The importance of voting in today's political climate
Metea Students, Xavietr Cabanas and Zack Ultsch, showing support at Stroll the Polls event.
OCTOBER 31, 2018. VOLUME 10. ISSUE 2
02 / THE STAMPEDE
STAMPEDE EDITORIAL BOARD
SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
PUBLIC AFFAIRS EDITOR
THE SCORE EDITOR
THE SCORE REPORTERS
MARCO RIVERO LUNA
Sophomore Maddie Satinover taking a dive during a meet. Photo by Riley Burgoon
IN THIS ISSUE
Cover Photo by Aimee Leal
MENTAL HEALTH: IS IT A STIGMA OR AN ISSUE IN THIS GENERATION?
MENTAL HEALTH 03
NEW CLUBS AT METEA 04
SELF DEFENSE CLASS 05
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS 05
SCHEDULING SPORTS GAMES 06
TEAM CAPTAIN EXPERIENCES 07
TEACHING TO COACHING 07
CURRENT TRENDS 08
FASHION INDUSTRY DIVERSITY 09
BOYS WILL BE BOYS 10
IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY OF AI 11
ON THE COVER
YOUNG PEOPLE NEED TO VOTE 12
DREAMS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL 16
SENIOR YEAR TO COLLEGES 18
MENTAL HEALTH IS IMPORTANT 20
THE ROLE OF UNDERSTUDIES 22
WORKING AT A HAUNTED HOUSE 23
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated 21.4% of youth, aged 13-18, experience some sort of severe mental disorder or illness at one point in their life. Mental health has recently been a topic that has been for debate about the millennial and post-millennial generation. Much of these two generations have had a large increase in mental health issues, such as depression and severe anxiety. Furthermore, there’s more to the issue than how mental illnesses impact us. The issue is how we respond and react to what these mental illnesses are and how we now differentiate stress from the symptoms of certain mental illnesses.
How many times have you heard someone say “I want to die”? Often, we hear students talk about being “depressed” because they have a bad day. We hear these students say they “have” clinical anxiety because they are stressed about a big test. Often times, we hear these same students walking around the hall proclaiming, “Oh my God, I want to kill myself” because of the big test in their hardest class or have to work for seven hours after school. These are the students that are misunderstanding the little amount of information that they know. This results in students associating this little knowledge with basic issues that everyone struggles with, like stress and time management. Students who are overwhelmed for procrastinating all their work while balancing a seven hour job shouldn’t be saying that they want “to kill themselves” because they put that amount of stress on themselves.
This can simply be happening because the students who feel obligated to go up and down the halls making false claims about their stress and leaving those who actually suffer in silence about what they’re going through. There are students who are actually struggling and wanting to harm themselves yet feel forced to remain silent about the mental illnesses that they are dealing with. This type of pressure can easily be forced from their peers who overdramatize their stress.
These students are what older generations group together and call the “silent epidemic” of this generation. According to an article that Our World in Data wrote in April 2018 about mental health, these disorders have remained under-reported and about 1.1 billion people had any mental or substance use disorder in 2016. So, how can mental illnesses be so common in this generation, yet still be so under-reported? The real question is: are these students that are overexaggerating their stress helping the “silent epidemic” that is being labeled to those of us who are truly suffering?
There are times where the exaggeration of being stressed out is acceptable. However, it should never be associated with killing yourself or saying that you have depression or anxiety when neither are true at all. These two illnesses and all mental illnesses need to be taken more seriously than they really are because sometimes the silence is more of a cry than you really think. Be aware of those who are around you that may be struggling and don't talk about it. There are students and staff here who have had a close friend or loved one who have severely struggle from these issues. Be aware of those people because you never know what someone is going through and how severe it is. So, the next time you’re talking about your stressful day, take a step back and stop yourself from saying something that can be taken as more than a joke.
aLEXANDRA gUCKEL & tODD Redman
Breast cancer is an illness that many women and men across the nation struggle with. The struggles of it are honored during the month of October, where obtaining a pink ribbon is an honor to a loved one’s struggle. During this month, doctors and teachers teach others of the symptoms of breast cancer, and many women around the globe tell their own stories about their struggle with breast cancer. International breast cancer awareness month is organized to raise awareness and raise funds for the illness. The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has created many events and has offered different types of media such as videos and books, to the public.
The NBCF has offered different ways to contribute to the cause. One of them being Game Pink (GP). GP is a group of content creators and streamers to offer up their share towards breast cancer. GP Minecraft streamers and creators together on Oct. 28 to support the cause.
Game Pink also makes it relatively easy for other streamers and content creators to support the cause by simply signing up on its website. Thousands of dollars have been collected from a plethora of supporters.
Additionally, the NBCF has provided a free guide of symptoms and signs that women and men going through the first few stages of the experience. It is recommended that most women read this guide on the NBCF’s website to be familiar with the symptoms.
NBCF also offers metastatic breast cancer retreats for support and connections. Metastatic refers to the fourth stage of cancer where it has begun to spread to other areas of the body. Women who reach this stage often face permanent damage or death. A community of support is beneficial for those affected with stage four.
Breast cancer goes even further than just the website. The hardships that these women endure are deemed appropriate by society to devote an entire month to. In our day and age, women are actively participating in jobs and are forced to leave their homes and jobs to get adequate treatment to survive.
Devoting a month to those with cancer is deemed appropriate by the public to raise money and perhaps provide support to women in dire situations that aren’t able to support their treatment.
NEW CLUBS AT METEA EXCITE STUDENTS
Junior Nikhil Basu leads an Ethics Club meeting. Photo by Riley Burgoon
This year, Metea Valley has started a variety of new clubs. Many students have created clubs based on their interests and on what they felt that Metea was missing in after-school enrichment.
One of the clubs is Ethics club. Ethics club is a newly inspired club at Metea in which students discuss the ethical views of topics which range from the de-extinction of dinosaurs to buying followers on social media accounts.
