Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Students find that laughter and stress are hardly related

Emma Skuban and Morgan Grabarz
Guest Sociology Writers

Sociologists Emma Skuban and Morgan Grabarz have conducted a study regarding the correlation between laughter and stress. They hypothesized that the amount of lightheartedness in a student’s day determines the amount of pressure they feel to achieve in academics. The two chose this topic to perform their experiment due to the high amounts of stress among New Hope Solebury High School students. “Maybe if we can find a method that works to reduce stress, more people will be able to use it in everyday life.” says Skuban. The 2 sociologists sent out surveys to random High School Students asking them to rate the number of times they laugh per day on a scale of 1 to 10. They also included questions such as “How much homework do you complete per night?”, “What is your grade point average?’. and finally “How much stress do you feel from school on a scale of 1 to 10?” Each of these aspects provided valuable insight as to whether or not laughter and stress are related.
  After distributing the surveys and evaluating the results, Skuban and Grabarz found that laughter and stress are hardly related, if at all. Instead of their proposed results, the researchers came to the conclusion that almost all NHS students feel stress levels greater than a 5 on a daily basis. This in no way correlated to the almost equal split between students that laugh often, and those that don’t. It is most likely that lightheartedness is dependent on personality, rather than on stress. This is especially shows by the wide variety of results that came back from the survey. “It is possible that people tend to be more serious in stressful situations, but most of the time students seem to maintain their usual personalities.” says Grabarz. With this in mind, the two came to the conclusion that students at New Hope Solebury have been put into so many stressful academic situations that their characteristics cannot be changed by it.
  One interesting result of the experiment was that the few individuals that claimed to have low levels of stress were all members of the 12th grade class. The researchers attribute this anomaly to the not- so rare disease known as “senioritis”. Even more strange was that most of the afflicted were able to maintain decent grades. While these individuals were found the have lower stress levels, this in no way boosted their laughter levels. Further confirming that one will stay true to personality, instead of becoming introverted in the face of stressful situations.
  The researchers wish that their original hypothesis were closer to the truth regarding the relation of stress and laughter among high school students. Instead, they found that over 75% of subjects felt intense amounts of pressure on a daily basis, far too much for mere teenagers. Upon interview, Morgan and Emma revealed that although laughter cannot change the presence of stress, it can be an effective coping method to lift spirits in trying times. For these reasons, both sociologists agree that laughter is an important piece of every day, whether or not is in response to stress.

Confidence differences dissected in underclassmen and upperclassmen

Amanda Horak, Laura Nagg, and Vanessa Northrup
Guest Sociology Writers

Throughout these past few weeks at New Hope-Solebury High School, all sociology classes have been scrambling to get their research projects finished. Looking at lower and upperclassmen self-confidence was a huge hit on what to write about. Our research project was based on if you are an upperclassmen, then you will most likely have more confidence in what you wear compared to underclassmen. We chose this topic because we have seen a majority of differences in what upper and underclassmen wear. We have noticed that multiple seniors dress more casual than lots of freshmen. Our research was a little different than what we were expecting. We expected juniors and seniors to say they felt really confident in whatever they wear to school and freshmen and sophomores would be less confident. Instead of finding what we believed, we found that multiple juniors and seniors still get anxiety or feel worried about what they wear at school.
  During the research, we found that some upperclassmen said stuff like “I’m mostly afraid that people will judge what I wear by calling me a slut” or “I feel uncomfortable.” Not a lot of upperclassmen said that but a few did say that they feel uncomfortable in what they wear or how much anxiety they get from wearing different things. Multiple people, even underclassmen, said they really don’t care in what they wear. We just didn’t think upperclassmen worried about what they wore. We kind of just thought since they are the older kids, that they don’t care what the underclassmen think. We were wrong and we just weren’t expecting that. The approximate average for the confidence in upperclassmen is eight. We thought that number would be around ten, not just eight. Eight is still a high average, but we just were expecting higher. We just found that to be very interesting.
  During this project, we had to write a six page paper, an article, and multiple surveys. This project included lots of hard work, time management, and teamwork. It was a fun project, which helped us find out how upper and underclassmen think. It was also cool how we could put what we learned in class into the real world. We were able to use the social science research method; define the problem, review the literature, hypothesis, select a research design, do the research, interpret the results, and report your findings. It was just really interesting to see how something we learned in class could be used in real life. It was fun to see people’s reactions in writing about how they feel about what they wear to school. Some of the results were upsetting because they said they got anxiety or something like that, but it was still really intriguing to see the results. We just thought this project was lots of fun and really cool.
  After completing this project, there was definitely a sigh of relief because this project was a lot of work but I also think we learned a lot from this experience. We thought we need to learn to be less judgmental because some students in our school feel pressured to dress and look nice. No one should feel pressured to look a certain way at school, so after completing this we decided that we don’t want to judge people anymore based on what they wear. This experience was really great and we’re hoping we’ll be able to do something this incredible again.

