BBC Young Reporter 2022

BBC Young Reporter

*Please click on the dropdowns below to read our BBC Young Reporter Articles 2022 - 10/03/2022

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Zoo`s… The dark reality

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Zoos have always been seen and had the stereotype of being “happy” and “fun” – a place to go and enjoy with family and friends. However in reality, like in many cases, only the outside is seen but what occurs backstage remains secret and concealed from the public. Because animals in roadside zoos, pseudo-sanctuaries, travelling shows, and roadside displays are forced to spend their lives encaged and Imprisoned behind bars for the pure entertainment of the public.

Living conditions are dismal, appalling, and filthy and animals are often confined in tiny spaces and barren enclosures. And even the best artificial environments aren’t able to provide the diversity, the realness, the space and freedom the animals require. This deficiency along with the solitude, persistent boredom, and sometimes even abuse from those people who are supposed to be caring for them- causes the confined animals to lose their minds. Animals who suffer from this condition are named “zoochosis”. They often sway, rock, or pace boundlessly. And there are even unfortunate cases were these animal resort to hurting themselves by chewing on their own fingers or limbs or pull out their fur or feathers.  Zoochosis is so rampant that some zoos even administer antidepressants and antipsychotics to try and restrain the abnormal behaviour.

Scam shelters

The countless amount of roadside zoos that have attached the word “sanctuary” or “rescue” to their sanctuaries has gone through the ceiling in recent years. These names have had the result of kind people being drawn to places that claim to “rescue animals” and offer them sanctuary. But many of these outfits are nothing more than breeders, dealers, and exhibitors exploiting public’s goodwill and generosity. The fundamental purpose of any zoo is to provide animals with a safe, comfortable and as realistic conditions as possible. The aim is to duplicate what the animals lives would really be like in the wild so that they are able to develop the skills they need and live life to the fullest. No legitimate animal sanctuary would breed or sell animals. No trustworthy exotic-animal sanctuary would allow any kind of “hands-on” interaction or taking them out on the road for any means of display.

Drive through zoos

Drive-through safaris or even wildlife parks may seem like a better alternative resort, as they may appear to provide more realistic-like life for the animals. These facilities in reality breed animals uninterruptedly, as baby animals attract many customers due to the fact that they are “cute” etc. but babies grow up quickly and unwanted animals may be warehoused like inventory or quietly shipped out. And it’s almost impossible to know how many animals end up at auctions, hunting ranches or even slaughter houses due to the fact paper trails are scandalously inaccurate and difficult to follow.  And this factor puts animals at serious risk and endangerment as well as defying their animal rights. These activities are inhumane and inconsiderate. And exceptionally well hidden.  

The worst zoos in the world

.1)  Surabaya Zoo, Indonesia

The Surabaya zoo in Indonesia witnessed one of the greatest tragedy’s and referred as the “world’s cruellest zoo”.  A total of 43 animals died at the zoo between July and September last year. Starting from a lion found hanged in his enclosure, a giraffe with plastic lining in her stomach to a tiger fed with meat laced with formaldehyde.  Unfortunately there are still around 2,800 animals in this prison but there are many petitions and protest helping these unlucky animals, and trying to close the zoo down.

2)  Mumbai Zoo

 Also referred as the Jijamata Udyan Zoo, this zoo is famously slowly become a taxidermy museum rather than prioritising the animals wellness. The zoo has been stuffing the animals after letting them die, and creating taxidermy models for visitors to see rather than the actual animals. Including the Siberian tiger.

3) Giza Zoo, Egypt

This particular zoo has been targeted by activist for many years for the plethora of animal issues filmed on a disturbing film. The animals live in cramped, dirty cages and get little exercise or enrichment and zookeepers reportedly charge visitors to enter the cages with the animals. Not bad enough? Dozens of animals have died in questionable circumstances.

 

Covid-19: The Unspoken Truth.

Imagine living in a world where racism was not an issue. What if we were all treated equally? What if we could live our day to day lives without being judged for our ethnicity? It seems impossible- like a perfect dream.

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The shocking fact that Asian hate crimes have increased by nearly 150% since 2020, particularly in New York and Los Angles, as an analysis of police department statistics has revealed. Especially during the pandemic, there have been many acts of prejudice, with 1 in 4 Asian Americans experiencing a hate incident.

Covid-19 was discovered in Wuhan, China, causing many people to believe that all Chinese people had Covid-19. This affected many Asians outside China, as hate crimes began to increase. Some Americans believe that former President Trump was to blame because he repeatedly stated that the virus originated in China and called it the “China virus” rather than Covid-19.

“What Trump did was to weaponise the virus” -some of his opponents stated.