“It's a truly unique opportunity for students to consider questions like ‘What would I do?’ and ‘What is the right thing to do?’” sponsor Sean McCurtain said. Through debating ethical situations, students are permitted the valuable experience of improving ethical standards and how to apply them to academics, social life, and careers.
“Ethics club is a great way for motivated students to prepare for the ethical dilemmas they will face for the rest of their lives,” President and Founder of Ethics Club Nikhil Basu said.
The Free Thinkers Society, also known as the Conspiracy Theory club, focuses on discussing conspiracies of all types. Discussions can be about anything students want to bring, and the club can have a two-sided group discussion on a certain theory. The meetings are on the first Tuesday of each month with no fees or prior knowledge needed.
“It’s not really [about] a debate, it’s more of a conversation. It’s a pretty chill club. You don’t have to know anything about conspiracy theories, you can just come by and learn about new ones. That’s what the club is for,” President Saher Zaman said.
The Problem Solving club is a competitive club that solves the world’s problems. As a new club that was started this year, it was based on clubs at schools nearby. “Its main purpose is that it builds critical thinking skills and leadership in order to prepare for competitions that solve the world’s problems,” co-founder Lisa Liu said. The club pulls ideas from several topics including technology, social ideas, and politics. They discuss how these topics affect the world today and how they can potentially help fix these problems in the future.
“It applies to right now when there are so many issues going on in the world. If we have an opportunity to help solve them, then it would be really helpful,” co-founder of the club Tanya Sheth said. Since Problem Solving club is still a new club, people can still join in order to get more involved in the world’s main problems.
Graphic by Esther Whang
04 / THE STAMPEDE
NBCF OFFERS SUPPORTS WOMEN AFFECTED BY BREAST CANCER
SELF DEFENSE WORKSHOP EDUCATES WOMEN
One Light Self-Defense directed a mother and daughter defense workshop, that took place on Oct. 18 at Metea Valley. One Light is a group of individuals that go to different public areas all around the world to educate on self-defense skills and collect donations that go towards poorer areas in the world to create a safer environment for children there.
One Light said what inspired them to advocate for women’s protection was their experience with girls from Kenya. “During our time there, we met a group of girls that all looking down or away when we approached them," One Light Leader Jeanette Brook said.
After telling the backstory of how the organization started, the group broke down the two and half hour session by spending half the time talking about useful tips and techniques. They discussed how to react to predators in different kinds of settings and attacks that can be useful in a dangerous situation.
Being cautious in riskier locations is always a smart idea. If you follow these rules every day, it becomes part of a second nature. The last part of the mother and daughter workshop focused on physical form attacks. There are different types of attacks for different areas of the body all primarily used to get a reaction from the perpetrator.
“If you have car keys handy, never stab directly in the face. You should always try to strike across the eyes and nose because of the reaction time that allows you. You could stretch out your hand like you're giving a high five while palm down and go straight for their trachea,” One Light leader Shawn Mixson said.
Students benefited from the workshop as it taught them important skills. “I think this organization is not only very educational about how to protect oneself, but I also think their overall message is really important,” senior Marisa Perez said.
If you are interested in scheduling a self-defense workshop or individual training session, you can contact Jeanette Brook at 708-220-2960 or Tarne Mixson at 708-476-7566.
OCTOBER 31, 2018
Athletic Director Jason Ward makes phone calls and emails months in advance to schedule games. Photo by Nate Burleyson
THE PROCESS OF SCHEDULING SPORTS GAMES
PHONE CALLS AND EMAILS:
As a player on a team, your role is to cooperate with your teammates. You and your teammates have to work together whether it’s during practice or during a game. A lot of responsibility comes your way as a player, but those who are captains of a team have the most responsibility of all.
“It’s our job to set up the nets before practice and make sure everyone's out of the locker rooms, so we can get practice going. We also make sure that everything is running smoothly between the five teams we have but mostly focusing on our team and making sure that we’re setting a good example for the younger people,” girls’ volleyball team captain Ellie Heney said.
Captains have a lot of responsibilities besides being the person that their other teammates look up to. “It’s definitely a lot more responsibility on and off the court because you are always being viewed as a role model. It is really important that you aren’t slacking off or acting tired and complaining because the others will think it’s okay to do that,” Heney said. A captain that’s a role model will help their team succeed because they have a leader who sets good examples to follow.
A team captain may make their job look easy but in reality, it requires a lot of skill. "We are very outgoing and very competitive. We like to push everyone, but at the same time we will always be the first people to pick you back up when you’re not performing your best,” Heney said.
Being able to project your voice, being outgoing and competitive, and motivating your teammates to be the best are great skills for a captain to possess.
Being a captain allows them to better their current skills as a player. It’s important for a captain to know what their purpose is. “Knowing that you are there for a reason, knowing your coaches or your teammates picked you because they believed in you and just doing your absolute best at being a good role model and just a good captain, leader, and teammate all around,” Heney said.
It is easy to find and read a schedule. It is something that if we don’t create it, we tend to take it for granted. If you’ve ever made one, you realize the time and care it takes. No mistakes can be made in what sometimes feels like a lost art. A well thought out schedule can make your life a thousand times easier, which is why athletic director Jason Ward starts making sports teams schedules almost a year in advance.
By this winter break, next fall’s schedules should be 60 percent complete. Ward is still working on the spring schedule for this year though, as there was no time to do it during summer break. The process is simple by nature, Ward talks to the coaches about who they want to play and what tournaments they want to go to. Then it's all emails and phone calls from there.
When it comes to what teams to play, it’s only the top quality for Metea. “I always want to play the best, if we can’t face the best then it won’t help us,” Ward said.
Of course, the quality has to come from somewhere. The DuPage Valley Conference consists of five teams: Naperville Central, Naperville North, Neuqua Valley, Waubonsie Valley, and Metea Valley. All teams play each other multiple times throughout lengthy seasons, and at least once in every other sport.
