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opinion // 2

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015

Spotlight on mental health: strategies for support

Adding crisis hotline cards in the bathrooms at South sheds a necessary light onto issues that are typically kept in the dark. In a school where excellence is expected and struggling is infused into everyday life, these cards are a first step towards providing a safe environment for students. Before the cards popped up, there was no steady acknowledgment of mental health among students. The reality is, the South and Grosse Pointe communities have lost far too many people

to suicide over the past six years. While the sense of camaraderie and togetherness of the school skyrockets after we lose somebody, it seems to disappear after a few months. If we acknowledged mental health more consistently, it could create a safer environment for all students. Administrators do a commendable job providing grief counseling when we lose a student or community member, however, it is not enough. There should be some sort of preventive measure that increases awareness and sense of community before it’s too late. For instance, in years past, Project Smile has created positive posters and cards that they scattered throughout the school. The reassuring and comforting phrases could provide struggling students with one of the only positive messages they hear all day. In addition, the cards put on lockers by Project Smile that read “give this to somebody who … ” could spark interaction and support between peers. More positive and inclusive activities like this should be implemented at South throughout the school year. Some ideas are to create a safe space where students can go to de-stress throughout the day or to create specific events once

a month that are centered around

mental health awareness. The school could utilize Link Crew or other school groups to set up these events.

In order to maintain the academic excellence South boasts, mental health issues among students need to be addressed. With highly-ranked academics, sports teams and extracurriculars, South is a place where students can be over committed. However, their struggling

is sometimes envied and coveted by other students;

it is almost a battle of who can do the most. This



stressful mindset can be detrimental and should be addressed more frequently. Some ideas to resolve this tension are to set up time management sessions before or after school where students are taught how to handle all of the pieces of high school concurrently. Also, there are many de-stress events held on college campuses that might be beneficial

here, like bringing in puppies every once in awhile. However, student actions are as

negative rumor about somebody, we challenge you to think about the plethora of circumstances that are unknown to you and think about how you can impact their day. You control what type of message you send; you choose whether your words are supportive or destructive. In addition, being conscious of social media’s effect on others is important in today’s society. Before posting, think about whether you would say those words to the person’s face or whether you are just hiding behind a screen. Instead of scrolling past, pay attention and remember the impact your responses can have. Between administrators and students, each individual controls the type of message they send. It is vital to strive for a more inclusive environment for all students so that South can be a not only excellent, but comfortable and safe place for everybody.


equally important as administrative changes. High school is a notoriously gossipy and cliquey part of life, which often causes internal turmoil. Each student comes to school with a unique set of circumstances that cannot be seen on first glance, and it is easy to judge somebody before getting to know them. Next time you open your mouth to spread a



Moving as a child helped prepare for living in new environments

as a child helped prepare for living in new environments MY VIEW Lindsay Stanek ’16 four




Stanek ’16


times throughout the course of my life,due to my Father’s job. At 5, I moved from Grosse Pointe to Minneapolis, Minn. A year later, I moved three hours away to

rural Victoria, Minn. Three more years would pass before I moved to Mason, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. Five years later I moved back to GP, where I’ve now lived for three continuous years. I’ll admit I hate moving. Losing your friends and your home, you lose

a part of yourself, because moving changes you. You have to adapt to a

completely new environment. But moving also gives me an advantage when it comes to college. Lots of kids want to get out of “The Bubble” and go to a college states away, blissfully counting down the days until they’ve graduated and gone, without realizing that even though they

go to college in the same country, it’s a completely different place, with

a completely different culture. Just moving from one state to the next

creates a massive culture shock. Minneapolis is a “Twin City,” sitting opposite it’s counterpart of St. Paul, divided only by the Mississippi River. It’s a system of towering high-rises with sky bridges providing a sanctuary from the cold that the seldom-used crosswalks cannot. Victoria was in the middle of nowhere, with the first snow coming in October and lasting through April. Yet it was beautiful in a way that only a place that’s been, for the most part, untouched, can be. Mason was the stereotypical American suburb, with a bit of Southern mixed in. You’d only get about six inches of snow a year, country music was incredibly popular, and communities revolved around football. However, it was incredibly large, with over 1000 students per grade and a high school the size of most small colleges, and an entire medical building on campus for athletes. Grosse Pointe is preppy, spoiled and extremely traditional, with access to drugs and alcohol ten times easier and more common than anywhere else I’ve lived. Whereas other students who go to college far away will be in for a massive surprise when they realize the culture, values and just about everything is different from what they’ve always known, I’ll have the advantage of already knowing how to make myself comfortable in a place where I know no one. Moving taught me that as eager as I am to leave, I’ll also miss home