Heads of State have a huge influence over what people say and believe. This is also a reflection of the power of social media as Trump spread his thoughts through Twitter. Evidently, Trump explored this racism through Covid-19 being the “Chinese virus”. This was plastered through social media platforms. It can be viewed as hypocritical, due to the difference in attitudes to the Omicron variant and Covid-19 as a whole. Trump never referred to the Omicron variant as the ‘British virus’ but placed the blame of Covid-19 on Asian people. This all has a vast impact over American society.

These Asian hate crimes spread in heavily populated urban areas where immigrant groups were living together. However, after the early surge in hate crimes, it is likely that these crimes decreased as a result of people not using transport and staying at home.

On March 18th 2021, a white gunman was charged with shooting eight Asian women at 3 Atlanta beauty parlours. These attacks terrified the local Asian community which had already experienced increasing hatred because of corona virus.

According to a European Union report in July 2021, there are hundreds of thousands of people who suffer hatred and violence because of their skin colour, ethnicity or religion. However, 9 out of 10 of these hate crimes are not reported.

Not only has this impacted other individuals, but also myself.  I have experienced many acts of discrimination at a young age. For instance, my family and I were in a shopping aisle and a young boy with his Dad said “Look there is Chinese people, they have Covid-19” However the father didn’t act to educate his son, but guided him away. This shows that children should be educated on thoughts like these as they could continue to grow up having prejudice against certain cultures.

It is clear to me that ignorance is the main cause of hate crimes and that the incidence of these crimes is found all across the world, although the crimes that take place in the US are most widely reported. Therefore, a way to combat this is through raising awareness through social media, discussion and education.

Reference Links:

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/trumps-chinese-virus-tweet-helped-lead-rise-racist/story?id=76530148

 

Fairy tales And Mythology: The effects on society

Stories aren’t just happy endings and joy. In fact, many people believe certain parts of mythology, folklore or even fairy tales. Whether it be superstition or wanting a “happily ever after,” many will find comfort of their own stories.

From the 12th–9th centuries BC and past the 8th century BC all the way to the 5th century AD, the Ancient Greek and Roman Empires had the shared of similar beliefs. They believed in the same twelve main goddesses and gods who were referred to as the “Twelve Olympians.” Many of the people at the time believed these stories as a religion and a way to find comfort and hope within the tales of the stories that were passed down through thousands of generations.

Of course, these stories were far from perfect.

Each story reflected a certain aspect of the ancient society (which is why most of the heroes seem so flawed when comparing them to modern standards) and how different things were considered part of the norm but nowadays, we would be concerned.

The Story of Persephone:

One of the best examples of this is, the story of Persephone, the goddess of flowers and springtime and the Queen of the Underworld. Many people have used this story as a way to interpret one of the only “healthy” romantic relationships; however, it was originally used to represent the familial love between one’s daughter and one’s mother and that beautiful love only so many are fortunate enough to have.

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Back in the Greek Empire, mothers would take care of their children and if they had a daughter, each mother would teach their daughter how to cook, clean, sew, garden and any other responsibility she would need to learn which leads them to having a close bond.

This was the way Demeter’s story began as she raised her daughter, Persephone but as a child, was known as Kore. Being Persephone’s mother, she taught her how to grow the beautiful plants of the field and, with the help of the nymphs, Persephone was supervised as she collected the flowers that were in bloom.

Then, Persephone gets kidnapped by Hades and is forced to stay in the underworld. Hades then heads to Olympus, the land of the gods, and asks Zeus for Persephone’s hand in marriage.

This represents that fate of many young girls during this era. Men from far and wide, whether he be from a village or country away, would ask the father for their daughter’s hand in marriage, meanwhile, the women of the household would have no idea.

In the myth, Demeter becomes ridden with guilt, sadness and grief and denies her responsibilities and continuously begs Zeus if she could have her daughter back. After many arguments of back and forth, it had been agreed that she would go back to her mother but stay with Hades for a couple of months as she had eaten a couple of pomegranate seeds. (Pomegranate seeds and fruit in general was a gift given to someone as a way of proposing in the Ancient Greek era.) This calculated to six months with her mother and six months with Hades, which created the different seasons: autumn, winter, spring, and summer.

When we translate this to real life, mothers of the ancient world weren’t often given such a compromise and were left to grieve the loss of their daughters. Though, when they heard this story, it provided them with comfort and hope.

 

 

Alice in Wonderland

I asked one of my friends, Aizah, if she had a favourite fairy tale and they said, “Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite fairy tales because of the 1951 movie.” After admitting that they didn’t know much about it, she reassured me by saying that she found the plotline “interesting”.

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With this, I began to research and to summarise, the meaning behind it is all but ‘wonderland-y.’

For those who don’t know, Alice in wonderland is about a young girl named Alice, who falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world of strange, unworldly, personified creatures. She meets many troubles and friends before having to face the Queen of Hearts who has an army of playing cards. The cards accuse on of friends of theft before the Queen of Hearts order for them to be beheaded. At that exact moment, Alice begins to grow- from twice her size to three times and eventually becomes a giant.

