By Jillian Flack
At the conclusion of the school year, many of the seniors on campus will be moving on to college to prepare for their dream careers. This can be a difficult switch since a multitude of them will have to live alone for the first time in their lives, which may be quite difficult, but making sure they have the essentials and that their dorm feels like home can make this adjustment much easier.
In order to make a smooth transition into college, students should have the bare essentials for survival at the very least. To discover the things they may need, they should imagine themselves going through a typical day and think about what they use throughout the day. This will help them to visualize what they will need for their dorm, which will help students to avoid having to run out to buy forgotten items. Senior Counselor Mrs. Mary Campo remarked, “Don't forget a power strip, adhesive strips to hang stuff on your walls [since there are] no nails allowed [in most college dorms] and a soft rug [since many] dorms have cold concrete floors. . .and a desk lamp and flip flops. . .[to wear when] taking showers. The bathrooms will not be like home.” There are several items students often do not remember to bring, such as shower shoes. Bringing shower shoes to college, as Campo suggested, is vital for students since many of them will have a shared bathroom at their school. Not wearing these shoes in showers shared by dozens of students can lead to bad infections that can spread throughout a student’s body. Along with shower shoes, students should remember to bring a first aid kit to use in case they are injured. Many students forget first aid kits, but they can be quite useful in all sorts of situations. A final important thing to bring to college is supplies to wash clothing, including laundry detergent, a laundry basket, fabric softener and dryer sheets. Students may also need quarters if they are using a communal washing machine or dryer that requires them to pay for their use. If students remember to bring these vital things to college, they will likely have a more successful experience in the dorms.
One of the hardest parts about transitioning into college is the fact that the dorms do not feel like home to many students, which is why most will be bringing along reminders of their roots. Senior Onora Hatchette advised, “I would bring stuffed animals from my childhood. No one is too old for a stuffed lion.” Even though it will likely still be difficult at times, by decorating their rooms in their own style, students can give their dorm a more welcoming touch. Campo stated, “Your dorm room will be your home for the next nine months so bring items that will make it feel like home, such as wall hangings, photos of your dog, a comfy robe and pillows, et cetera.” Adding simple, decorative items to a room, such as strings of lights or stylish pillows, can give it a fashionable feel along with it helping the dorm to seem like home. Even though the dorm’s appearance is important, it is also vital to ensure the room is still comfortable and organized since they will have to remember to clean it themselves.
Overall, bringing items from home and decorating well can make a student’s dorm feel more like a place of their own during the potentially tough transition from high school to college. Even though it may still be difficult, doing simple things to make the experience more enjoyable can help greatly.
By Emily Pham
It is that time of the year again where thousands of seniors celebrate their final months with family and friends as they get ready to cross the stage to receive their diploma and begin a new journey in life. For most students, they have spent most of their lives working toward this special and memorable moment. However, there was a slight change to the commencement ceremony this year to commemorate their long time accomplishments due to the chaotic and sudden pandemic. In place of a traditional graduation, students had the opportunity to walk across the stage with two of their loved ones in which it was filmed and will be streaming online on June 5 into a compiled version of the ceremony. Although traditional gathering graduation parties are likely cancelled, there are still a variety of ways one can celebrate their accomplishments with the people they love.
With students going through countless first days of school, late-night study sessions, and schedules full of extracurriculars to reach this milestone, they can still celebrate this unforgettable achievement and memory in many ways while maintaining a safe social distance. One of the best parts of this special event is to gather with friends and family for a joyous celebration. Senior Onora Hatchette stated, “My triplets and I have been celebrating at home with the family since family is where the heart is to make memories.” Although a party or gathering is not an option this year, it does not mean that one cannot get together with others to celebrate and reminisce all the good memories they had. In fact, one can host a virtual party through chat services like Zoom, FaceTime, or Google Hangout with friends and families to share and have a meaningful conversation with some words of wisdom for the coming years. Senior Jen Valencia stated, “My sister is in Virginia for the navy and I have FaceTimed her at least everyday just so it feels like she’s home with us. With friends, I text them as much as possible just to check up on them because I feel it’s important to know how they’re doing during this time.” One can even create their very own mini scrapbook or collage, and write a little something that explains their journey. The best part is that they can share this over video call, and have a laugh of all the good memories. On top of this, students can even host a drive-by car parade where they can dress in their cap and gown and wave to their loved ones from a safe distance. Overall, memories can be made through small yet meaningful activities to celebrate this special milestone.
