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I remember driving these long windy roads
To just come to tell you I miss you
Your home was my home
I came there to escape what was in my head
You were the only one in my head
You snapped one day and that was it
You were gone, gone from my life
Now you’re with her and you’re happy as can be
I’m glad that you are doing well
But what about me?
Do you remember us?
Probably not because I was just there
I was just a stepping stone
But you took so much of my time and I can’t get that back
We had such good memories
They’re all just memories now that are in the back of my head
Hope you are happy
Hope you love her
Wish you the best
I’ll just sit here and wait for my time
My time for love
My time for happiness
My time for what you have.

Bullying is Still Very Real

“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” We hear this a lot, especially from parents while growing. Truthfully, do we honestly think that words can’t hurt? Think about this, a lot of the bullying now is online and hence done verbally. Because of the technology we have, bullies are able to hide behind screens and say anything they want about you.
Bullying has even gone to the extremes for some people and is more prominent with younger students than in the past. Elementary school is now where the bullying officially begins. Why is this so? Some people would say that videogames were to blame but now it’s social media, and children are given devices to access social media and each other at very young ages which doesn’t help.
Almost every child in the U.S now has a way to be on social media at a very young age and can do it without parent permission because these websites don’t know how to prevent certain ages off the internet. Electronics are a convenient way for parents to keep kids occupied, so children learn how to work iPads even before learning how to read.
The sole reason someone becomes a bully is because it makes them feel better about themselves. Because of this, schools are trying to help those that believe that they are being bullied. Tip hotlines are available to call and schools have posters visible to spread awareness.
Bullying has evolved from children being picked on at the playground to texts on a phone or posts on social media. The grey area for what exactly is bullying has gotten much larger which makes it hard to punish those that do it. Though what has changed is that kids don’t get a break from bullying in school. It follows them home via their phones and social media.
So how can we help those that are being bullied? If you see bullying happening stand up to the person and protect the victim. Words do hurt and do cause harm to others, so be careful how you act towards others and try to be kind.

Dear Coffee, I Love You

Eighty-three percent of American adults drink coffee. That is an average of three cups a day per person, or 587 million cups. This isn’t even counting the new teenager trend of drinking Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. Personally coffee is a necessity to my everyday life but some people can’t stand the taste. My favorite coffee shop is StoneFruit. This coffee haven is on Market Street in Boardman across from the hospital. The calm surroundings and smell of fresh coffee is the best place to relax and even get schoolwork or writing done. The friendliness of the baristas make people keep coming back again and again. The modern music that plays in the background is soothing and allows customers to relax and talk with friends or even do work.
I started drinking coffee at age nine and haven’t stopped since. Of course when I was nine I added more sugar and creamer than coffee. There is a common myth that coffee will stunt your growth and that is why children shouldn’t drink it. The reality of this is that coffee contains caffeine which stimulates the central nervous system. Though there is no proven evidence that caffeine stunts children’s growth, people who suddenly stop drinking coffee can experience headaches, irritability, and fatigue.
Besides giving people the boost they need in the morning, coffee does have some additional benefits. Coffee supposedly lowers the risk of heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, risk of type 2 diabetes, risk of Alzheimer’s, depression, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and cancer. Black coffee is low in fat and calories and supplies a great amount of antioxidants that help protect a person’s health. Certain risks have been linked to drinking large amounts of black coffee, but rest assured that a cup of coffee every morning is safe. Keep in mind five spoonfuls of sugar and a gallon of creamer is not the best picture of heath.
Not only is coffee healthy but it is lucrative. The coffee industry makes $30 billion dollars a year. According to a recent NCA study, one-third of U.S. adults have been drinking gourmet coffee every day. At the same time, those drinking traditional coffee dropped from 56 percent in 2012 to 49 percent this year. Gourmet coffee includes fancy lattes or espressos and even exotic beans. These fancy coffees attract customers because of their names and brands. The gourmet coffees look very tempting but they are also more expensive than just a regular cup of joe. Coffee shops not only thrive because of their beverages but also their style and the look of their store.
Coffee is not only the best because of the taste but also because of the culture. People use the phrase “let’s meet for coffee” and it is often used as a first date setting. Coffee is more than a choice of beverage. This beverage is a relaxing cup of relief for all who indulge.