That’s when she awakes and realises wonderland had been a part of her imagination.

Of course, this may seem like a sweet, childish story that anyone could enjoy but when you read into the context, you can’t help but feel slightly sorry and concerned at how in depth this novel from 1865 was.

A lot of the story is spent with Alice exploring Wonderland and trying to adjust to their customs. When translated into to real life, in the industrialized world, a child has to figure things out on her own. In sociology, there is a stage called transitional adulthood.

Zooming into another topic of this novel, we can see that Alice suffers from a couple of disorders. Many believe it is suggested that she suffers from hallucinations; because of this, many people think Alice could have schizophrenia.

Aizah mentioned that she thought it was interesting that there was a syndrome based off of Alice in Wonderland. From my research, it causes the brain to perceive things differently and it is a very rare syndrome. A.I.W.S has a couple of symptoms: objects appearing too small or too big, objects being too close or too far away, distorting body image and loss of limb control.

 

 

Conclusion:

In conclusion, I believe that all fairy tales or mythological story isn’t just a story. I think it’s safe to say that the impact of each piece of writing, whether it made you believe in something- be that true love and soulmates- or it made you feel a certain emotion, is more than a bunch of words that are slapped across a page and finished with a full stop.

Each story’s impact can create a new story through the reader and that story, no matter what genre, can lead that person to meeting new people, understanding new things or in the case of most stories, bring the readers comfort through the aches and stress of life.

So, I suggest you go to a library and pick up a book. Whether it be a book your favourite movie was based on or even a re-read of something you read when you were younger, I hope you can find you happily ever after.

 

 

Links:

Persephone:

  • Demeter & Persephone story -_Layout 1 (stokemuseums.org.uk)
  • What is the purpose of the myth Demeter and Persephone? – Colors-NewYork.com
  • Persephone, Queen of the Underworld - Greek Myths | Greeka

Alice In Wonderland:

  • Top 10 Dark Facts About Alice In Wonderland - Listverse
  • What is the hidden meaning behind Alice in Wonderland? (wikilivre.org)
  • Alice in Wonderland Summary | GradeSaver
  • Alice in Wonderland syndrome - The Brain Charity

Pictures:

Fantastic F1 Finale Failed to be Forgotten

 

On the 12th December 2021, the F1 season came to an end with an enthralling final title decider in Abu Dhabi.  The whole season had been a close battle between Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing and the Mercedes driver. Verstappen battled against reigning champion, Lewis Hamilton, with Verstappen searching for his first title and Hamilton his record-breaking eighth.  With the two drivers going into the final race on equal points for the first time since Fittipaldi and Regazzoni in 1974, history had been made before the lights even went out.  In the end, it was Verstappen who took the crown but the race didn’t come without its excitement.  Many have been left in confusion and dispute the decisions made by race director Michael Masi in the closing stages of the race.

 

Verstappen took pole position by 3 tenths of a second for the final showdown yet his lead was taken from him by Hamilton before they reached the first corner.  Questions were first posed after an incident on the opening lap where both drivers went into the corner wheel to wheel but Hamilton eventually diverted off the track and retained his lead.  Should he have given the place back after leaving the track and gaining an unfair advantage or was the move perfectly legal as Verstappen had forced him off?  After the stewards decided that no investigation into the incident was necessary, Hamilton continued to lead for the majority of the race with Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Perez, helping to hold up Hamilton and allowing Verstappen to catch up to the pair of them.  Image 1 v10

 

On Lap 53, with only 5 laps remaining and Hamilton in the lead, Williams’s driver, Nicholas Latifi crashed into the barrier at turn 14 causing a safety car to be deployed.  During this safety car period, many drivers decided to come into the pit lane for fresh tyres including Max Verstappen.  Hamilton, with not enough of a lead to pit for new tyres and retain his lead, decided not to come in.  The safety car remained out for 4 laps, during which there was much confusion over the lapped cars.  In the FIA rules, it states that “If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message ‘LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE’ has been sent to all teams via the official messaging system, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.” However, Michael Masi, the race director, only allowed the 5 cars between Hamilton and Verstappen (Norris, Alonso, Ocon, Leclerc and Vettel) to unlap themselves, rather than all cars or, the other alternative, no cars.  Furthermore, Masi is believed to have failed to follow another rule regarding the timing of the restart.  It was announced that the safety car would come back into the pit lane on the same lap that the lapped cars were given permission to overtake however, this contradicts the rules which say that “once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap”.  Once the race restarted for one final racing lap, Verstappen was able to overtake Hamilton at turn 5 on fresher tyres and ultimately went on to win the race and the championship leaving Mercedes in fury, Hamilton in heartbreak and Verstappen in victory.