Yet sometimes Metea can feel like the odd man out, when rivalries between the other four schools have brewed for decades. They left a conference in the Upstate 8 back in 2015, and as a young school, has struggled to find footing in the DVC. It is difficult to compete with some of the more storied programs in the new conference. “Metea shouldn’t have left [the Upstate Eight],” Ward said.
The DVC teams have to make the majority of their season against out-of-conference opponents. West and East Aurora, Glenbard East, West, and North, and Plainfield North and East and more are often as frequent as the Valleys of the world.
This does create a unique challenge that comes before wins and losses: distance. “What I don’t want to do is travel far,” Ward said. “We want to make sure the students get there on time, as well as the parents.”
Take this winter's basketball season. There are 21 games not including tournaments, eight are against DVC opponents (a home and an away bout against the other four conference opponents). The other thirteen games have to be scheduled against teams further away. Once a team plays certain schools year in and year out, rivalries will develop and scheduling gets easier.
After looking at conference and non-conference games, travel and competition level are factored in, coaches and athletic directors look to the state series. “I like to get momentum going into the [IHSA] state series,” Ward said.
A good scheduler will spread out tough games and even string together some “easier” games towards the end of the season to take some pressure off of teams. IHSA state series consists of a regional, sectional, super-sectional, and is whittled down to four teams that compete in state semifinals and then the state championship.
Football is the only sport where a team cannot automatically qualify for playoffs. As the sport plays once a week. Five wins will qualify a team for playoff eligibility, but six is the magic number that secures a spot in the postseason.
This means teams do not want to play schools that heavily outmatch them, so the football schedule gets very tricky. Even with those guidelines. It is not the most difficult according to Ward.
“Baseball [is the hardest], not only because they play so many games, but there is a pitch count now,” he said.
Baseball is a unique sport in the case of pitchers only being allowed to throw so many pitches between days of rest.
So much goes into making these schedules. But they have to be done right, and someone has to do them. The hours of work that go into scheduling pays off for everyone involved.
THE EXPERIENCES OF A TEAM CAPTAIN
06 / THE STAMPEDE
Teacher and volleyball coach Dave MacDonald hypes up his team before a game against Waubonsie. Photo by Noelle Smagala.
FROM CLASSROOM TO LOCKER ROOM: COACHES GIVE INSIGHT
The normal time to end the day would be 2:25 pm for a typical high school teacher. A commitment to take care of and motivate 20 plus athletes after the bell rings, that becomes a different story. High school athletics have its staff commit time to be a part of an athlete's life into development and success.
One of the things teachers and coaches value is the idea of balance. School hours can be rough, and preparations for the following day can be grueling. Games can run over time or early morning planning is a must for success in the school day and game plans. Keeping a perspective on what is the priority every day is always the plan when coaching.
“It’s very tough, I’m at school very early, and that allows me to have more things to accomplish before class. Coaching is a passion of mine, and it’s something that helped me in my life as a kid, and I want to help others as well. In the end, it’s a choice to become a coach, and it’s a choice to be a part of it,” varsity boys soccer coach Josh Robinson said.
Coaching a sport must come from learning from past experiences. “When I was younger, I took the loss of a game really hard. When I was teaching, I wasn’t focusing on the kids, and I learned that there has to be a balance. Once I started to have a family, I realized as that at home I’m a dad and husband. If you stress too much about your coaching, it’ll hurt your job as well. And kids can feed off of that, so I try coming in positive and showing my care to the kids in class and after school. There are more important things than the wins and losses,” varsity girls volleyball coach Dave MacDonald said.
Adjusting to the students is not the only job though, teaching core values is a crucial factor in building a strong team and athletes. And by taking past experiences can go into teaching specific core values. “I’ve had lessons that I’ve learned revolves around grit and perseverance despite adversities. And through all of those components, they are foundations of what we are trying to teach through athletics,” varsity girls cross country coach Eric Anerino said.
“At the end of the day, you have to adjust to the players. Some kids that are a bit softer than others, and there are kids that you need to be on,” coach MacDonald said.
NY FASHION WEEK PROPELS FASHION INDUSTRY'S LEVEL OF INCLUSIVITY
08 / THE STAMPEDE
Graphic by Claudia Gryzb
Starbucks and sweater weather make the perfect fall aesthetic. Photo by Noelle Pryor
The importance of representation and diversity in media has been something Western culture has struggled with for years. We have witnessed an increase in representation in the television and movie industries in recent years. Through the efforts of directors and writers, white-washing of lead roles and diverse characters is dwindling.
Besides our favorite characters and role models on screen mirroring society’s complex diversities, in September we saw an increase in diversity and representation in the models attending and working New York’s Spring fashion week.
The toxic body-shaming culture surrounding the modeling industry is no secret, and efforts to showcase models of all body types have been gaining momentum in recent years.
According to Harpers Bazaar, this year’s amount of plus size models nearly doubled since last year’s numbers. The production went from only 27 plus size models in eight shows, all the way up to 49 in 12 different shows this year.
Besides plus-size models, the show’s gender representation increased. Transgender women, non-binary models, and drag queen performers walked the runway this year.
The Opening Ceremony’s show was hosted by Sasha Velour, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race, and featured all LGBTQIA+ models.
Women of all walks of life walked the runway, proving that there is no form of “prime” beauty.
This season was considered the most age-diverse season as well, with more models over the age of 50 than ever before. Even though this group was still the most underrepresented, it was an increase from last season’s mere nine models. Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show also featured two pregnant models.
One of the most impressive increases this season was the fact that the show featured 44.8% of models of color. Last season only featured 37.3%. A couple of designers, including Pyer Moss and Claudia Li, even made their shows composed of only models of color.
The inclusion and celebration of diversity and representation in one of the industry’s most important events is a huge leap forward for the fashion and modeling industry.
