Category Archives: Health and Beauty

Are High Schoolers Too Stressed Out?

RithikDoddla, Editor-in-Chief

High school. What was originally viewed only as a place to build bonds and learn can now send chills down one’s back when referred to. High school can undoubtedly be a challenging time for students from college preparations to social anxieties. It is obvious that these factors cause stress, but is the stress so much that it negatively affects students? New research for New York University shows that a growing number of high school students are developing chronic stress, which could be stunting academic success and causing serious mental health problems.

The study examined stress levels in high school students, contributing factors to stress, and the various coping mechanisms students use. There were 128 high school juniors at two private schools in the Northeast were studied. Juniors were specifically selected because it is the peak for college preparation as students start thinking about what schools and majors to apply for. To get a deeper insight into the stress faced, various members from each school’s staff were interviewed.

The research found that 48 percent of students reported having at least three hours of homework every night and 49 percent reported “a great deal of stress” on a daily basis. Females, who had higher average GPAs than boys, also reported having more stress and were 40 percent more likely to have more than three hours of homework per night. It was found that much of the pressure to perform well academically came from parents. A teacher at the school believed that because school tuition is expensive, parents expect not only a high school diploma, but an acceptance letter into an elite college.

In an effort to satisfy parents, schools have also increased class difficulty and extracurricular requirements to make students stand out to college admissions officers. Many students reported heavy mental exhaustion and believed they were working as hard or harder than adults.

This immense stress can cause students to harm their bodies as they try to cope with it. Kids can decide to use various drugs such as alcohol and marijuana. This can result in addiction and a rise in various other health problems. Students can also be diagnosed with depression or anxiety as they crush under the stress every day. Stress can be good for the body and motivate it to work hard, but there is a limit to it and many high schoolers have already crossed it at such a young age. If schools don’t take action on this issue, the number of mental health complications will likely increase within the next few years.


Making Ugly Christmas Sweaters 101

GiovanaDeOliveira, Staff Reporter

The holidays are here and there seem to be more and more Christmas sweaters in stores. But what’s better than being able to customize and make your own for a low and reasonable price? All you need are some craft supplies and the magic of a thrifted comfy sweater that you’re not afraid to meddle with and make your own.

First step:

Locate a store near you that has affordable, plain sweaters such as Walmart or Goodwill. You can even use a large sweater you have lying in your closet. The prices generally will range from no cost, (if you already own a sweater) or $3 to $10 if you get lucky!

Second step:

Time to go to the closest craft store. Good places to go include Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Joann Fabrics and Crafts. The items you are going to need are:

  1. Fabric Glue ranging from $2 to $5
  2. Hot glue gun and glue sticks starting at $2
  3. Needle and thread, which you can typically find lying around your house
  4. Fun little holiday embellishments such as: Santa, Christmas trees, gingerbread men, Snowmen and small ornaments.

Third step:

This is where the fun really begins.  Lay your sweater down on a table and put a piece of cardboard inside to prevent things from sticking together. Pick out your main embellishment, such as Santa Clause or a Christmas tree, and use your fabric glue to stick it on the middle of your sweater. Other fun little decorations include jingle bells, which can be sewn onto the border of the neck of your sweater. Finally, use your hot glue gun or a needle and thread to put some small ornaments all around so it can look even more festive. Even add some lights to this DIY Christmas sweater to flash them all day long!

Fourth step:

Make the final touches to your personalized sweater and let the glue dry so nothing falls off. Don’t be afraid to make it original and add as many embellishments as you want. Now your ugly Christmas sweater is done and it’s time to show it off.

Sleep: How Much Is Enough?


Sleep has become something of a rarity these days for high school students due to the coming of the digital age and the fast-paced lifestyle that it entails. Consequently, it is not uncommon to find students who are sleep-deprived, which is traditionally defined as getting less than seven or eight hours of sleep per night. But is it actually possible to achieve this optimal cutline?

The National Sleep Foundation claims that the ideal number of hours differs from person-to-person. Some people, for example, may be able to get through a day without feeling tired by sleeping just four hours a day, but others may need more than eight.

But what we do know for a fact is that getting more than nine hours may lead to health problems such as increased risks of heart attack, death and depression. Not getting enough sleep, however, can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. The National Institute of Health even went as far as to claim that driving after lack of sleep is akin to driving drunk.

Because there is no consensus on sleep, it is best to figure out your “right” amount by trying a small experiment at home. Perhaps you might try going to bed and getting up at different hours to figure out when you are most tired. You may find that you only need six hours of sleep per day, or perhaps eight, but it is crucial to realize that whatever works for one individual cannot be generalized to everyone’s needs.

Whatever works for you depends on your personal physical and mental characteristics. But notes that a sure sign that you are getting an enough sleep is feeling alert and refreshed in the morning.

(Photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons)

Dressing for the Winter: In Style


We all know that the brutal winter is near, and coming with those windy, finger-numbing days is a new season of fashion. The shorts and t-shirts are put in the closet and replaced by the jeans and jackets. Staying in touch with fashion is, without  a doubt, vital to the average Chattahoochee student, and staying within budget is always a priority.

