Category Archives: Features

Dude, Relax



High school can be an incredible time. It can be one of unforgettable memories, personal growth and unlimited joy. It can also be an unforgiving time – demanding, stressful and suffocating – filled with homework and testing, of obligations and responsibilities. According to the American Psychological Association, “30% of students report feeling sad or depressed … and 31 percent felt overwhelmed [from] schoolwork, social life, sports or other activities.” Moreover, according to a survey conducted by the same association, teens reported a higher overall stress level than did adults. Simply put, high school is a difficult time for everyone: regardless of grades or extracurriculars, sports or awards, high school is a stressful time. Everyone can use a hand at some point, so here are a few ways to keep yourself afloat if you’re feeling a little defeated.


  1. It’s just a number.

Your grade on that calculus test does not define who you are. That girl in your class who got a 100 is not better than you, and that boy who got a 50 is not worse than you. People are people, not numbers, and it’s imperative that you understand that. If you didn’t do too hot, study some more next time. Maybe ask that girl for some help or maybe offer that boy some tips. If you’re having trouble in class, ask your teacher for some help! They’re here to help you, and their goal is for you to do as well as possible.

  1.   You are not alone.

Fortunately, you attend a high-end school in a high-end county in a high-end area. Naturally, your school is well-equipped to help you with all your needs. If you’re having issues of any kind, whether they be bullying or depression or just an overload of stress, your school has counselors to help. These are people whose job is to help you, people who are not there to judge you and people who are willing to listen. If you have a problem, it is yours to solve, so seek out whatever help you can get.

  1.   There’s always tomorrow.

If you’ve had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, then chances are you’re feeling pretty down. If you’ve had many such days, you might be in a tough spot in your life. Just remember: there’s always tomorrow. If things didn’t go right today, it’s okay to be upset. It’s okay to complain, and it’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. However, that’s today. Tomorrow is a new day, and with it is a host of new experiences and joyful moments; tomorrow is your day –  so make it count.

High school can be tough but it doesn’t have to be: embrace challenges and experience the unknown. Ultimately, high school will be some of your fondest memories and the place where you grow the most as a person. Say good morning to your teachers and ask them how their weekends were. Tell your friends you appreciate them and let your parents know how much you love them. You are important and deserve the best; never forget that.


Uncommon Jobs You Didn’t Even Know Existed

TaisFerreira,Staff Writer

When getting ready to graduate, many people will ask the dreaded question, “What major will you pursue in college?” Many people will confront this question with the typical, “I want to be a doctor” or “I want to be a salesperson.” However, not everyone falls into the category of wanting to have a typical job. Many students choose to go down a different route regarding careers, picking a career based on the things they love, even if that thing is as random as worms, hedgehogs, gum, mattresses or simply chocolate!

  • Worm Picker:  Being a worm picker tends to only require a high school diploma as well as completion of on-the-job training. The job entails walks around gardens and parks to use flashlights and pick the worms. The Average salary for this job ranges from $17,000 to– $44,000 a year.
  • Professional Apologizer: To be an apologizer, one must have a college degree, but not necessarily from the communications field. Apologizers must have experience with customer service and must be able to write apology letters and apologize in person. The average salary for this job is $33.00 per hour.
  • Hedgehog Officer: Hedgehog officers are required to use their love for wildlife and help conserve hedgehog habitats. Officers move around different communities encouraging residents to take down fences or any barriers that block hedgehogs ability to move freely. The average salary for this job is $31,000 per year.  
  • Gumologist. Gum tasters are required to sample various new flavors of gum and distinguish the different flavors. The average salary for this job ranges from $74,000 to $107,500 per year.
  • Bed Tester: The average salary for this job is $53,000 per year. Bed testers are a sleep lover’s dream job. The job requires you to nap on certain mattresses to test the quality of pillows, blankets and mattresses.
  • Chocolate Taster: These employees spend their work day testing chocolate based on its quality, flavor and creaminess. The average salary for this job ranges from of $24,000 to $70,000 per year.