 

After the race, Mercedes decided to appeal to the stewards about the potentially unfair decisions that had been made.  Their two main arguments were that Verstappen overtook Hamilton before the safety car line, although this was quickly dismissed by the stewards, but also the safety car procedures. These appeals were all declined by the FIA although a further investigation into the race was later launched.  Since then, several changes have been put in place for the 2022 season. Masi has lost his role and his replacement of Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas will alternate in the role.  A new system has also been put in place to have a virtual race control room in order to assist the race directors in their decision making.  Finally, communications between the teams and race director are now being closely monitored and restricted.

 

Many fans have different views on how the race should have been dealt with.  I spoke to one of the teachers at Tolworth Girls’ School, Miss Medforth, who is a Mercedes and Hamilton fan yet even she felt that “Lewis should receive some kind of penalty” for going off the track at the start.  When Verstappen won, she felt “disappointed and angry that Lewis’ victory was taken away from him.”  In regard to Masi’s role, she believes that “Masi could have been allowed to continue with some further training from the FIA” and that the changes being made suggest that “perhaps the fault was not all with Masi but with the system itself”.  She feels that “Masi made decisions impulsively and therefore unfairly”.

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Overall, this race has caused controversy amongst F1 fans across the globe and there is a fear of the damage this may have done to the integrity of the sport.  Teams, drivers and fans alike have all been put into doubt about the structure of the FIA, Hamilton claiming to have lost faith however hopefully, with new actions being taken, the disagreements can be settled and a situation like this can be prevented in future.



Sources of information

https://www.goodwood.com/grr/race/historic/2021/12/when-f1-championship-hopefuls-were-last-tied-on-points--thank-frankel-its-friday/

 

https://www.insider.com/nicholas-latifi-sorry-for-causing-dramatic-f1-ending-by-accident-2021-12 

 

https://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/2021_formula_1_sporting_regulations_-_iss_5_-_2020-12-16.pdf 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QJ-N-AQJYc&t=70s 

 

https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.michael-masi-replaced-as-race-director-amid-fia-structural-changes.174xskJuXpEIAiXPQ98oPE.html 

 

https://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/12544300/michael-masi-replaced-as-f1-race-director-after-fia-review-of-2021-abu-dhabi-gp-finale#:~:text=Niels%20Wittich%20and%20Eduardo%20Freitas%20will%20act%20alternatively%20as%20Race,new%20position%20within%20the%20FIA.

Flower Language

As spring is coming up and flowers are beginning to bloom, I thought it would be fitting to discuss flowers and the meaning of them. Generally, flowers symbolise life,  the passage to death and fragility but did you know that each flower specifically means a completely different thing?

Giving a lover, friend or family member has existed for years but became a popular gift due to mythology, folklore and Shakespeare’s works and especially with the Victorian era as it became a popular pastime.

 

Roses:

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Roses are one of the most common gifts and are the go-to rose to give to your significant other but the colours symbolise completely different things.

Red roses usually mean romantic love, courage and beauty however, if the stem is thorn-less, then the rose means, “love at first sight,” while if the rose is budding, then it signifies purity and beauty. It’s a perfect gift for a partner when paired with a box of chocolates.

Pink roses are given to someone that you platonically love as they usually mean admiration and gratitude but if they are a lighter pink, they could mean sympathy.

Yellow roses once met jealousy however, they are now a perfect gift for a friend or a sibling due to their newer meaning of friendship, joy and new beginnings.

Finally, white roses symbolise innocence and purity but also secrecy. Though, if it is white rosebud, than it symbolises youth and girlhood.

Lilies:

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Lilies are stunning and are a generally underrated gift. Usually, they mean purity.

Orange lilies symbolise confidence and energy and with their warm colour, they are a positive, happy feeling attached to it. 

Pink lilies are great for a female figure who you admire or look up to as they stand for femininity and love.

White lilies are symbols of purity and commitment and for that reason, they are often used as sympathy flowers.

Yellow lilies symbolise thankfulness and joy. They are a perfect gift for a friend or a guardian.

 

Of course, you could always just search up which flowers are fit for certain occasions but knowing the meanings of them makes them more personal. So, maybe on the last day of school, instead of giving your teacher an apple, perhaps a bouquet filled with pink roses, white lilies and a card filled with apologies would fit their fancy.

 

 

Links:

FROZEN 3: SHOULD WE LET IT GO?

The global phenomenon Frozen followed the story of two sisters roughly based on the Hans Christian Anderson book of the snow queen. Both stories feature a snow queen, trolls, reindeer, frozen hearts, and snow creatures.