The top 25 memories of the class of 2016

Jackie Gouris and Lindsay Park
Staff Writers

Over the past twelve years, the class of 2016 has lived through some pretty crazy times. Although not everyone’s experiences have been the same, it is safe to say that there have been some events that have stuck out for everyone. After conferring with some seniors, we have compiled a list of class of 2016’s top twenty-five memories:

1. When the bank was robbed in fifth grade sending the school into lockdown and feeling like you were actually a part of the heist
2. Field day being the best day of the year (& Mr. Ditulio’s epic theme reveals)
3. Walking into the first day of sixth grade & ever girl already having a Justin Bieber poster on her locker
4. Mr. Preiss THROWING a hair dryer
5. Middle school halloween assemblies
6. Whenever a new student comes & the whole grade flies into a frenzy
7. Whenever a student leaves New Hope and instantly becomes a LEGEND
8. Fresh night
9. Walking into homecoming freshman year and feeling instantly overwhelmed
10. Missing a week of freshman year because Sandy (blessed)
11. Achenbach breaking his arm & the WILD rumors that ensued
12. Class election season & the candidates ALWAYS bribing voters with promises to bring in outside restaurants for lunch once a week (& it never actually happening)
13. Iconic boyz’ performances (7 nation army started a revolution)
14. Poop sandwich
15. Do it for mother Russia
16. Hypnotized (?)
17. Wizards of Light
19. Save the Lights
20. Watching Mr. Bonj’s episode of Trading Spaces at least once in your high school career
21. Assassin (fail)
22. Everyone showing up to a school board meeting to get the renovations back on track
23. Deer hunt
25. Rigged spirit week 2016 (& THE coolest hallway decoration ever).

Senior’s last words: 10 things every student should do before graduating

Anna Sirianni

When reflecting on the past four years of high school, ten things have stuck out as key components of my time here. I suggest that every student takes on the challenge of completing every item on this list. Whether you’re a freshmen coming in to the high school or a sernior holding on to your final months, completing this list will make your time here easier, more fun, and one of the most unforgettable periods of your life.

1. Perform in a talent show or gong show.
  It doesn’t really matter what you do, but getting the courage to stand on stage and do something in front of the student body is a must-do at some point in high school. Whether it was screaming at the top of my lungs or doing a ridiculous, satirical tribute to Donald Trump, performing in talent shows has made for many hilarious memories. (Pro tip: Don’t tell people about your act beforehand. It’ll be a lot funnier or more impressive with a surprise factor.)

2. Take AP Psych.
  You should take this class for a lot of reasons. Ms. Anderson is an amazing teacher, you’ll probably remember and use the information long after you’ve finished the class, and it’s hard not to pass the AP test. In class, Ms. Anderson uses interactive demos that are fun and helpful come the exam, and the Superhero Project allows students to assign each part of the brain to a character they create. Although the course demands a lot of work, I always looked forward to going to AP Psych class to see what would be in store. (Pro tip: I’d take the course as a junior, when you’re a little more determined to perform your best the entire year.)