Enjoy The Ride

Growing up a lot of us wished we were farther along in life. In elementary school we wanted to be in the middle school because that made us “big kids” and we had lockers. When we hit middle school, in all our awkward glory, we started to hit puberty and take interests in sports, academics, and other hobbies. We had crushes and would pass notes saying “Do you like me?” with yes/no check boxes. After awhile we wished to move onto the next level of schooling, high school.
Little did any of us expect what high school had in store for us. The heartbreak, fights, and drama that would happen in just four years is not something we could have guessed. When I was in middle school I was excited about two things: bigger lockers and the title of “high schooler.” There is no way I could have known how high school would prepare me to deal with all types of people and problems in life. Looking back on my thirteen years I have definitely matured a lot.
Although my school career was not that bad, I do have regrets. Some of my regrets are not finding value in each stage of my life, realizing that I’m not young forever and missing opportunities by focusing on the wrong things. I focused on growing up instead of realizing that time is precious.
My life could have been so much more if I looked at what I could be if I tried. While I’m a good student with great grades, if I would have put more effort into my schooling I could have been valedictorian. Anything is possible but it is important to not focus entirely on what is to come but also focus on the present. The thought of graduating in a few months is exciting because it’s the next chapter of life but it also saddens me to think about what I missed out on in high school. A lesson to those who are still in high school, no matter what age or stage you are in, appreciate each moment.

Why is Chick-Fil-A So Great?

Samuel Truett Cathy once said in reference to his fast food chain, Chick-Fil-A, “We should be more than just selling chicken. We should be a part of our customers’ lives and the communities in which we serve.” Chick- Fil-A is not only known for its amazing food but also its business. For example Chick-Fil-A is completely closed on Sundays. and they have been since 1946 when Cathy opened his first restaurant in Hapeville, Georgia. The reason for this is because Cathy used to work in restaurants open 24 hours, seven days a week. Cathy believed it was important to set aside one day to rest and tend to things more important than business. This sacrifice of being closed one day just for his employees is one of the main reasons why Chick-Fil-A is so great.
Another thing Chick-Fil-A is known for are their mascots, The Cows. In 1995, on a billboard in Texas, The Cows first appeared. One cow had a paintbrush in mouth and painted “EAT MOR CHIKIN”. The humor in this advertisement is what brought more attention to this fast food chain. Chick-Fil-A serves chicken that is whole breast meat, with no added fillers or hormones, and they hand bread it in their restaurants. The produce they use is delivered fresh to their kitchens several times a week. Salads are chopped and prepared fresh throughout the day and whole lemons are freshly squeezed and combined with pure cane sugar and water to make their lemonade that many love. To go through all this to make good food for their customers means that Chick-Fil-A not only cares about the business but puts their customer’s satisfaction before the business.
Not only does Chick-Fil-A have amazing food but they also believe in giving back to the community. When talking about giving Cathy said “Nearly every moment of every day we have the opportunity to give something to someone else – our time, our love, our resources. I have always found more joy in giving when I did not expect anything in return.” Chick-Fil-A has a philosophy that their workers and their business are there to serve. A few years ago people in Birmingham, Alabama were expecting some snow. What they didn’t expect though was a snowstorm that would leave motorists stranded with no food or water. A Chick-Fil-A about a mile away cooked hundreds of sandwiches and took in the motorists. Not a single person was charged for the meal. Chick-Fil-A could have easily made lots of money from their hungry, captive audience but instead they took them in and served them. This business is so great because they put loving and caring for their customers before making money.

Attention Freshman

A few months of being a freshman and I’m sure you’ve realized that this isn’t like High School Musical. As hard as it was to realize that Troy Bolton wasn’t going to show up and start singing high school is a journey that feels like it will take forever. As a senior I can say I am so glad high school is almost over. Many seniors are just itching to get out into their high school lives.
Since I am a nerd I love high school because I love to learn and school is my happy place. While high school is where students learn it is so much more than just that. High school is filled with teenagers who are trying to find who they are, what they like, and what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Many teenagers just want to fit in or be “popular.” Growing up and trying to fit in is not always easy. Teenagers are constantly judged by their peers for what they wear, say, and feel. Most of the time teenagers can not be who they want to be because they are pressured to fit a certain mold. I am here to tell all Freshmen and even other grade levels that it does not matter!
While it may seem that high school will last forever it will not. These past four years have gone by so quickly and it saddens me that I spent those four years trying to please everyone except myself. Not everyone is going to like you but that is okay. You can’t make everyone happy. In the end, your classmates will not be there everyday after you graduate. The only person that will have to deal with the consequences and benefits of your decisions is you. While it is nice to have friends in high school it is not worth being friends with someone who tears you down or tries to change you into a person you can not even recognize. Be friends with people who bring you up when you’re down, make you happier when you’re already happy, and celebrate your successes.
If you’re not too worried about what everyone thinks then you have time to focus on the real point of high school. There are people who get all A’s and take the advanced classes and there also those who get excited for only getting one F. Many students say that as long as they don’t fail a class it’s ok. What some students don’t realize is that grades play a very important part in their high school career. One homework grade could be the difference between an A and B.
In a class there is a midterm and a final. Some people say that the midterm and final grades don’t matter because they don’t affect your nine weeks grade. What many don’t know is that in the end they do matter. When the school is trying to find the average grade a students gets in a class they look at the four nine weeks, the midterm, and the final. If a student gets a B every nine weeks but then fails the midterm and final they have a (calculate). That grade will go on their transcripts and colleges will be able to see it.
High school is what you decide to make it. You can either be someone else and put no in no effort and ruin your future or be you and work hard to be successful.