Frozen 3 appears to be an assurance for Disney, as Frozen II became the largest animation film of all times with a worldwide box office of $1.450 billion. Chris Buck also poked Frozen 3 with “nothing ever closes the door,” implying that the cast would eventually reunite for a third instalment. Josh Gad – who played Olaf in the film series – stated that ‘Frozen 3 won't happen unless there's a reason for Frozen 3 to exist. I trust this team with all my heart to believe that unless they have an amazing idea, there's just no need.’

The interview: with Miss Willis – teacher of English – avid Disney fan.

Do you think that a frozen 3 would be possible if so , would it be successful ?

I am hopeful that it could be possible – I didn’t get the hype for 1 but liked 2.

Would you pay high prices for Disney merchandise such as funko pops and costumes- figurines ?

No I don’t feel like people should have to pay to enjoy intellectual properties.

Do you think that the moral messages in frozen 1 and 2 are clear for children ?

 I think that it has a meaning for children and adults, for example I think that everyone should watch inside out

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Kristoff's look is based off the Sami people, who live in the far north and herd reindeer. Arendelle is a fictional country, but its snowy landscape and jagged coastline is heavily inspired by Norway, Sweden and Finland. There is even some Icelandic spoken in the film! Author Hans Christian Anderson is even from Denmark, which is a real life Scandinavian country. When constructing the CGI for Frozen, the animators consulted snow and water experts to make the CGI as detailed and picturesque as possible which contributed to the awe inspiring beauty of the films and naturalistic effect of the snow and water.

Films within the frozen world: Frozen, Frozen 2. Short films include: Frozen fever, Olaf’s frozen adventure, once upon a snowman, Myth: a frozen tale. Series include: At home with Olaf, Olaf Presents. Perhaps, a Frozen 3 may not seem too irrational. Frozen 2 is the second highest grossing animated movie of all time especially for Disney, with let it go being Disney’s number 1 song on Spotify with over 300 million plays since 2013.

How did Lockdown effect the British Public? Positive or negative?

 

It has been nearly two years now since Boris Johnson said that “now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact and travel.” As we reach this milestone here is a review of a few of the positives and negatives that have come out of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

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I am sure that everyone out there has heard about COVID-19 but for those of you that have had your head buried in the sand since 2020 here is the dictionary definition; ‘an acute respiratory illness in humans caused by a coronavirus, capable of producing severe symptoms and in some cases death, especially in older people and those with underlying health conditions. It was originally identified in China in 2019 and became a pandemic in 2020’; however many of us would define it as

 much more than that. I spoke to a student named Freya she said she would define Covid as” awkward and awakening.” It has had a massive impact on our lives today and will be an event that goes down in history. You never know your grandchildren might learn about it!

There have been many key aspects of life that have changed due to coronavirus; from the way we go to school to the way we shop. I asked Miss Fenner, a RS teacher, what impact the lockdowns have had on education for her and the students she teaches. ‘We were lucky at Tolworth Girls School (TGS) in that the provision that was offered during lockdown meant that most students had the ability to continue with their learning in a similar way to classroom learning. However, not every student throughout the UK will have had that standard of provision, and this may have affected their progress significantly’. Students that were in secondary school would on average spend between 2-4 hours doing some form of education in 2020. This is not much higher than the 2-3 hours that primary school children were experiencing during the same time. A year eight student, who was in year six and seven though out the lockdowns, thought that her grades were not changed but her attitude towards school was negatively affected.

This virus has brought hardship for all of us but as John Milton famously said “Every cloud has a silver lining” so let’s look for this one.

You may not think that you have grown closer with your family, but many people have strengthened their bonds with parents as well as siblings over the lockdowns leading to a closer knit family. I spoke to a peer and asked her how she felt relationships with her family and friends had changed over the period of time spent in Lockdown. Here is what she thought, ‘I felt more connected to my friends and family for sure, because of losses that I have experienced which have united us as a family. My friends were incredibly supportive throughout that time. So in that sense, I feel that lockdown did benefit me, because of the struggles that I experienced brought me, my family and friends closer’. Many of us would have faced losses throughout lockdown whether it was due to the virus or just not being able to see loved ones during special moments in life.

It is safe to say that the majority of people wished COVID had never occurred, but it has helped to bring some people closer together and practise their problem-solving skills. For example, when teachers had to facilitate online learning in such a tight time frame. Miss Fenner also said “Having to alter lessons to reflect changes for timings of lessons, and adapting certain tasks that would normally only work in the classroom were probably two of the biggest challenges for me.”

Whatever your experience over the last 2 years it has shown us how we, as a country, can pull together and overcome unexpected challenges bringing us together as families and communities in a positive way.

 

Reference links:

https://languages.oup.com/google-dictionary-en/

 https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/sites/default/files/timeline-lockdown-web.pdf

https://www.southampton.ac.uk/publicpolicy/covid19/learning-inequalities-covid-19.page

How to stop the winter from getting to your skin

By Gabby

During the winter, we all know how cold and extreme the weather can be, and whilst we may want to snuggle on the sofa, it’s important we keep our skin healthy. Here are my top tips to keep your skin looking great - even in the winter.