These activities provide a unique and memorable experience; however, no graduation party would be complete without having a photoshoot. Although one’s graduation may have been different than they expected, photos can still help preserve the day. Hatchette added, “I would definitely recommend [to] take pictures. . .[since they] make the purest moments last forever. Maybe by some lakes and definitely old schools you have attended.” In fact, Temecula parks have been reopened to the public as well as a few other activities during this time. Harveston’s parks allow guests to take a walk around the lake and gaze at the beautiful sunset which can be a great photo opportunity for students in their cap and gown. One can even have a photoshoot through the vineyards and farms while picking some fresh strawberries, blueberries, and more. One of the most popular farms in the Temecula area is the U-Pick Blueberry Farm, which is located right off of Cantrell Road. These places are perfect to hang out and take dozens of pictures with friends and families while making unforgettable memories.
These graduation parties and activities are creative opportunities to celebrate one’s accomplishments. Whether big or small, a graduation party should be all about one’s reach to this special milestone, featuring special and meaningful activities surrounded by parents, friends, and family taking part in the special occasion.
By Emily Pham
With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continuing to spread, many people are constantly worried about their own health and loved ones. As this outbreak affects nearly every aspect of one’s life, from virtual online classes to staying cautious to surroundings, it may feel like things are out of one’s control. However, there are a variety of simple steps that one can partake in aside from social distancing and washing their hands with soap to protect their health and well-being.
For many people, staying safe during the struggling time means staying at home. However, germs and viruses can live in one’s home as well. In order to stay physically healthy, many students are finding ways to limit their contact with germs in order to keep their immune systems strong. Simple things like regularly wiping down and disinfecting surfaces that are frequently touched can be an important step to protect themselves and others around them. With the outbreak causing panic around the world, most cleaning products have been short in supply. However, one can make their own homemade disinfectant by mixing chlorine bleach with water. There is also no doubt that hand sanitizers are flying off shelves during this health crisis; Therefore, these can simply be made with isopropyl alcohol, aloe vera gel, and tea tree oil. In addition, one can also open a window for fresh air which can help detox the indoor contaminants, including bacteria in the air. Recent studies have also shown that humidifiers that keep indoor humidity up to sixty percent can reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and clear the body from any existing pathogens. Most have access to these simple strategies which can, in fact, help the body and mind as well. As a way to slow the spread of the virus and protect their health, some students have created their own self-care tactics and daily routines. Junior Kaylie Fukumoto explained, “To prevent the spread of the disease or getting it, students should wash their hands frequently, not touch their faces, practice social distancing, sleep, exercise, and drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. Occasionally, I will take a walk outside on a trail to boost my immune system.” These tactics not only prevent the spread of the virus, but also clear the mind from the crisis.
As people around the world are urged to stay at home, many may also find themselves worrying about how to protect themselves when outside for essential needs during these unsettling times. Whether they are buying groceries or other essentials online or in stores, there are a few ways to limit exposure to the virus. As public settings can be difficult to maintain social distancing, it is recommended to wear cloth, non-medical face coverings when outside. Junior Aspen Payne stated, “I try to protect myself and others by wearing a mask and making sure that I know my surroundings.” One can make their very own face mask with tightly woven cotton material and elastic bands. They can start by laying out the fabric against a flat surface measuring it to about seven to eight inches. Once finished, they can fold it from the bottom to the middle, and the top to the middle and looping an elastic band on each side. Others are trying to avoid the public, by turning to food and grocery delivery services such as DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats, and much more. Although there is no evidence of the virus transmitting through food or food packaging, one should wipe down containers and reheat food out of caution. Overall, there are plenty of ways that one can use to stay clear of the virus during this struggling time.
Whether one stays indoors or goes out into the public, these simple steps can make a big difference in protecting themselves and others around them. Thus, it is recommended to wear face coverings when outside and regularly disinfect surfaces. For those who have any concerns or questions regarding the pandemic, it is recommended for them to talk to friends and families for advice and other tactics.
By Siena Soffer
Due to the statewide order to self-quarantine, students have remained in their homes for much longer than normal each day. This can come with many difficulties—especially regarding social interaction and the tactility that comes with seeing others in person. There is a solution to the feeling of isolation during this time, and that is the reconnection with the outside world. When students cannot see their classmates and friends every day, the internet is something they can turn to.
In an effort to avoid being out of touch with the rest of the world, social media has been a go-to for many people. Applications such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and even TikTok have kept the public in the loop. Remaining in communication with one another has been vital in reducing loneliness in a time where everyone is forced into introversion. Schools are even able to reach out to their students on a platform that feels more personal. @chaparralpumas is a prime example of this—an account that is connecting with students on Instagram. This account is making posts, reminding them of the fact that staff misses them and generating a sense of hope. Feeling confused and frightened during this time is understandable as many have been thrown into a new reality which differs from their planned future. Though not present in person, there are many people offering emotional support online and spreading positivity through posts.