For an industry that has created such a negative influences on the country’s perception of beauty, it's encouraging and refreshing to finally see a reflection of the real world and the people in it.
Not only does this type of exposure and inclusion change the standards of beauty for people across the country, but it changes the attitude the youth have towards working in this field.
With more strides in this direction, more and more diverse models will be encouraged to pursue their dreams in the fashion industry.
In our current day and age, trends have affected teenagers significantly more than adults. Metea is drastically impacted and transformed by trends. Knowing what is trendy can be really helpful while navigating Metea.
As expected Starbucks is often the place where teenagers go to hang out despite the insanely high price of the Pumpkin Spice Latte and small treats that often come tacked with it. Starbucks is a great place to hang out with friends due to the very relaxed atmosphere and overpriced yet delicious drinks that live there. Starbucks is the queen of teenager appeal and therefore, gets a 9/10 on the “hip” meter.
Next, we have seasonal trends. Sweaters are now becoming the common aesthetic compared to ripped jeans and crop tops. White sweatshirts stick out well in the fall and make you seem much more cuddly, which is always a nice attribute to have in the frost. Sweatshirts (particularly white) receive an 8/10 on the “hip” meter.
Warm drinks are going to occupy our taste buds much more often this upcoming season. As I previously stated, Starbucks is legitimate but, what is actually is “trendy” there? Frappuccinos and iced tea will presumably be on the downfall while lattes will come back for the millionth time. Pumpkin Spice, despite never being intrigued with the drink, may spark my interest this season.
However, what has been on the uprise recently is the Caramel Latte Macchiato. Even during the lukewarm weather many people in my area and online have been seen drinking this scrumptious latte. The autumnal theme appears to synergize very well with the orange and red themes leaving the consumer with a positive experience.
The next trend we never talk about but use all the time is the catchphrase “oof ”. Many of us don’t know what the term actually means. Dictionary-wise, “oof” means, “expressing discomfort, as from sudden exertion or a blow to one's body.” Many of us are unfamiliar with the true origins of “oof": Roblox. Whenever a character dies in a Roblox game, the word is uttered.
Many gamers began to say “oof” when they died in any game. As such, the word began to spread to whenever anything occurred that could be perceived as negative. Senior Kriti Chawla discusses her own opinions on the word “oof.”
“Some people use it when the situations wrong and are expressive about something but don’t really know what to say, I think that when I want someone to respond to me with actual input to what I’m saying like, can you please talk to me?” said Chawla.
It can’t be someone's backup, it can’t be someone’s response with, "Hey I don’t want to talk to you so here’s the conversation in three letters." Despite the common humor we associate with the word “oof,” it can also damage relationships. As long as you use “oof” appropriately you should be fine, and somewhat trendy. Since the word can be used for both good and evil, I rate it a solid 8/10 when used correctly and a measly -2/10 when used incorrectly.Trends are very important to connect with others. While it is considered the “norm,” it doesn’t necessarily hurt anyone to know and possibly participate in the trends. It can be quite fun, there is a reason most people do it!
seasonal change brings a variety of new trends
Graphic by Kennedy Homan
A.I LEADS TO THE RISE OF NEW FEARS
10 / THE STAMPEDE
The worry of evil robots taking over the world isn’t a novel one. The trope has been around since the late 1800s, but recently, it seems to be an unfounded fear. Nowadays, social media is filled with popular videos of modern robots doing a variety of tasks in an anthropomorphic manner. While humans are no stranger to industrial machinery being used in factory settings, the videos in question featured humanoid robots, with arms and legs, that were capable of standing up and walking. The tasks ranged from simply picking up boxes to going through obstacle courses. Although their movements weren’t completely fluid and flawless, it’s easy to understand how the sight of large, bipedal hunk of metal executing a perfect backflip may incite fear in some people.
Not to worry, however, those machines were programmed and controlled by human engineers for that purpose. The real issue lies with Artificial Intelligence. A.I. is generally defined as technology that has the ability to interact with its environment and make cognitive processes in a way that mimics the human brain. One of the most popular examples of A.I. in today’s media is Sophia the Robot, an animatronic robot that has both given a speech to the United Nations and been featured on “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.” Sophia’s widespread presence has raised a lot of discourse on the role A.I. might play in our future society, from various viewpoints. Similarly to the videos of the robots, Sophia’s slightly off-putting appearance prompts a sense of discomfort that may sway some to be more opposed to A.I. than they believe acceptable.
However, the vast majority of A.I. in use in society doesn’t come in the form of androids. A.I. software is commonly found in social media algorithms, in order to customize advertisements and content to the user. It’s also an important component in drones and self-driving cars. The quickly developing technology may pose a threat to workers in the future, as businesses opt out of hiring people in lieu of the cheaper alternative of turning solely to technology.
In response, new laws have been demanded to prevent jobs from being given to robots and ensure some degree of job security for employees in fields that are rapidly approaching that shift. The possibility of robots gaining complete sentience en masse and wreaking “Ex Machina” level destruction is unlikely, but the technology won’t be going away any time soon. The issue with Artificial Intelligence doesn’t lie in the software, but rather in big businesses taking advantage of it to get out of paying workers and reap a bigger profit. Current employment laws are outdated and don’t take cutting-edge tech into account. If A.I. and humans are to coexist in the future, legislation must be created to set further guidelines on their partnership.
'BOYS WILL BE BOYS' IS AN ANCIENT EXCUSE FOR MISOGYNY
Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as Supreme Court Justice on Oct. 6 following a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing after multiple allegations of sexual assault. The resurgence of support for sexual assault victims has been a phenomenal revival of the Me Too movement, but the event has been underscored by the comback of another common defense of sexual assaulters: boys will be boys.
In response to the allegations against Kavanaugh, many of his supporters defended the actions as mischievous high school male antics. The phrase is often used to excuse behavior which is unintentionally harmful but is often used to defend boys who are accused of sexual harassment and assault.