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Moisturising

Moisturising is vital during winter as it prevents dryness and flaky skin. Moisturiser - as it says in the name - moisturises your skin by holding water in the outermost layer of your skin. Moisturiser is important as it helps protect the skin from irritation and in winter, helps prevent dryness - this is important as your skin can become sore and uncomfortable. One of the reasons it's important to moisturise during the winter is because the climate is cold and the air is dry which can irritate your skin. So, when do you need to apply moisturiser? Well, you’re meant to apply a thin layer to your skin after washing/ cleansing your face, ensuring to pat, not rub your face (by patting you also ensure your skin is hydrated by locking in the moisture and not removing it). What type of moisturiser should you use? There are so many different types of moisturisers available since all our skin types are so different; for example: if you have oily skin you should use a gel moisturiser, if you have dry skin you should use cream and/or a soft cream and if you have sensitive/inflamed skin you should use a balm.

Hydration

Hydration is so important during the winter and you may not realise since its not hot weather, however you can still become dehydrated during the winter which can reflect on your skin especially if it’s winter and your skin is more prone to drying out. Drinking plenty of water (healthline recommends around 2 litres) is great for winter skin as the air around us is more dry meaning our bodies receive less moisture.

So what does someone who has struggled with their skin, say about this?

I spoke to Miss Willis and she said she struggled with her skin mainly as a “teenager in secondary school” and she “suddenly felt self-conscious and wore makeup which made it worse” She said “after a few years of skin being bad she developed a skin care routine” And when asked about the winter and skin interestingly she said: “the winter still does feel like a worse time for skin since it’s so dry” and she mentioned how people tend to ignore lips and that they are still a part of your skin.

Oils

Oils and creams are also a major part of maintaining good skin during winter; since our bodies provide natural oils for us anyway, giving your skin that extra boost during winter can make that difference from dry skin to glowing skin. The reason oils are great for winter skin is because they help you receive vital fatty acids which enables moisture to enter your skin. Everyday health says: avocado oil is good for dry, sensitive skin, lavender oil is good for acne prone skin and rosehip seed oil is good for uneven pigment and acne prone skin. Now, when choosing products make sure to avoid products with alcohol and fragrance to help your skin maintain natural oils and not to irritate it.

Now all you have left to do is grab your moisturiser, water and oils and prepare to glow. Do not let the winter stop you from having healthy skin.

Sources: Everyday Health, Healthline,Mayo Clinic,NCY Times,Byrdie

Is stereotyping prevalent in The Wizarding World?

By Hannah

The world of Harry Potter, otherwise known as the Wizarding World, consists of magic, dragons, mythical creatures, witchcraft and wizardry. A place for wonder and escapism.  However, delving deeper into this fictional world is stereotyping and negative connotations towards the muggle-born, ‘mud-bloods’ and ‘squibs’ more prevalent and serious than they are portrayed? And do negative links from houses cause potter heads to become ashamed of their house hoping to switch it?

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was formed with 4 houses: Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. Founded by Helga Hufflepuff, Salazar Slytherin, Godric Gryffindor, and Rowena Ravenclaw.  Each house is a home for students with similar traits as them such as bravery being connected with the house of Gryffindor. From the Potter more website each of the house's traits are the following: Gryffindor – brave daring nerve and chivalry. Slytherin – resourcefulness ambition and cunning. Hufflepuff – loyal fair minded and hard work. Ravenclaw – thirst for information witty and creative. The sorting hat stated that Hogwarts was formed by the founders to protect witches and wizards from muggle persecution and form houses so that student with specific personality traits and skills would be nurtured. Even where the houses common rooms are located prejudice is obvious, Slytherins common room is based in the dungeons, Hufflepuffs is behind a stack of barrels near the kitchens, Ravenclaw in Ravenclaw tower and Gryffindor in Gryffindor tower. Slytherins common room being based in the dungeons almost affirms to readers that Slytherin students are ‘evil’ or practice dark magic. Hufflepuffs common room being behind a pile of barrels next to the kitchens below ground level presents Hufflepuff as leftovers.

In an exclusive interview with Miss Fabregas – an English teacher and avid Harry Potter fan -

Do you feel as though stereotyping In Harry Potter -specifically involving mud bloods and squibs- seriousness is diluted in the book and film series?

Yes, to an extent. Filch almost fulfils the negative stereotype of a bitter squib who aims to punish the students at Hogwarts for this which is awful, but then you have Mrs Figg who is just wonderful and a positive stereotype of a squib as she protects Harry. ‘

Do you feel as though fans change their Hogwarts houses according to stereotypes?