How to: Getting Involved in the Community

CarolineKurzawa, Staff Reporter

Participating in the community is an extremely fulfilling experience. However, many people who would like to be involved do not know where to look for opportunities. As an active participant in community service, I have had endless opportunities to volunteer with several philanthropies in the area. The organizations listed below are some of my favorites and range from animal shelters to foster care. All of these institutions need and love volunteers and provide ample opportunities for anyone looking for a way to positively impact the community.

North Fulton Community Charities (NFCC): NFCC’s  mission is to elevate families out of poverty through a hand up, not a hand out approach. Their holiday program begins in November and is filled with volunteer opportunities. Nov. 2, 3, 4 and 6 are volunteer days for the coat drive, and Nov. 17-20 are the days of their Thanksgiving Food Drive. Dec. 16-18 are the days of the Santa Shop, a time for families in need to come and choose donated toys for their children to have under the Christmas tree. All these and more can be found on the NFCC Holiday Program Website. Volunteers must be 13 years or older and fill out a waiver before participating.

Furkids: Furkids is the largest no-kill animal shelter for cats and dogs in Georgia. Anyone interested in volunteering must first fill out a volunteer application and go to a training session. For younger volunteers, most activities will require parent supervision; however, volunteers 16 years or older can volunteer on their own. For more information and to complete the volunteer application, visit Furkids.

Jesse’s House: Jesse’s House is an emergency shelter for girls who have been removed from their homes for their own safety. The shelter serves girls from ages 7-17. To be involved, contact a member of the Jesse’s House staff at Volunteer opportunities range from tutoring to mentoring to meal preparation. An application, background screening and orientation will be required for anyone who volunteers onsite. For more information, visit Jesses House.

Beacon of Hope: Beacon of Hope is a pregnancy crisis center. The organization supports mothers with unexpected pregnancies and holds classes to teach child care lessons. Volunteers can help provide meals or help run the baby boutique, among many other opportunities. Volunteers must fill out an application and attend a day of training. Those who want to directly interact with the mothers must attend an additional day of training and an orientation session. For more information and a list of their locations, visit Beacon of Hope Pregnancy Crisis Center.

Chattahoochee Nature Center: The Chattahoochee Nature Center, located in
Roswell, loves their volunteers. Volunteers can either work with the nature center year-round or for special events. Additionally, if hours are needed for internships or are required for school, the center offers an abundance of volunteer opportunities. Year long volunteers must be be 16 years or older for most events and must complete and return a waiver and application. Volunteers who wish to help with special events must be 12 years or older and volunteer with a parent if they are under 16. These volunteers must also complete and return a liability waiver. For a list of volunteer opportunities and to complete the required forms, visit Chattahoochee Nature Center.

CURE: CURE is an organization that works to raise money to help find a cure for childhood cancer. To volunteer, go online to CURE and sign up to be included on their volunteer mailing list. These email blasts will provide information on all their upcoming volunteer events. Volunteer opportunities include: the annual CURE picnic, the Lauren’s Run 5k and preparing snack bags for the patients’ families.

foster care: Foster care works to place children in homes with foster parents when their housing situation becomes a danger to them. Foster care runs on their volunteer staff, and volunteers can work at the distribution center, where the donations are organized, or the resale shop, both located in Roswell. The distribution center is open on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and profits at the resale shop go directly to the program to help serve the foster children of Georgia. Volunteers will help sort incoming donations and pack orders for foster children. The resale shop is open Mondays through Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. where volunteers help to tag and hang items for sale. Email to sign up for volunteer times.

Erin’s Club: Erin’s Hope for Friends is an organization that provides social opportunities for high-functioning autistic teens and young adults. Those who are interested must first complete a volunteer inquiry form on the  Erin’s Club website and wait to be contacted by a member of the Erin’s Hope for Friends staff.