A winter brand that has been growing in popularity among Chattahoochee is Patagonia. Emerging as one of the most popular brands for a student to wear,  they offer heavy fleece style jackets that are unrivaled in aspects of comfort, warmth and fashion. These jackets are fairly pricey, however not out of the range of a teen with a decent after-school job.

While the inevitable UGG boot-legging combination will forever be ingrained in winter attire, there are more options that do not include looking like a 13-year-old pop singer. There are more than one style of furry slipper-style shoes, one of which is the moccasin. These Native American style footwear is cheap and just as comfortable as their $250 counterpart UGG boots. The moccasins also offer a unique look that stands out in the crowd of calf high fuzzy boots.

Flannel is making a comeback. These possibly scratchy, plaid shirts have become all the rage. With an old school design the shirts bring a hip yet classy vibe. Students are making sure to stock up on these lumberjack worthy shirts making sure their favorite brand is plastered on the front. Polo and Vineyard Vines were quick to catch this trend among teens and have put out a variety of flannel shirts for the Johns Creek crowd. Dressing during the winter is difficult, but not impossible-even with the critical eyes of Johns Creek adolescents watching and judging.


(cover photo courtesy Patagonia)

Tired of Food? Try Soylent


Let’s face it. Eating meals three times a day, four weeks a month, and fifty-two weeks a year is both a waste of time and money. But then, our other option is to live on ramen, hamburgers, or pizza. As seniors will realize as they enter college, eating fast foods every day not only results in weight gain, but also in higher risk of getting cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc.

But thankfully, a failed Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Rob Rhinehart, a Georgia Tech graduate, came up with a new product to change how we eat: Soylent.

The story of Soylent’s invention goes like this: while working on a new project at his technology startup, Mr. Rhinehart and his two friends were faced with a budget shortage, so they were forced to eat ramen, corn dogs, and Costco frozen quesadillas every day. Realizing that eating food was a big waste of time and money (after all, most of the food commodities which we depend on for vitamins, including vegetables and fruits, contain mostly water and only few nutrients), Mr. Rhinehart decided to purchase nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins in their pure, powder form and mix them together with water in a blender to create a new drink called Soylent.

Although the idea of living on Soylent may sound disgusting for most people, Mr. Rhinehart attests to its constructive effect on his body, “My physique has noticeably improved, my skin is clearer, my teeth whiter, my hair thicker and my dandruff gone.” Moreover, his food costs have gone down to just fifty dollars per month.

For those of you who are entering college next year and are concerned about your living costs, perhaps Soylent may provide a solution. Whereas traditional meals can cost you well over fifty dollars per day, Soylent offers more vitamins and nutrients, albeit worse taste, for just three dollars per meal. To get your hands on this new innovative “food,” visit this website for more information.

There are some fashion trends that need to end


As we experiment with our personal style, it is inevitable that most of us will experience at least one fashion faux pas—at least one outfit that we will reflect on in about five years, sighing in embarrassment or maybe even gasping in horror. To help you make fashion choices that will not make you hate yourself in the future, I have gathered a list of what I believe to be the five most cringe-worthy current trends that should be avoided.

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    “Palazzo” pants: The loose fit and soft fabric of these pants has led me to believe that palazzo is just a fancy word for pajamas. They do often come in trendy patterns, and I suppose they can be flattering with their stretchy waistband—slimming the midsection—and their flare leg, but then again, don’t yoga pants have the same effect?

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    Overalls: I know fashion is meant to be an outlet for expressing oneself, but overalls just tell me that you’re either five years old or a farmer—or maybe even a five-year-old who lives on a farm. Yes, they can come in floral patterns or in leather or in any style other than basic denim, but that does not make the outfit any more flattering.

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    Flower crowns: As we are in the thick of music festival season, wreaths of fake flowers are enveloping the heads of girls all around the nation who claim to be “free spirits.” However, unless you are a forest nymph, please ditch the floral halo. In most situations, the flower crown just seems tacky and out of place.

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    Platform shoes: I love shoes as much as the next fashionista; platform heels are the bomb, and I own too many pairs of flats and sandals to count. However, flats and platform heels had a child, and it is one ugly baby: platform sandals. While the look adds major height, the shape of the shoe is severely unflattering, creating the illusion of large, stumpy feet. These platforms also look childish—I had a pair when I was in fifth grade; that should say something—and cheap (yet they are way too expensive to even imagine spending money on). In addition, there is the possibility that they may break, generating the possibility of a tragic wardrobe malfunction—and maybe even a broken ankle.

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    The shirtdress: Is it a shirt? Is it a dress? Who knows. If you even have to contemplate this, put the way-too-short-or-possibly-way-too-long piece of fabric back on the rack where you found it. These articles of clothing often lack any sort of shape, which does nothing for your figure. Don’t make this complicated; wear a dress that’s clearly a dress or a shirt that’s most definitely a shirt.

Throughout the ages of fashion, there have been trends that stuck around to become tried and true staples, but most are mere fads whose popularity quickly fades once the fashion world realizes what a travesty it has spawned. Thus, just because someone else is wearing something—like a flower crown or a pair of palazzo pants—does not mean that it’s a good idea. Don’t attempt to chase every trend that pops up, or you will just end up with a closetful of materialized regret. Remember this when you update your wardrobe this summer; happy shopping.


(cover photo courtesy