 Yes definitely. Speaking about Matthew Lewis for example, he seemed quite sarcastically happy about being given Hufflepuff, I think a lot of people change their traits to get given whichever house is fashionable at that moment, though true fans are proud of their houses no matter the house!

Despite this, a multitude of Harry Potter fans state that there are a few negative stereotypes attached to them as well.  Isolating, these stereotypes could arguably be damaging to fictional students and Potter heads alike. The term mud-blood in itself is neologism.

This has caused a profuse number of fans to ultimately become ashamed of their houses and consequently dislike Harry Potter.  Some of the negative stereotypes of the houses from a survey in 2022 of a Harry Potter club at a secondary school includes the following negative connotations with the houses: Slytherin – evil, sly, cunning.  Gryffindor –impulsive, glory seeking, overconfident – hubris, Hufflepuff – weak, dumb, naïve, leftovers, Ravenclaws- nerds, cowards, weird, ostracised. 

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In the Wizarding World, the term ‘mud-blood’ is an offensive word that describes a witch or wizard born to muggles (non-magical parents).  This is a superiority complex that some ‘pure-bloods’ (wizards or witches born to magical parents) believe they have over ‘mud-bloods’.  In this series – Harry potter and the chamber of secrets - Draco Malfoy stated ‘filthy little mud-blood’ to Hermione Grainger, this greatly disturbed Hermione to a huge extent.  However, this issue is never touched on again through the film series which a few Potter heads find upsetting. Stereotyping is in fact not prevalent in The Wizarding World according to some, this contradicts the information from the book series as within the books even a house elf creature views himself as superior to the ‘mud-bloods’.  The negative stereotype involving muggle-born wizards/ witches is that they are bad at magic and a threat to ‘pure-bloods’ contributing to the belief to some that stereotyping is prevalent in the Wizarding World. Yet another term that is considered as derogatory in Harry Potter is ‘squib ‘this describes someone born in a wizarding family without any wizarding or magical powers.

 

Sources: https://www.wizardingworld.com/

Mental Health’s Stigma and the Effect on Students

We are obsessed with having perfect mental health. We are obsessed with struggling and dealing with the stigma alone. We are obsessed to not let it affect us even though it does. Mental health problems can affect everyone. However, after the pandemic, it has widely affected students all around the world. Mental health can affect many areas of students’ lives, deteriorating their quality of life, academic achievement, physical health and wellbeing, and satisfaction with school experience, and negatively effecting relationships with friends and family members. These issues can also have long-term consequences for students, affecting their future employment and careers, potentially their earning, and overall health. So it is important to discuss the stigma and effect of mental health and how it could be helped.

Stigma

Mental health issues are common. It affects thousands of people in the UK alone yet there is a strong stigma surrounding mental health. People with mental health problems face this stigma in numerous aspects of their life. Stigma can come from society, the media and even our own family and friends. Many people even face internalised stigma. When people come to believe all sorts of stereotypes and negative comments about themselves.

Almost nine out of ten people with mental health issues say stigma has had a negative effect on their lives. Stigma can also make someone’s mental health even worse and even possibly delay or stop people getting help. Social isolation, poor organisation and housing, unemployment and poverty are all associated with mental ill health. These are just some examples of effects mental health has on our everyday lives. Therefore, stigma can trap people in a cycle of illness.

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Mental health in schools

Mental health problems can affect a student's energy level, concentration, dependability, mental ability, and optimism, hindering performance. Research indicates that depression is associated with lower grade point averages, and that co-occurring depression and anxiety can increase this association. Depression and other mental health issues have also been linked to dropping out of school.

Addressing mental health needs in school is critically important because 1 in 5 children and youth have a diagnosable emotional, behavioural or mental health disorder and 1 in 10 young people have a mental health challenge that is severe enough to impair how they function at home, school or in the community.

Many estimates show that even though mental illness affects so many of young people aged 6-17 at least 1/2 and many estimate as many as 80% of them do not receive the mental health care they need. Research depicts that the predominate amount of stress is the inclination of performing well in competitive atmospheres like school, creative activity, hobby and sport; they all require skill and time. Have you ever felt anxious before an exam, to do homework or even just to talk to friends after an argument?

Being able to recognize and support kids mental health in schools matters because:

  • Mental health problems are common and often develop during childhood and adolescence.
  • They are treatable.
  • Early detection and intervention strategies work. They can help improve resilience and the ability to succeed in school & life.

In addition, youth with emotional and behavioural disorders have the worst graduation rate of all students with disabilities. Nationally, only 40 percent of students with emotional, behavioural and mental health disorders graduate from high school, compared to the national average of 76 percent. Over 50% of students with emotional and behavioural disabilities ages 14 and older, drop out of high school. This is the highest dropout rate of any disability group.

