrigan says it will be a “safe environment for groups of friends to come dance and hangout.”

The Sadie Hawkins tradition originated from a cartoon character. Sadie was a creation of the cartoonist Al Capp in his strip Li’l Abner, set in the hillbilly town of Dogpatch. Sadie first appeared in the daily strips in November 15-30, 1937. The strip goes as follows: Sadie Hawkins was the daughter of one of the earliest settlers of Dogpatch, Hekzebiah Hawkins. For 15 years, Sadie had failed to “catch” a husband. One day Sadie’s father called together all the eligible bachelors of Dogpatch.”He declared Sadie Hawkins Day. A starting gun is fired, to give the boys a head start, then a second gun is fired, and, as her father says, when Sadie “starts a-runnin’, th’one she ketches’ll be her husband.”

The Sadie Hawkins Dance has since become a monumental event at many high schools. It emphasizes the strength, power and independence that women have gained throughout the years. Because school dances such as homecoming and prom support patriarchy and the superior role of men, Sadie Hawkins highlights the significant role of women in today’s society. Sadie Hawkins will be an exciting event for Chattahoochee to be holding this year.

Mr. Corrigan, as well as the student body, seems excited to attend the dance. Corrigan claimed, “the inaugural Ladies Choice Dance will be lit!” The staff hopes that Sadie will continue at Chattahoochee in years to come and will fill the time between Presidents’ Day and spring break, “during the coldest and longest days of our school calendar,” says Corrigan.