3. Paint yourself.
  Whether it’s on the last day of spirit week or at a football game, cover yourself with paint at least once. Being covered in gold paint junior year made losing spirit week not as bad because I could go home and laugh at how insane I looked. Painting yourself with your school colors is such a high school thing to do, so make sure to check this item off the list as many times as you can. (Pro tip: The best place I’ve found around here to buy body paint is Party Fair in Newtown. Plus, the store is right near Chick-fil-A.)

4. Take hot lava day way too seriously.
  Hot lava day comes just once a year,  when student government rolls red and orange paper across the hallway in hopes that students will avoid stepping on the fiery blotches. It’s kind of stupid and a drag right before AP tests, but it’s a chance to just be juvenile and silly. (Pro tip: Don’t just make sure you’re keeping off of the hot lava yourself; make sure that all of your friends aren’t being lame either by holding them accountable to staying off the lava.)

5. Don’t take prom way too seriously.
  I was so busy junior year planning the whole shindig, that by the time the actual event came in May, I was so over it. So I took my sister to prom. Although she fell asleep at the table (LOL), I still had loads of fun with my friends that night; that’s really what prom should be about. It’s so easy to get caught up in finding the perfect dress, making sure your promposal will be magical, and planning out every second of the day, but just relax. (Pro tip: Dancing at prom is different than dancing at school dances. Bring back the old school moves and leave the bumpin’ and grindin’ in the middle school gym...where it belongs.)

6. Talk to Ms. Sanders.
  Ms. Sanders was probably the first teacher that made me realize that teachers don’t have to be a strictly authoritative figure. Teachers can teach so much more than what’s written on their PowerPoints. AP Lang with Ms. Sanders taught me that teachers can be there for you and be truly interested in your life, and vise versa. Ms. Sanders listens, and you’ll want to listen back; try not to take any teacher for granted, but if no one else, definitely don’t overlook Ms Sanders. (Pro tip: Don’t clap in unison, crinkle a water bottle, or talk about lawn gnomes in her class.)

7. Know where the best water fountain is.
  You’ll find out for yourself, as this is a widely debated topic. I’ve found that the best water fountain upstairs is across from O’Hara and Bonj’s room, and the best downstairs is in the music hallway. (Pro tip: A trip to the water bottle filling fountain in the music hallway is always worth it.)

8. Road trip to away soccer and football games.
  Some of my favorite nights of high school were spent driving hours to games off campus. Along the way, you’ll stop for food, sing songs in the car, and laugh endlessly. But once you’re there, everyone who has road tripped separately reunites to make an NHS fan section. Bringing school spirit off campus is so fun and worthwhile. (Pro tip: Pick where you’re stopping for food beforehand. Mapping out a route while on that route is usually difficult in a loud car while driving through unknown territory.)

9. Have a snack with Dr. Yanni.
  The superintendent right now is seriously one of the coolest guys ever. He’s so funny and sarcastic yet knowledgeable and experienced. Somehow he balances every favorable trait that a school administrator could have. And if you ever need to go to his office, he’ll totally share his stash of snacks with you. (Pro tip: Bring him a Diet Pepsi because he’s literally addicted.)

10. Go to the Phillies game senior year and get on the JumboTron.
  By the time the school trip to a Phillies game comes around, it’ll be the spring of your senior year. That night, we danced on the JumboTron, ran through the stadium in search of free stuff, and, most importantly, finally established our squad. For me, the Phillies game was a night that marked the beginning of the end. After ten years at New Hope, I finally established who was most important, and who I really needed to cherish during my last weeks.

  Once you’ve completed this list, you’ve left your mark on NHS, and probably made memories you’ll to never forget.