more than everything. As much as

people say they hate it here, it’s still their home. The first time I moved,

I thought I would never fit in like I

did here, but after coming back nine years later, I didn’t fit in here anymore. The first move seemed like the worst thing in the world at the time, and at five, moving was still something unheard of, I was the first of anyone I knew my own age to do so. T h a t was when I had to figure it all out. How to adapt and make friends, the different trends and mannerisms. The biggest issue was missing my best friend, Elizabeth Coyle ‘16, who I had never been apart from before. She was the girl who lived across the street whose family was close with mine, and we spent everyday growing up playing together. Luckily, by the second and third moves, I hadn’t lived in the places long enough to really miss anyone like that. For my third move, I wasn’t upset, just defeated. Moving three times in four years at such a young age made me feel like I was stuck in this cycle where there was no point trying to belong because we would just pick up and leave again. However, after that third move when we ended up in Mason, it stopped. I had still considered GP to be my true home, but it changed. Mason was the longest I could remember living in a place. The fourth move was by far the hardest. It was completely unexpected, and I

had under a month notice. In mid-July we were informed my father was being transferred to Detroit, and by August we were living here. Mason had become home and I always expected to graduate there. I miss Chick-Fil-A, and Kings Island Amusement Park, and the Cincinnati Reds. Moving in high school was different. Kids were older and less trusting, less open to new people and things. In elementary school, the new kid was a shiny toy everyone wanted. In high school, I felt like an outcast, everyone had been together their whole lives, and while I had been born here, I didn’t feel like one of them. I didn’t want to adapt. I

didn’t want to dress different or stop saying y’all. I liked who I was and

I didn’t want to change because I wasn’t what people here expected. I

still consider Mason home, and I miss everyone and everything more than I like to admit. But I don’t hate it here anymore, and I don’t hate my parents for moving me around. Whether you like it here or not, this is your hometown. Going to college far away may be an escape, but you will miss GP, and sometimes, you’re going to wish you could come back to being a senior here. In college, everyone is new, some just come from nearby, and some far away. But now that I’m older, I know that moving has given me a distinct advantage in knowing what it feels like to be in a place where you feel like an outcast, and learning how to make it work.

Adjustment to life as an only child proves to be a challenge

Adjustment to life as an only child proves to be a challenge MY VIEW Abigail Due



Abigail Due ’18

My whole life has been consumed with my broth- er’s activities. Especially when I was younger, my life revolved around what Zach was doing. I always attended his games and any other school events. I didn’t get the same attendance at my events, but I never realized it, nor did it ever bother me. While Zach has been away at University of Ken- tucky my life has changed enormously when I only think about what I have to do. This can be difficult because I want to know what he’s doing, but I also don’t want to be a clingy younger sister. My house is so much more quiet without him, which is depressing at times, especially when my par- ents have something going on, and I’m home alone. I usually invite my friends over to seize the silence, but it’s not the same. My brother and I bonded the most when my parents were gone because that’s when I told him what was happening in my life. Zach always said something funny to make my day better or told me an outrageous story that didn’t seem real. However, with him gone, I have noticed I can get my homework done faster. Zach was always inter- rupting me with questions or making a funny com- ment about his day. Zach has never been a morning person, not even when we were young. So as he got older, waking him up only became harder. Every morning his alarm would go off for 45 minutes until he woke up and turned it off, i he even woke up. If not, one of my par- ents had to wake him up which basically consisted of them screaming at him until he got out of bed. Zach not being able to wake up led to him being late to school almost every day, and his major case of senioritis caused him to skip classes too. Every day, when I came home from school, I’d be greeted with a voicemail from South. By now I think I’ve memorized it. “Hello, this is an at- tendance call from Grosse Pointe South High School.