The attitude that boys are inherently violent and incapable of controlling themselves is archaic but pervasive. The belief also asserts that boys have certain primal instincts that girls do not, but that is not true.
Growing up, girls are discouraged from behaving wildly or recklessly, whereas the behavior is encouraged in boys. This stems from a traditional view of gender roles where young girls are expected to behave in a ladylike manner and where boys feel the need to act out in an attempt to establish their masculinity. The claim ‘boys will be boys’ gives young men the benefit of the doubt that their brains are not developed enough to make rational decisions, and so they fall back on their primal instincts.
Tomas Paus, director of the population neuroscience and developmental neuroimaging program at the Bloorview Research Institute in Toronto, disagrees with this belief. “People often talk about adolescence as if we do not have the cognitive ability to decide what is right and wrong or to control our behaviors. This is not true. It’s too simplistic,” Paus said in a PBS article. “By the age of 12 or 13, our brains are pretty mature. There is no hardcore evidence that young people completely lack impulse control.”
Teenagers generally know right from wrong. Most rational teens wouldn’t commit murder. The argument ‘boys will be boys’ would never hold up against murder charges.
Why do we give it so much credence in crimes against women? Rape and sexual assault are the only crimes where the excuse that temptation to commit the crime is considered valid. They are also the only violent crimes where victims are regularly blamed for the crimes.
The treatment of boys as incapable of control is indicative of our disregard for women’s safety and that the privileges of boys are our priority.
As the looming date of national mid-term elections approaches, the local political climate is heating up. Many students at Metea Valley are of legal voting age and are ready to vote, but some students have turned 18 and are choosing to not vote.
According to Bustle.com and a study conducted by NPR, only 24 million millennials out of a whopping 71 million millennials voted in the 2016 presidential election. Although only 33% of the Millennial Generation turned up to the polls during this election, an estimated 83% of millennials are registered to vote in their corresponding states.
Lack of voter turnout further slows the American government and represses our democracy. Voting is a democratic right and a privilege in the United States. At times it is easy to forget that, but in countries like Saudi Arabia and Uganda, voting and voter access are heavily regulated and restricted.
Statistics reflect a major drop in voter turnout amongst millennials after the primaries occurred and Bernie Sanders was outvoted by Hillary Clinton. Lack of interest in either candidate creates a lack of interest in voting and further contributes to the United States’ voter turnout problems.
There are many types of voters that have been studied by political scientists nationwide. For example, rage voting and those who vote just to vote are commonplace within the United States’ political system. Additionally, many voters admit to voting without obtaining any prior knowledge about the candidate they supported, and some choose not to vote at all.
“I am choosing not to vote because I really dislike politics and I don’t think that my vote would be valid because it would basically be a guess. I don’t have any educational background on any of the candidates because I don’t pay attention to politics,” said senior Brooke Cochran.
The opinion of avoiding politics because of the current political climate or lack of interest is common in America or a belief that their vote won’t do anything. “I am probably going to be going to school out of state anyways so this election wouldn’t really affect me either way,” added Cochran.
However, even if you are attending school out of state, or are going to be out of town during midterms, there are still plenty of ways to vote in the upcoming elections. Casting an absentee ballot, or choosing to vote by mail are two ways to accommodate for any possible inconveniences. For more information on how to cast an absentee ballot or vote by mail, refer to USA.gov.
According to Barry Burden, a political scientist at the University of Madison-Wisconsin, “People are more likely to vote if they have information about the candidates and the process of voting, higher levels of income and education, find themselves living and working in networks of other people who vote,” said Burden.
Beyond the spectrum of just young people voting, the United States is slacking behind other developing countries when it comes to voter turnout. Compared to countries like Australia and Belgium who hover between 80% and 87% of their population voting, the U.S. possesses a weak percentage of just 54%.
Many media outlets, like NPR and The New York Times, have published in-depth pieces exploring the idea and benefits of a parliamentary system within the United States and if that would impact voter turnout. When comparing the United States to other developed countries, it is clear that countries that engage a parliamentary system have a higher rate of voters actually voting in local and national elections.
Some experts believe that a parliamentary system is less politically polarizing thus inflicting faster governmental change thus creating a better political climate that is encouraging to voters who choose to engage their democratic right.
As the United States continues to strengthen the polarization between the Republican party and the Democratic party by associating issues like global warming and sexual assault to specific parties, rather than addressing them as social issues.
However, for senior Emaline Kerwin, the increased conflict has acted as motivation to vote in the upcoming election. “I am voting in the midterm election because I see something that I want to change, and the best way I can make that happen is by voting,” said Kerwin.
As another generation slowly gains a political voice, it will be a new opportunity for change within government. “I believe it is important to vote because we have the opportunity to. Unlike some other countries, in the U.S. we are able to vote and participate in our government. I think everyone should be voting and voicing their opinions so we can influence the future of our government,” added Kerwin.
The United States voter turnout statistics clearly reflect there is an overall discouragement amongst the general voting population. Besides a declining want to get involved in the rapid political climate, other voters may be systematically restricted from voting.
A study conducted in 2015 by Pew Research Center reflects an overall trend of lower income civilians voting less in general and primary elections. Statistically, the least financially stable group of registered voters only represented 30% of the voter population in 2014. Beyond socioeconomic scopes, other factors like race and a voter’s address have come to heavily impact voter turnout.
According to a study from the Cooperative Congressional Election Studies (CCES), “Strict identification laws have a differentially negative impact on the turnout of racial and ethnic minorities in primaries and general elections. We also find that voter ID laws skew democracy toward those on the political right.”
As new voters enter America’s current political climate, it is important that they understand the importance of engaging their democratic privileges and the effect they will have as an individual. To senior Uriel Ferreira, “Voting is important because it gives the people the opportunity to voice their opinion and represent what they believe in. Some places don’t give you the chance to vote or really decide on future matters that will affect you, so it is important for us to exercise our right when we are able to,” said Ferreira.
