Feature Stories

Problems arise in school

By Craig Reese


School can be challenging for anyone, whether prepared or not. Failure is easy to gain if not being ready to face what is ahead. It is also linked to other problems like management, disorganization, health, eating right, communication, grades, time and money. Each show a basic issue that might be present when attending school. Sometimes it might be difficult to find a way to remove negatives like the ones listed above it does not mean that it will be impossible. Many students will be affected by at least one of the problems during their experience at college.

First, it’s important to find organization and be managed otherwise it will lead to lost time. This is important for new students who may not already be aware to have some form of preparation. A calendar or planner might be a great start for keeping track of assignments and events that might occur soon or later in the semester. Otherwise students may find grades lowering if not good a keeping track of the assignments or lacking set time for studying to succeed in their selected classes. Even poor sleep habits can leave students unable to complete work and do activities at the college. Take it as a challenge and read a current study related to the need for sleep and the effects of sleep deprivation on physical and mental health to help and receive information on the topic. 

Second, it might be tempting to skip classes. It is the student or parent’s money that is being spent to gather information given during class times. When not present in the class room, especially the information that could be beneficial of the instruction as well as information regarding grades, future assignments, and opportunities outside the classroom which may be important to take advantage of instead. This may also include failure to spend time with instructors and classmates who may, upon graduation, become part of a valuable network for future endeavors after going through class. When not spending time to speak with classmates, professors and other academic advisors, students will lack support and a place to go for when problems occur. Opportunities like internships should always be taken advantage of even when having practical experience already to provide additional opportunities for students to create networks.

In addition, knowing what resources are available to use is important as well as developing an appropriate spending plan. Seek the advice of a financial planner or counselor if needed, but do not spend any money if not necessary or borrow any money that may be difficult or impossible to repay back as only the federal government can do that. It might be safer to avoid careful credit card opportunities offered to college students as it is never “Easy cash” and may also come with high interest rates waiting around the corner.

Again, students will face more considerable freedom than the grade school years, coupled with a lack of accountability it can become easy to fail the necessary reading and studying to increase odds of academic success in college. Missing the dedicate time needed for studying and reading is likely to have a negative impact on grades. Some ideas to raise success are to be in class, if possible in every class, be accountable to others in academic performance, know each course, the syllabi, the requirements and the professor along with his/her expectation during the semester.

While college is a social as well as an academic experience, these must be a medium to find success in both areas. Procrastinating may have been an acceptable exercise in grade school, but it is an issue and will likely cause failure in college. While it is crucial to get to know other students/faculty of the college, establish deadlines for assignments that minimize stress levels through managing time. In relationships that are taking up the time need for assignments or study, they cud cause bitterness, resentment and anger. Any of these feelings can cause loss of focus on the goals set to achieve in the semester. Even if a move, separation or even just an “agree to disagree,” it is important to try to successfully resolve the relation if it creates such conflicts as it is necessary to improve the environment and time that might be needed for college. 

Likewise, eating right and staying healthy are key to accomplishing academic goals and making the college experience much more fun and memorable. It is important to get enough exercise, while also monitoring the amount and quality of food and drink that is consumed as too much or little will affect the ability to process information correctly. Otherwise this will increase the odds of staying physically and mentally healthy through college and beyond. This also includes healthy relationships that are beneficial and won’t cause problems for schedules. Maybe even with family as many students might find it difficult to be far from their family.

Furthermore, students may find feelings of homesickness difficult to overcome, but for some it might be accomplished by remaining on campus during the week and on weekends instead of leaving on the weekends or on days that classes might not be on. This may help students learn more about their campus and become more involved and active in athletics and social events or organizations on the campus. Students learn more about campus resources and are will likely make friends with other students, with whom they may find common ground and interests on. It is important to keep in contact with family through phone, social media or email, but also to try and become part of the vulture within a new academic world.

Overall, college is a time when many can feel overwhelmed with tasks of life, do not allow it to exist for long. Consider seeing a professional counselor to help organize, prioritize and better manage the demands being placed so preparation is placed for the challenge and issues ahead.

Hispanic Heritage Month

By Craig Reese


Every year across the United States we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month, which starts on Sept. 15 and goes until Oct. 15, by celebrating the cultures, contributions and even history of Hispanic.

Between 1968 and 1988 Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan issued a series of  proclamations annually, which designated a week in September that included the 15 and 16 as part of National Hispanic Heritage Week.  These proclamations not only celebrated the contributions to America of men and women of Hispanic origin but also recalled the work of the early Spanish explorers and settlers.

The observation of this event was started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week during President Lyndon Johnson’s term and was later expanded to cover a 30-day period which would start on Sept. 15 and end on Oct. 15. This was enacted during President Ronald Reagan’s term and went into law on Aug.17, 1988.

Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for many Latin American countries like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, on Sept. 16 and 18 celebrations for Independence also occur for Mexico and Chilé, respectively. Oct. 12, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, falls within this 30-day period also.

Illustrations by Nylan Holifield.

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was a beloved singer, songwriter, model and actress of Mexican descent. She is one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the 20th century and is the best-selling female artist in Latin music history. After her death on March 31, 1995, at age 24, her birthday (April 16) was declared as Selena Day in the State of Texas where she lived. 

Roberto Clemente

Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker was a professional baseball right fielder who played for 18 seasons in Major League Baseball on the Pittsburgh Pirates and was the first Latin American and Caribbean player to help win a World Series. After his death on Dec. 31, 1972 in a plane crash, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He was also the first Latin American and Caribbean player to be enshrined. Clemente was born on Aug. 18, 1934 in Barrio San Antón, Carolina, Puerto Rico. 

Gabriel Iglesias

Gabriel Jesus Iglesias is a highly-celebrated comedian of Mexican descent, who is known all over the world. He is the youngest of six children and was raised by a single mother. Iglesias has been a full-time comedian since 1997 and is also a producer and actor, having starred in several films such as “Coco,” “Ferdinand” and “Planes.” He was born on July 15, 1976 in San Diego, California. 

Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Maria Sotomayor is an associate justice of the Supreme Court and is of Puerto Rican descent. She is the first Hispanic in American history to be named to the Supreme Court. She has been a judge since 1992, but she has been a member of the Supreme Court since August of 2009 after being nominated by Barack Obama. Sotomayor was born on June 25, 1954 in New York City, New York.