Chillin’ with Netflix

Everyone these days has their “show”. Whether it’s starting Stranger Things, rewatching all ten seasons of Friends or catching up on Grey’s Anatomy, Netflix has these and so many more TV shows and movies. Netflix was founded in 1997 in the U.S. The subscriptions started in 1999. Netflix has 4,335 movies and 1,197 shows. With all these different options Netflix has attracted 86.7 million subscribers in 2016. 24.4 million of those subscribers are non-U.S. making Netflix not only popular in the U.S. but the world. A promising market for Netflix is mainly Brazil but also Germany, Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom. Netflix has made 6.78 billion dollars from their monthly subscriptions only in 2015. That is ten times more revenue than in 2005.
Netflix is a very popular topic today and many people are looking for new shows. My personal favorite is Criminal Minds. This show is about the Behavioral Analysis Unit(BAU) and they focus more on the unsub (unknown subject) than the crime itself. While the show is about the unsubs it also has moments with the team members and their lives.
Another popular show on Netflix is One Tree Hill. This show is about two half brothers set in North Carolina who compete with basketball and their romances. This drama follows them their senior year of high school and continues through their lives.
One classic that Netflix offers is Gilmore Girls. Gilmore Girls is centered around the the lives of a single mother and her teenage daughter set in a fictional town called Stars Hollow, Connecticut. The close bond between Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter, also Lorelai but prefers Rory, is what makes the storyline of Gilmore Girls so good and very well liked.
While there are many great TV shows there are also many great movies. One of favorite movies, although intended for a younger audience, is Zootopia. This movie is a cute story where a bunny is the first of her kind to become a cop in the big city. She defies the odds and becomes what everyone said she couldn’t.
This storyline is what makes it a great movie to me. Netflix has really helped those who love movies and TV shows be able to access an almost endless supply for only a small monthly subscription. Netflix is a must for those who love movies and TV shows.

Acing the ACT

Striving to get the best score possible? Though it most likely won’t happen your first time taking the ACT, there are plenty of chances. Many get test anxiety sometimes, and the first time taking a huge test that shows how intelligent you are to a college is a lot of pressure. There is nothing to be worried about. Here are some great tips to make the test seem like a piece of cake:
Each person has their own way of preparing for the ACT and becoming more relaxed to concentrate. Some general tips are to relax the night before the test and not cram as much information the night before because that will just create even more stress. Be well rested, don’t decide the night before that this will be the night to pull an all-nighter. Be prepared, wake up early enough to make sure you eat a big breakfast and get all the supplies needed to take the test. Forgetting something important like the admission ticket will not help. Lastly, try your best, there’s always another chance to retake the test so don’t overthink it too much.
From experience the ACT is not a very difficult test to take. The first time I took the ACT I was very nervous, I wasn’t very sure about what to expect. The material that is on the test is everything we have learned in school. It is a good thing to take some practice tests to prepare yourself for the test questions. Each section has a different time limit and that’s where you have to really be careful. I’ve learned that if I didn’t know the answer to one to skip it and come back to it. Spending too much time on one question will not allow you to finish completely. After taking the ACT I feel much more comfortable now when I take it again. The first time is always nerve-racking but don’t let it be intimidating to you. Every time you take the ACT, scores usually improve so don’t just take it once, take the advantage of being able to take it multiple times and improve your score..
Every college is different as to what their requirements are for admittance. Some colleges can be daunting when looking at their requirements and especially seeing what their minimum requirement ACT score is. The ACT does not determine how smart you are or if you are going to succeed in life based on your score. It is just simply used for colleges and universities to see where you stand academically so that you do not pick a college that would not be the best for you.
The ACT is a tool that helps students to pick a college based on their own knowledge of their academic standing. YSU requires that you have a 17 on the ACT to be admitted, but that doesn’t mean someone couldn’t get admitted if they had a lower score. They would just need to take more classes at the university.
Now if you are someone that is very ambitious and Harvard is on your hopeful to attend list, they usually accept scores of 32 or higher. The difference between these two schools is tremendous. Choose a couple of colleges or universities that you would like to attend and strive for the score that would best suit you.

Doesn’t college come after high school?