Voting and the upcoming Illinois midterm elections extend far beyond electing just the governor of Illinois. This election will be electing local judges, municipal government members, and members of the state supreme court. It is important to take some time and research the candidates to best contribute to our democracy. If you don’t have the time for research, but you are a dedicated Republican or Democrat, consider party-line voting.
To vote in the state of Illinois, you must be 17 on or before the date of the Primary Election and turn 18 on or before the date of the General Election. Illinois offers online voter registration in addition to registering through the mail.
The deadline to register online and through the mail have already passed. However, since Illinois has “same day” voter registration, you are allowed to register in person when you vote on Tue. Nov. 6.
If you aren’t able to vote in this election, it is still important to pay attention to your local political climate. If you are under the age of 18, you can also choose to get involved in local organizations that create legislation that influences you like the school board or the city council. In District 204, students are always allowed to attend school board meetings. Meetings usually occur twice a month and take place at the district office.
If you have something you wish to say at a school board meeting, there is an allotted thirty minutes before each meeting for public comment.
Each speaker has three minutes to speak on a topic that can be unrelated to the contents that are to be discussed throughout the meeting.
Another way to engage in today's political climate is to attend rallies or gatherings where candidates or political figures are speaking. It is a great way to get educated about the candidates beliefs and values and to experience a political climate.
Other ways to get involved could be to work on campaigns you are passionate about. Campaigns, especially local candidate's campaigns, are always looking for volunteers. Campaigning is an important step in the election, and it is a great way to influence politics without being 18.
It is important to stay engaged and educated because without an increase in voter participation in the near future, we will not see any change in pace in passing of legislation or any reductions in polarizing party politics.
THERE ARE NO EXCUSES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE NOT TO VOTE
Spotlight section editor
Graphic by Ben Weiss
12 / THE STAMPEDE
THE IMPORTANCE OF VOTING
Continued from page 13
14 / THE STAMPEDE
Graphic by Maddie Crabtree
16 / THE STAMPEDE
The average path of a high school student and why it is not as important as you think
Attending a university is the most common path after high school, but earning a college degree may not be as essential as it seems. Photo by Riley Burgoon
It is kind of a well known fact that high school seniors have a really stressful life, since they are planning for their future after graduation. As the year begins and our high school life begins to wrap up, seniors have begun the rigorous process of applying for colleges. They do this while also maintaining their academic excellence in order to increase their chances of getting into that dream school.
If you have been to high school, talked with high school students, or base all your school knowledge on reruns of “Glee” and “Degrassi,” a majority of people will assume that college is the end all be all of academic achievement. However, that kind of narrow minded thinking negates all the opportunities a person can have in their lifetime.
Despite not always being a requirement, this is not to say that having a degree is not beneficial to students. Having a good degree can often help with high paying careers and jobs that require a high amount of intelligence and work. If you are aiming to be a doctor or environmental scientist, I think it is safe to say that you need some sort of degree in order to survive in that profession.
Not every career requires a degree. Some actually pay more than those that requires some sort of degree. According to an article by Emma Newcombe called “10 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree," the author describes a bunch of jobs that pay at a high level but are not dependent on degrees. One of the top choices was a computer programmer, which often only requires an associate's degree or extensive coding experience. Newcombe also mentions that according to the “Department of Labor’s Occupational Handbook," the median pay is about $70,840 per year. This is far more than a career that requires a degree, like an environmental scientist, which only pays about $63,570 per year.
Still a good amount, yet when choosing your options, the high paying career that doesn’t require a degree seems like the better, safer option. If you want to get a degree in something you are passionate about, all the power to you.
Always know that there are these jobs that pay just as much that could be a better fit for your skills. Some assume that the most successful and iconic people in the world are people who have high degrees in a really good college. Once again, that is an assumption that doesn’t hold any water when you think about the many people who have achieved great things.
Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, famously dropped out of Reed College due to financial reasons.
Despite this setback, he still managed to change the world with his revolutionary technology, emassing a net worth of $11 billion at the time of his death in 2011. In a more extreme example, we have J.D Rockefeller, who is known today as the founder of the Standard Oil Company in 1870, in addition to being a philanthropist and first recorded billionaire. In his later years, he donated most of his earning to charitable causes like health and education, supporting many young people get better schooling.
Ironically, despite all the things that he achieved, Rockefeller actually dropped out of high school at the age of 16, two months before his graduation. Despite taking business courses later on at Folsom Mercantile College, the fact that he was able to build an empire and make a big name for himself even without a completed high school education speaks to all of the things that a person can accomplish without following the status quo.
An article by Paul Schrodt called “15 Super Successful People Who Never Graduated College” gives further examples of successful people who didn’t graduate college, which also includes the likes of J.D Rockefeller and Steve Jobs.
In the end, it is highly unlikely that people will end up like Steve Jobs or J.D Rockefeller. Not all dropouts become successful, but not all careers rely on degrees.
The only advice us as writers can offer is for you, whoever happens to be reading this, to follow your own path. If you want to go to college, go ahead and do that.
If not, all power to you. Everybody has their own method to success, and we cannot always rely on the footsteps of others to shape who we are as people. Why do what everybody else is doing when you can become your own person by doing what benefits you?
As much as I hate to admit it, some things do matter, and your choices are what will impact your success. Always remember that before spending thousands of dollars on a degree in something you probably will not even do. Because tuition is the worst.
Metea Valley upperclassmen debate the importance of senior year to colleges
Your junior year is all that colleges care about. Metea Valley students preach this as they rush to submit their college applications. According to many seniors at this school, most universities begin accepting students as soon as possible, likely cutting out most senior year activities. Most excuse “senioritis,” an afflictive decline in the motivation of seniors, with the finality of completing these applications.