Although social media was already familiar to many students, it has become more prevalent and their use of it has expanded. As for keeping in touch with friends and family, many have found solutions to the issue. Junior Aaron Nuqui explained that he and his friends “have Group FaceTime calls over the phone and just talk or do things like play games together.” It helps to relieve the sense of loneliness many people tend to feel in isolation. “For the most part, everything’s been alright and my friends and I have all kept in touch almost every day during this quarantine, which is good to have, especially in times like these,” Nuqui concluded. FaceTime or other video chatting programs enable face-to-face communication despite the distance. Though FaceTime is only available on Apple products, video chatting is possible on Skype, Discord, and Google Hangouts, which has been frequented by many teachers during distance learning. The internet has truly been an asset which has aided people in keeping contact despite mandated distance.
The need to socially distance has changed the way society as a whole functions. The stay-at-home order has forced the relationships between people who do not live together to go online, making the internet play a key role in communication. The virtual world has helped many stay connected and relieve lonely and sad sentiments. Applications and sites such as Instagram, Facebook, FaceTime, and more have helped resolve this issue as they are means of staying in contact.
By Emma Horwood
Pride events have been a significant part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, plus (LGBTQ+) struggle since the first recorded pride event in Greenwhich Village, New York, 1968, which manifested as a riot against police who were trying to detain queer individuals at the Stonewall Inn on the basis of their sexuality and gender identity. Pride, as seen today, is a celebration during the month of June that combines the activism seen at the Stonewall Inn as well as a celebration of unique identities and the progress the community has made during their fight for acceptance. A sophomore who wished to remain anonymous said, “Pride commemorates the sacrifices made by activists and celebrates the freedom LBBTQ+ members have today.” Pride, especially to the queer youth, is a source of encouragement and strength, and while the global pandemic has cancelled Pride events worldwide, ways to celebrate the LGBTQ+ pride month can still be found.
One great way for LGBTQ+ individuals and their passionate allies to express their pride in June is to hold online gatherings with friends and family members. Whether they are queer themselves or a just there for support, gathering a group of open and accepting people can simulate the unity felt at pride events. At events such as parades, one would normally find hundreds of colorful flags waving and expressing the plethora of unique identities. To recreate that virtually, one can do research into finding what unique flag most closely matches their identity and either purchase it online or create artwork that boasts the colors and present it during an online pride event. Similarly, one could play music by queer artists to simulate the party atmosphere at pride. Good examples of LGBTQ+ artists are Girl in Red, whose inspiring songs usually revolve around her queer identity, or Lil Nas X, who made history as the first openly gay rapper nominated in top categories at the Grammys. Although public pride celebrations have been postponed for safety reasons, virtual celebrations can still capture the spirit of LGBTQ+ pride.
Another outstanding way for queer people and allies of the community to express their support is to become involved in LGBTQ+ charities. Over the last few decades, the queer community has set up several support networks to combat problems faced specifically by the queer community and, more specifically, queer youth. Whether making a donation or devoting effort, showing support for these organizations is one of the most helpful ways to support this struggling community. One of these charities, The Trevor Project, seeks to combat the statistically higher risk of suicide reported in queer youth by offering a crisis hotline and other virtual services designed specifically for LGBTQ+ people. Donations to this organization would go far in ensuring that the tens of thousands of calls and messages they receive from struggling queer teens and young adults are answered by volunteers trained to address their needs. Donating to LGBTQ+ charities such as this one is a perfect way to advocate for the well-being of the queer community.
Even though public LGBTQ+ celebrations were cancelled, the spirit of support and activism has not faded. While it may seem less obvious without the parties and parades, this marginalized community continues to fight for the rights they deserve worldwide. This June, take some time to celebrate the progress society as a whole has made toward acceptance, remember those brave souls who sacrificed for the greater good of their people, and acknowledge the progress there is left to make.
By Ashanti McClendon
Everyone knows that getting a license is an abstract step to a sign of maturity. It is something about taking on the challenge of the road and getting one step closer to more freedom, but that comes with much more responsibility than one may think. Safety and awareness while driving are not to be taken lightly, and being aware of these concepts is vital in the process of getting a driver’s license.