FOCUS: FOCUS is a program that works to provide activities and summer camps for children with special needs. Volunteers must be 14 years or older, and volunteers who are 18 years or older must undergo a background check. To volunteer, fill out the volunteer application on FOCUS and send it to

Blessings in a Backpack: Blessings in a Backpack is an organization that helps provide food for children who do not have any at home. The meal bags are put together and distributed on Fridays, so children can take them home. Those interested can fill out the volunteer form on Blessings in a Backpack. Opportunities include: starting a Blessings in a Backpack program in your local community or writing notes of encouragement for the children.

Path to Family

CarolineKurzawa, Staff Reporter

It’s my first day of high school. I’m fourteen and fresh out of middle school. I am wearing my first day outfit and have new school supplies in my backpack. I’m holding my schedule as my Keds squeak on the tile floors. I make a turn down the A hall toward my first period: A106. Intermediate Chorus. I walk in and see the Roxie sign glowing red in the dark. I anxiously take a seat and wait for the class to start. Many other students trickle in and take their seats. She walks in with a 100-watt smile, and my day instantly brightens. I know this moment will be important.

When I entered high school, I suffered from intense anxiety, the kind that swallows you whole. I used to overthink the smallest things and rarely left the house. I became a shell of myself and was sad to see my reflection in the mirror. This girl wasn’t me. I had gone to see a counselor and was learning to cope, but it wasn’t enough. Little did I know that all I was missing was being a part of the Chattahoochee Chorus Program.

I struggled through the first month of high school. The stress of the new environment and workload exacerbated my anxiety. During the first week, I would come home and collapse into sobs. It was too much, and I was drowning. My saving grace was first period chorus. When I woke up, I knew that if I could just make it to first period, I’d be okay. The chorus room was my safe haven because it was an environment that encouraged kindness, acceptance and love. There were no cliques. There was no judgment. In chorus, we were a family. Throughout the first semester, I became more comfortable and could feel my anxiety dissipate whenever I entered the chorus room. In the spring, I joined the stage crew for the musical, and my family grew.

Since my freshman year, I have continued my involvement in the chorus and theatre programs. I have been promoted through the choruses and am now a member of the Chamber Singers, which has been a dream of mine since I first saw them perform when I was in seventh grade. Additionally, I have held different positions in the stage crew, including Assistant Stage Manager of last year’s musical, “The Wedding Singer.” Both the musical theatre and chorus programs have allowed me to grow and develop relationships I will cherish forever.

The thought of leaving the chorus and musical theatre programs brings tears to my eyes and breaks my heart in two. Mrs. Fabianski, your many life lessons and words of encouragement have meant more to me than you can ever know, and I will remember them in times of doubt. Before you were a mother to your beautiful baby boy, you were a mother to the members of the chorus and musical programs. As I venture into the next chapter of my life, I will remember to be respectful, to be kind, to not judge too quickly and to always be myself. I owe you my new lease on life, my new definition of happiness and my closest friends. Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.


Testing: Plan B

YunaLee, Staff Reporter

Oh no! You forgot about that big test tomorrow! It’s in 6 hours and you’re screwed! Don’t you worry: we’ve got the solution. Just follow these simple steps.

  1.   Panic.

Let it out. Let it all out.

  1.   Treat yo self.

I mean, let’s be honest: panicking and stressing is mentally and emotionally                   draining, so buy yourself an ice cream.

  1.     Study.

Oh yeah.

  1.     Prepare yourself.

You’re gonna fail this test, so it’s important that you prepare yourself for the repercussions. Your grade will drop 2-3 points, depending on how many tests you’ve already taken. If this is your final exam, then hahahahahahahahahaha. Emotionally, this might take a toll on you, so:

                             a. Tell yourself that it’s just a number. Test grades don’t define people!

                             b. It’s okay to drop out. Bill Gates did it (out of Harvard!)

   5.     Explore other options.

 School isn’t for everyone. After all, if everyone went on to college and earned specialized degrees, who would be left to take their orders at McDonald’s? Who would mop the floors and take out the trash? You can still contribute to society without the hassle of a satisfying job or a six-figure income.

  1.     Prepare yourself (again).

Your parents will kick you out of the house once they see your transcript. The only thing left to do is prepare yourself (again). Learn how to draw sympathy from apathetic pedestrians by practicing your best pitiful face, or adopt a dog so that people will actually want to be around you. Life will be hard out on the streets, so it’s important that you acquire adequate skills and equipment.