Most applications will often cease to recognize peoples’ final high school accomplishments. It is questionable what students intentions are when giving their talents to the community. Furthermore, risks that arise in association with late application submissions are significant while some students will resume with their extracurriculars, or even pursue new interests in order to include them on their resumes.
The College Board advises through its BigFuture tool that the summer before one’s senior year is the best time to begin applying to universities, but most seniors do the work in the fall. At the least, schools will need an ACT or SAT score, a grade point average, and transcript courses. The Board also states that less than one hundred schools in America are competitive or accept less than 25 percent of students. This makes it rather easy to get accepted by the surplus of other schools which accept more than two-thirds.
Is it nearly impossible to achieve near perfect standardized test scores, to form exceptional bonds with all one’s teachers, and to participate in noteworthy activities inside and outside school, all in the span of three years or less.
Let’s look at your freshman year. You are adjusting. You have not even begun to think about your college career four years from now.
You are likely mentally challenged, either from natural stress or potentially even mental illness, as an article by LiveScience claims that one in five teens suffer from mental disorders. You are easier on yourself because it’s only year one. Looking back on it now, you are occupied with regret: overwhelmed with this irresponsible and naive attitude of yours which would hardly measure up to those of other more competitive contenders.
Sophomore year, you are starting to get the feel for the competitive nature of the school. It’s possible that there are a few clubs you would like to lead in the future, but you are an underclassman at that point. This circumstance introduces a notion of competition with juniors and seniors rushing to qualify their transcripts.
Junior year, you might be turning sixteen, wanting to save up for a car, and looking into a job that you likely do not have time for. The SAT is already this spring, and Ivy League colleges require scores higher than a 1500 to have any chance at acceptance.
If there is to be little stability in a student’s life that involves a range of things like finances and mental health, it does not matter his or her “natural intelligence,” or at this point, even hard work. Usually, these factors are uncontrollable.
While this immense pressure may be difficult to handle, there is some time that can be spared in order to students to pursue what they want, and there is hope.
Many high schoolers neglect to consider gap years, internships, and travels abroad that can help enhance their college resumes. This out of school experience can help colleges determine students’ abilities to conduct work out in the “real world" and allow them to make memories of immeasurable importance above an early start to college.
18 / THE STAMPEDE
20 / THE STAMPEDE
MY ANXIETY IS NOT AN ATTITUDE PROBLEM:
Why Mental Health Should Be Taken More Seriously
I don’t like going on Instagram all that often since it takes a serious toll on my mental energy levels, but I noticed a post one day while I was scrolling through my endless feed. The post went something along the lines of “we’re taught as kids to not talk strangers because it’s dangerous, but as an adult. If you can’t talk to strangers because you’re afraid, it’s considered social anxiety.” The post really angered me because it was true. Stranger danger as a child turns into social anxiety as an adult, and that’s just messed up.
Growing up, I was taught to not trust anyone and everyone, and I obeyed the concept because I was also taught to obey the elders who told me to beware of strangers. I now have severe trust issues due to that ideology. I was taught to not trust strangers online and to trust my close friends, but that backfired on me.
I got stabbed in the back in middle school by those who called themselves my friends and fell into a whirlpool of depression and anxiety. I complained to the little friends I had and even went to my school counselor back in eighth grade because of how miserable I felt about the whole ordeal.
Although I respected my counselor, I couldn't help but feel anger towards her about the whole circumstance. She told me that there was nothing they could do about the broken trust and bullying I was going through since they didn’t physically hurt me.
Skip forward to my junior year of high school. I had gone through a lot of drama and honestly, I just didn’t want to deal with any of it because I had a lot on my plate. I was being harassed in the middle of my club meetings as well as online, and I went to the school psychologist as well as my previous dean because I wanted someone to help me. I didn’t want my middle school trauma to be repeated.
I heard the same words again: they couldn’t do anything because the people who were harassing me didn’t physically hurt me. Again, I respected the adults I went to, but I was angry again. The people who hurt me didn’t leave any marks on my body, but they left marks on my heart and soul. They broke my trust and left me feeling anxious and depressed. They hurt me, yet my injuries weren’t taken seriously because they aren’t noticeable.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. In a school where everything matters, both students and teachers should understand that in order for someone to be physically healthy, they should also be mentally healthy. This means getting enough sleep, not getting exhausted because of social interaction, and not being overloaded with stress. If someone is mentally unwell, it might not reflect on their body as a bruise, but it can still hurt them just as bad as a physical injury. Trauma, just like any other physical injury, can have long lasting effects, maybe even longer.
I lost a lot of friends because of my anxiety. I currently have (slight) social anxiety that mainly gets triggered when it comes to my friends. For instance, I get upset, worried, and jump to conclusions when I see my friends make plans without me. I had one friend call my anxiety an attitude problem, and I lost it.
Although we teach psychology and mental health in school, students aren’t able to apply these concepts they learned to the real world.
My anxiety is not an attitude problem. My anxiety is a form of trauma that lasted through middle and high school because of the experiences I went through. Since we all like to judge books by their covers, we never get to actually understand why someone acts the way they do. Nobody truly knows why I’m so “paranoid about my friends hanging out without me.”
Mental health is a huge aspect in a teenager’s life. In this day and age, it’s hard enough trying to fit the demands that society has bestowed upon the younger generation. It’s also hard trying to fit in and enjoy the things you love without being judged for it. Teenagers are burdened to become picture perfect for their parents, other adults that look over them, for their peers, and for society in general.
These factors are impacting their mental health negatively. More and more teenagers are having lower self-esteem, more anxiety, more depression. Some teenagers can’t bear all of the factors to the point where they think that ending it all is a better alternative than enduring daily pain and torture.
Nobody should ever reach a point in their life where they would rather be nonexistent. Yet, teenagers continue to feel as if they are alone in their battle so they take their lives since they are “alone.”