Many people grow up saying after they graduate high school they will go to college and then get a good job. But what if someone didn’t have to graduate high school before going to college? With the CCP (College Credit Plus) program students can sign up and take classes either online or at Youngstown State University. At Springfield Local High School we have one class that is part of the CCP program, AP Calculus, instructed by Mrs. Louttit. There are also other teachers being trained to teach CCP classes at the high school such as Mrs. Mullane, Mrs. Johnston, and Mrs. Dunn.
The best part about this program is it is entirely free. Students in this program do not pay for their books or tuition. However, if a student is able to drive they must pay for a parking pass. By April 1st any sophomores or juniors must notify Mr. Hogg to participate in this wonderful opportunity.
Being able to experience college during high school is such a wonderful opportunity. This program can also helps students save thousands of dollars when he or she attends college after graduating high school. One major factor when joining the CCP program is to make sure if a student is not thinking of attending YSU after graduation, the desired college transfers the credits. There has been some controversy with colleges not accepting CCP students for various reasons, so you need to make sure that they transfer or you will be wasting your time.
Being a second year CCP student I can honestly say it has been an amazing two years and I recommend it for anyone wishing for a different experience. Being able to go to classes at Springfield and YSU are two different adventures with two different types of people. In high school if a paper or test isn’t done teachers find me and tell me I need to get it done. At YSU the professors will not hunt you down, and if I do not bring it up or ask I get a zero on that assignment. This is just one of the many differences that make this experience a great one to have for those that would benefit from it. The CCP program is something students should consider and learn more about. An opportunity like this should not be overlooked.

Got a Case of Senioritis? Maybe Reflect on the Moment Instead

We spend 13 years, maybe less, with the people we eventually graduate with. After 13 years of seeing each other everyday, talking to each other and getting to know each other, we get comfortable. But what happens after we graduate? Some of these people we never see again. Some move away, succeed in their dreams or fail.
While everyone is getting ready to apply to colleges or making plans to get away from Springfield, take a moment to think. Think of the times we have had together and how far we have grown. Remember how far we have gone from when we started in 2004 when we walked into the old elementary school with no idea who we were. We were ready to make friends and learn. College was something we knew of but never thought about. We had our dreams, wishes, desires, and without realizing the challenges of life. As 5-6 year olds we never incorporate certain events in our life plans such as mistakes, death, relationships, money, job availability, debt, etc… Life is much more vast than we envisioned as a children.
Through our lives we have people who support us and help us to build and find ourselves. These people are our parents, teachers, coaches etc… Without them we wouldn’’t know how to use the bathroom, how to add numbers, or kick a ball in a straight line. Many teenagers do not realize how much their parents do for them and provide. Most people do not remember anything from when they were 2 or 3 but our parents remember our lives and, for most of us, have always been there through every step and word.
Who we are today is because of their support. When some of us go away to college we will be away from our parents and have to live among complete strangers. Our parents will not be there to hold our hands, make sure our homework is done, and make our meals. All these everyday things are up to us. We are finally growing into adults and it is new, scary and exciting, so maybe instead of dreading your senior year, reflect on how far you’ve come and everyone that has helped you get here.

Early Release: A Great Opportunity for Seniors

Early release is a great thing because it makes the day shorter and allows people to go home after all the classes that they need are finished. This year the schedule is a lot easier than it was last year because there are less requirements that need to be met. Students have completed the classes that they need and reached the credit requirements. This makes for a less stressful year and allows students to take interesting and easy classes.
Seniors only need to take six classes and the classes are electives, study halls, and not too difficult or involved classes. Early release is very beneficial because it allows more time in the day and gives an extra hour to students. Students are free to do homework, go to work, relax, and have time to complete anything that they might need to get done. Days are much more bearable and quicker with early release.
Early release should be offered to everyone because students who aren’t a senior must stay for seven periods. Most likely one of those periods is a study hall which is not needed. If a student has all the credits needed for the year and make sure they take all the classes needed then they should be able to leave. If they have a study hall then it should be at the end of the day so that they are able to leave. The school day should be shorter for everyone because it is much more easier and makes school something to look forward to.

Where’s the School Spirit?

It just doesn’t seem like there is much school spirit anymore. Teachers and parents that used to go to Springfield say that they used to do so much stuff when they were in high school. They said that they used to have streamers coming down from the ceiling for pep rallies, and that we used to have more than two pep rallies a year.
Every year we always have a pep rally for fall homecoming but I don’t ever remember having one for winter homecoming, which is kind of sad because then winter homecoming court doesn’t really get recognized like the fall homecoming court does.
In the past you used to be able to come to school and have fun and get educated. Nowadays people are so worried that someone will get offended. Today there are no senior pranks because they’re scared that they will get kicked out of school or get fined.
Also, for red ribbon week I can remember just from freshman year, so many people used to dress up and now no one really does.
This weekend is the winter homecoming dance, but you wouldn’t know it by how the school looks. There are no posters or anything advertising the dance. There is just no morale in the school anymore.
My hopes are that this article reaches our viewers and maybe we can create a little more school spirit in the future.