  1.    Make the most out of your night.

Just sleep. Nothing you do from this point to tomorrow will have much of an impact so you might as well do some aromatherapy by lighting a candle and pampering yourself with an anti-stress clay face mask. Who knows? This may be your last night before your parents find out you’re a failure.

And there you have it! Now that big test doesn’t seem so scary after all.

You’re welcome.


Seniors Vote Their Ossoff

JourneySherman, Editor-in-Chief

On April 18 many seniors were seen wearing an “I’m a Georgia Voter” sticker. This is because Georgia held a sixth district special election to replace Republican congressman Tom Price, who stepped down to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services.

Democrat, Jon Ossoff, ran against 11 Republicans for the position and almost gained 50% of the voteswhich is what is needed to declare a winner. Ossoff fell short with having 48.1% of the votes while the other candidates roughly shared the other 51%. The Republican with the greatest percent, Karen Handel, garnered nearly 20% of the votes. Because none of the candidates cleared 50%, a runoff will take place June 20.  

Ossoff has made himself more accessible through countless rallies for supporters to sign up to volunteer and get the chance to meet him in person. I was lucky enough to attend his first rally in preparing for the runoff. It consisted of signing up for shifts to volunteer at one of his campaign offices. These volunteers are being asked to go door to door and advocate for Ossoff. They will also push “mail-in” voting and make you promise you won’t be out of town on June 20. Currently many of the official members of his campaign are from Gen X.

When I attended the rally this age group made up most of the population in attendance. Ossoff was eager to speak with all attendees of the rally and was much more personable than expected. He gave off a calm and engaging demeanor while making a short speech and greeting the crowd. Ossoff was more than willing to take pictures with supporters (including me) and listen to topics that concerned them.

With such a narrow margin of votes needed, it has become increasingly important for millennials to be involved. This means spreading the word regarding voter registration and voicing their opinions on issues that are important to them. Ossoff’s campaign has an increasing desire for involvement by younger people in the campaign.

Dreaming of Chrysalis

FernandaMorote, Staff Reporter

As an outlet for creativity, Chattahoochee’s literature department offers different publications, including a literary magazine. Each release their products sometime during the year, and Lit Mag released this year’s edition of “Chrysalis” in April, with the theme “Dreams and Sleep.”

According to staff member Hope D’Erasmo (SR), “Chrysalis” is a compilation of “student-submitted artwork, poetry, and short stories published into a book format at the end of the year.” In addition to being a school publication, D’Erasmo says that “it’s separate from academic activities, so you can get to know people in a different way.” Since Chrysalis was not released last year, Lit Mag is unintentionally hidden from the student body. This year, current editor-in-chief Natalie Patterson (SR) decided that Lit Mag should be resurrected, and she wanted to be a part renewing that tradition.

Creating such a concentrated book of artwork requires a long process, including coming up with a theme, advertising and collecting submissions, sorting through the works of art, designing it and finally ordering copies to sell. Patterson commented on the decided theme of Dreams and Sleep: “It’s a theme that is specific enough to have cohesion in a magazine and at the same time allows plenty of variation.”

As for the submissions, Lit Mag received many works which were difficult to sift through, especially since they only meet twice a week. Throughout their process, they came across a wide variety of submissions: poems from enthusiastic students, others from students required to submit something and even academic essays which were intriguing but too long to publish in the small magazine.

When designing the magazine, each student was assigned two or three spreads to work on in a specific color palette. Lit Mag’s sponsor, Ms. Scaggs, handled the ordering of the books, including finding a publisher who would make the magazines at a decent price.

Selling the books is also part of the process, so now staff members are selling books for $10 in May. When asked about selling strategies, Patterson mentioned, “We are planning some creative means of advertising, so keep an eye out for some notable things.”

Because the magazine is written by students, the works within are very relatable for teens like us. As we read, we can laugh and nod along with the creators’ experiences.