I’m still upset about what happened to me last year and back in middle school. I honestly have every right to be upset. I don’t have scars on my body because of my trauma, but I do have scars on my heart. As a person, I’m just a little more broken.
Like my phone screen, I accumulate more and more scratches because of my existing cracks and scratches. Mental health needs to be taken more seriously by both adults and students. People who are mentally unwell never expose their weaknesses because they want attention. If anything, by exposing their weaknesses, those people feel worse about themselves. We never intentionally expose our weaknesses, but once we do, we deserve all the help we can get. Not laughter, gossip, or taunts. Mental health has always been important, but it’s time we as a society start giving it the attention it needs. Everything starts at mental health.
My anxiety is not an attitude problem, my anxiety is a cry for help. Mental health is equally as important as physical health, and we should reflect that in our society.
As theater season approaches, the celebration of ten years of theater at our school brings excitement to the music department. The theater department will be hosting Alice in Wonderland. These will take place on Nov. 2 at 7pm, Nov. 3 at 2pm & 7pm, Nov. 4 at 2pm in the Metea Valley auditorium.
Although it’s always good to watch the main cast, there is also the understudy cast that gets does not get enough representation as the main cast. The understudy cast includes: Skylar McClure, Julianne Enas, Parama Ghatak, Ayden Reed, Ben Weiss, Nikki Gunta, Luciana DeVito, TaeQuan McAdony, Lucas McClure, Jake Zeitner, Laila Donaldson, Ellen Liu, and Saish Pothina.
In the real broadway world, someone who is an understudy is one who learns the lines and choreography as someone who would originally be in the play. If anything should happen to the regular actor or actress, the understudy would take over the part. At Metea, the actors are given a separate show that they perform in, typically during matinees.
There are stigmas with understudies not being as important as the main actor or actress. However, the school breaks these stigmas and makes sure everyone gets a chance to participate by having a special show just for understudies. This ensures that everyone gets a fair chance to display their potential and talent during the play.
“At first I was more excited to get the role and be Rich’s understudy because he’s such an amazing character and person in general. However, you’re always thought of as ‘oh you’re the extra one, and only needed in case the main one gets sick’. They really change that here and give you an entire show devoted to just understudies and they don’t even like calling us understudies, we are called the ‘hair cast’ and the other one is called the ‘rabbit’ one,” sophomore understudy Julianne Enas said.
Along with the stigma, the play staff has done enough to make sure that there is equal practicing time for both actors and actresses with the director.
There are also separate rehearsal times that are done between the understudies and the director to keep them up to speed and ensure quality.
“Throughout rehearsals, I’ve had equal rehearsing time as the actual cast, so I’d say we’re pretty equal in the aspect of getting the director’s time and attention,” freshmen Skylar McClure said.
Throughout the play, the cast grew fond of one another and got to experience the different events that come with being a part of a school play. For them, the whole experience is why they keep doing what they love. Whether you’re an understudy or part of the main cast, you are still part of the play.
“I’ve made so many great friends through it, and they’ve become just such great people in general. Also, making new friends and learning more about the show and getting the experience of getting a role and seeing what it’s really like is incredible,” Enas said.
Ingrid Heenie is currently a senior that works at the Massacre Haunted House. When she’s not working at the Massacre Haunted House, she’s working at a restaurant.
However, during the Halloween season, she’s living the life of a character with a dissociative identity disorder.
Where do you work?
Massacre Haunted House.
What role do you play?
I am in a medical ward. My character’s name is Hex which means six, and I have six different personalities. I switch between them, I have different accents, and I've been able to do them since I was little.
Have you used this voice in school?
Sometimes as a joke. I've used it in school to a substitute. I used an Australian accent and told her that I was a transfer student.
How do people react when you tell them that you work at a haunted house?
They’re like “WOAH! That’s so cool,” and they ask how much I get paid. “We get paid in garbage and cotton candy,” that’s what I tell people because we’re not supposed to tell people how much we get paid.
Who would you recommend this to if someone would want to work here?
If you like entertaining people, making them laugh, or in my case cry and scare them, this is the place for you. It’s such a fun thing.
How are your coworkers different from their characters?
Everyone there is super cool and normal, very nice. Once you get into character, it forms into one big family.
How is it different from other haunted houses/ theme parks?
There are no roller coasters. We have three divisions. The first is 3D which is a circus and you don’t know if they’re real people coming at you or just pictures. A massacre which is a medical ward, church, and a house. Finally, there’s terror town which consists of a butcher, a jail, and an auto shop.
Have you ever broken character?
Yes. One time we scared this woman so bad that she started crying and I didn’t know what to do. She didn’t speak English or Spanish, and we were trying to lead her out, but we couldn’t understand her, so she kept crying. Another time is when I scared someone so bad that they fell, and one of my coworkers saw it and we also laughed so hard and broke character.
Do you want to do this later in life?
Not as a career. I do see myself doing it in the future as a seasonal thing because it’s just so fun.
What’s your job when you’re not working at the haunted house?
I work as a busser at La Sorella di Francesca. it’s an Italian restaurant in Downtown Naperville.
What kind of people would like the haunted house?
I recommend this to anyone who likes a thrill and entertainment. I’m not just there to scare you, I make people laugh and cry. It’s really all about the entertainment. If you get queasy easily and don’t like flashing bright lights, this is definitely not for you. If you like getting scared, this is definitely your scene.
The Massacre Haunted house has come up with a new escape room, and laser tag. With tickets ranging from twenty-five to sixty dollars, general tickets, fast pass tickets and platinum tickets are sold online.
'ALICE IN WONDERLAND'
UNDERSTUDIES BRING TALENT TO FALL PLAY
HAUNTED WORK INVADING SCHOOL HALLWAYS
Senior Ingrid Heenie completing her costume at work. Photo by Ingrid Heenie
22 / THE STAMPEDE
Understudies gather together around promotional poster. Photo by Noelle Pryor.