Getting behind the wheel may sound exciting, but it is important to know all of the rules first, even the very basics. The first step is studying for the permit. People often make the mistake in thinking that the permit test is easy and requires little to no studying at all, but that is a common misconception. While it may be typical to assume the rules, it is very important to go in prepared. Senior Joshua Martin said, “I failed multiple times before I ever got my permit. I thought I could just pass off of my own common sense.” The test requires that one knows all of the information about the road, and there is plenty to learn. Martin suggests that beginners use free online courses to help them learn the rules of the road before ever getting behind the wheel, ensuring the safety of the driver and others around them.
After successfully getting the permit, the next step would be taking courses with an instructor. It may seem time consuming, but it is the only way to get a driver’s license while under the age of eighteen. The courses can take up to two months, depending on the speed at which one chooses to take them. Junior Mia To expressed, “I loved taking the classes. While it was a little nerve wrecking, I certainly don’t regret the skills I learned.” To explain how she took the classes over summer to avoid conflict with school studies. Many others decide to take these courses online as well to fit complex schedules of school and extracurriculars. With this, they have an opportunity to study for a driver’s license and still maintain good grades.
After completing the required courses, having a permit, and completing at least six hours of practice time behind a wheel with an adult, students are now allowed to drive with an instructor, and test for their very own license. This can be intimidating, being judged for every wrong turn, lack of usage of blinkers, et cetera, but it is best to stay calm, giving the impression that one is confident. Martin said, “confidence is key.” If one has put in the work to study and prepare, there should be no reason to feel nervous after all.
Although there are many steps to achieving the goal of driving, it should not hold anyone back. These guidelines are made to ensure safety for everyone on the road, which is top priority. And it is okay if it takes two tries or four, there is no need to rush. Everyone learns at a different pace, but do keep the speed limit in mind.
By Emma Carrero
There is no surprise that the favorable energizing drink, coffee, has been the number one go-to morning refresher for many teens and adults. With its convenient feature of being served hot or cold, it drives a variety of customers and keeps businesses, like Starbucks, running all year long. During the freezing and breezy seasons, taking a soothing sweet sip of the beverage disperses a warm sensation throughout the body. Similarly, in the pleasant spring and blazing summer, the iced refreshment acts as a cooler, bringing once again a calming sense. However, due to the rising consumption daily, the beloved coffee can turn into a seriously harmful toxin.
The severe addiction to coffee is becoming very common among teens, especially high school students. Students are taking part in the coffee craze and heavily relying on the caffeinating substances to stimulate their nervous system, making them feel more alert and conscious. From just the first tempting cup, it blocks the sleepy chemical, adenosine, boosting brain function and filling the person with energy. Unfortunately, while it does wake the person, the side effects that ensue, like anxiety and stress, are more detrimental than any other positive effect. The two troubling states of mind are negative results of caffeine because it feeds into the stress hormone, cortisol. Since anxiety is a reaction to stress, one can expect to be dealing with irritating angst. At an even worse consumption rate of coffee, beauty can be damaged by the restlessness caused by the wake-up factor of coffee. Lack of sleep is potentially dangerous to the skin since it is so fragile causing it to dry out and become dull, not very appealing to teens. Not to mention one of the main features of the face, the eyes, suffer too. Dark circles and puffy eyes are created, which are not ideal to start the day with. This happens because coffee addicts rely on caffeine to wake them up, dragging them into a cycle of sleepiness. Junior Vianne Cocco, who has a distaste for coffee, said, “Someone shouldn’t rely on drinks like coffee to remain energized because it doesn’t make up for your sleep, you’ll just always be fatigued.” In other words, the caffeine keeps them up by continuously stimulating the brain. Not to worry though, there are a variety of ways to feel refreshed without relying on coffee.
Instead of coffee, there are other healthier alternatives like matcha tea and lemon water. Matcha tea is produced from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The leaves are steamed, dried, and grounded to a powder. From there one can take in the antioxidants, substances that protect the body from damaging cells and enjoy the aromatic sweetness. This trending green tea is also proven to lower the risk of diseases like type two diabetes and high blood pressure. Lemon water is another alternative that is easier to make and contains no caffeine. It provides a daily dose of vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient, and protects the skin from the sun. Additional fruits can be added, too, to enhance the flavor. However, according to Cocco, there is really only one way to avoid tiredness, she commented, “I don’t drink anything to feel energized, I sleep.” With that being said, sleeping is a healthy natural option to help energize the body.
Overall, it is not smart to fill one’s youth with demeaning feelings of stress and anxiety. Plus, there is no need to be so restless at a young age. Although one cup of coffee will not immediately damage the body, it has long-lasting effects. Rather one should look for alternatives and keep a balance of the amount of caffeine consumed.