Your child has been marked absent/ tardy in 1 or more classes … ” Without that craziness, my life seems simpler, but I really didn’t notice the small things he did to improve my day. As for being an only child now, I do get a lot more attention which can be really annoying when there’s a lot of family around. Before, I would endure the 20 questions about our lives from my relatives with Zach’s help, and it was something we could laugh about later. My parents aren’t consumed with both of our lives and when I ask them for them to do something they don’t deny me as often. Also my parents have became a lot more atten- tive with school and asking me about my grades. Last year was a big year for Zach because he was applying to colleges, so they weren’t as focused on my grades .Though, when I need something the attention isn’t so bad. My parents aren’t consumed with both of our lives and when I ask them for them to do something they don’t deny me as often. When summer was ending and Zach was about to leave, I was expecting to have a hard time main- taining my social life. I assumed my parents would be having a hard time with Zach leaving and would want me to fill that gap in their lives. Surprisingly, they haven’t been that strict with me hanging out with friends and going out on the week- end’s. I think they’re conscious of not being over- bearing, so they try to lay off a bit. Additionally last year the biggest reason I couldn’t go out was to make my brother stay home. My par- ents knew Zach wouldn’t stay in if his little sister was going out, so my mom would guilt me into staying home. I definitely took him for granted, so if you have a sibling leaving next year, enjoy the time you have with them now. Especially if you’re the youngest last child, the house is a lot quieter when they leave, and it’s really weird at first. Though it gets a lot easier, it never feels the same as it was before. It’s so strange how I no longer take for granted hanging out with my brother, but I’ve only spent a weekend with him since he left for UK in mid-August, so I’m sure I’ll get irritated with him when he comes home for a longer period of time.






Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Maiorana* ’16

Associate Editors Brenna Bromwell* ’16 Emily Fleming* ’16

Supervising Editors Gabi de Coster* ’16 Haley Vercruysse* ’16 Lauren Pankin* ’16 Sydney Simoncini* ’16

Page Editors Maggie Wright* and Zoe Jackson*, both ’16 Claire Yeamans*, Erykah Benson* and Jack Holme*, all ’17 John Francis*, Liz Bigham* and Ray Hasanaj*, all ’18

Copy Editors Brendan Cauvel*, Hannah Connors*, Julia Fox*, Juliana Berkowski* and Shannon McGlone*, all ’16 Rachel Harris* ’18

Photo Editor Jennifer Toenjes* ’16

Business Managers Alexis Motschall* ’16 Asst. Mackenzie Harrel* ’17

Online Editors-in-Chief Allyson Hartz* and Olivia Baratta*, both ’16

Online Associate Editor Preston Fossee* ’16

Online Section Editors Scarlett Constand* ’16, Adam Cervone* and Ariana Chengges*, both ’17 Riley Lynch* ’18

Online Copy Editors Lindsay Stanek* ’16 Lily Kubek* ’17

Online Social Media Directors Emma Andreasen* and Zoe Evans*, both ’17

Staff Writers

Abigail Warren, Blair Shortal, Callie Zingas, Christina Ambrozy, Elizabeth Coyle, Gennie Martin, Griffin Brooks, Hadley Diamond, Hailey Murphy, J.D. Gray, Jessica Whitney, Jon Theros, Katharine Kuhnlein, Lily Patterson, Lindsey Clark, Mac Cimmarrusti, Madeline DesNoyer, Olivia Frederickson and Olivia Wouters, all ’16

Abby Ottenhoff, Anton Mikolowski, Bridget Driscoll, Cam Francis, Charlie Denison, Claire Hubbell, Emma Russell, Gillian Eliot, Jack Froelich, Jack Roma, Mac Welsher, Madeleine Glasser, Mary Grace O’Shea, Michael French, Olivia Sheffer, Sydney Stann and William Muawad, all ’17

Abigail Due, Arianna Paganette, Brennan Zihlman, Cameron Smolen, Chase Clark, Elena Rauch, Evan Skaff, Grace Brandon, John Standish, Kaitlin Nemeh, Katherine Bird, Lauren Thom, Maren Roeske, Margot Baer, Mollie DeBrunner and Liam Walsh, all ’18


Rod Satterthwaite

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