Poor academic functioning and inconsistent school attendance were identified as early signs of emerging or existing mental health problems during childhood and adolescence.

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Sources and reasons for mental ill health

Rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the last 25 years, this can be blamed on many different factors: “I would say I get most of my stress and anxiety from school, homework, having a job, home life and just balancing everything, it creates a lot of anxiety for me” states Jaimeeka Patel from Year 12 at Tolworth Girls’ Sixth Form.

Recent stress statistics reveal that almost a quarter of students have gone through a stressful event in the past 12 months. Such a situation can cause setbacks in their academic progress and plenty of other mental issues. Jannah Kamaly from Year 12 reports her personal experience with stress so far this year: “A week of exams has caused me a lot of stress as reports are sent home. So my exams- academic pressure.”

A clinical psychologist, Dr Bubrick at the Child Mind Institute, who specialises in anxiety and OCD. “A lot of anxiety is geared towards perfectionism, or needing to do their absolute best in school, beyond an intense work ethic.” 

Other causes for anxiety and ill mental health is your body, trying to find your identity, how you’re perceived and whilst trying to not get influenced to please society’s standards.

Search for connections

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England. This is a reminder is that no one is alone with their problems. Countless young people feel most comfortable when online and anonymous. They can either talk to a friend online or there are many help services and programs to help people with mental health problems, this can be anonymous; this can be a lot more convenient as it removes the pressure of meeting up in the real world and facing reality. Though you may be tired of advice like exercise or do mindful colouring, it is important and actually can help if you give it a go! So here are 5 things to help you if you struggle with mental health issues and to improve your wellbeing. Evidence shows trying these things could help you feel more positive and get the most out of life.

  1. Connect with other people
  2. Be physically active
  3. Learn new skills
  4. Give to others
  5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

References

Consequences of Student Mental Health Issues | Suicide Prevention Resource Center (sprc.org)

Statistics- consequences for students

23 Eye-Opening College Student Stress Statistics for 2021 (whattobecome.com)

Statistics

Stigma and discrimination | Mental Health Foundation

Statistics and opinion

https://childmind.org/article/signs-of-anxiety-in-teenagers/

Dr Bubrick- explanations of sources of anxiety

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/#:~:text=1%20in%204%20people%20will,week%20in%20England%20%5B2%5D

Statistics

 

Nirvana: the American rock band

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From Nevermind, to In Utero, Nirvana still remains to be one of the most popular bands in the world, even years after departing. The rock band used extreme instruments, extreme sounds and portrayed extreme messages in all of their songs, grabbing everybody’s attention in the 1990’s. But how did it all begin?

  • 1987: Nirvana was founded:

The American alternative rock band was founded by lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic. They went through a number of drummers, the most famous being Dave Grohl.

 

  • 1989 June 15: Nirvana released their first album: ‘Bleach’

Bleach, their debut album, containing a total of 13 songs, originally sold around 30,000 copies. Unfortunately, bleach did not chart, but this immediately changed when releasing their second album, ‘Nevermind’, as bleach then jumped to 89 on the Billboard 200.

 

  • 1991 September 24: ‘Nevermind’ is released

Nevermind was the second album for the rock band to release, it was their first release on a major label, and also their first album featuring Dave Grohl. This album was by far Nirvana’s most popular album, probably due to the seriousness of its lyrics, and the way it executed rock in its rawest form. They made mainstream music irrelevant, but were still able to connect all the main strands of music together. Even 30 years after the release, Nevermind is hugely celebrated, and sends most adults back to their teenage years.

 

  • 1992 December 12: ‘Insecticide’ is released

Insecticide was a bit different from Nirvana’s other albums. It consisted of demos, mixtapes, and lots of other soundtracks made by the band.

 

  • 1993 September 21: ‘In Utero’ is released

Nirvana aimed for this album to have more natural sounds, and differ from their other album Nevermind. It’s no doubt a dark album, dark enough that Dave Grohl has a hard time listening to the album front to back.

 

  • 1994 April 8: Kurt Cobain found dead three days after death

Before his death, Cobain struggled with drug addiction and depression, as well as having to deal with the pressure that came along with being a music artist. Devastatingly, the lead singer and guitarist took his own life on the 5 April 1994. His death was unexpected, and was an emotional blow for all.

 

Moving on to a more positive note, after the band disbanded, Dave Grohl formed his own band named ‘Foo fighters’. Their first album was released in 1995, and Grohl remains in the band till this day. As for Novoselic, he continued in his music career, and co-formed a band named sweet 75.

 

 

OCD… the reality

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is commonly misunderstood. Although it can be described as ‘quirky’ and ‘fun’ it is a truly real and a serious mental illness which many struggle from on a daily basis.

So, what is OCD?

 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an mental illness where you have recurring thoughts and repetitive behaviours that one cannot control. OCD can be categorised into four types: checking, contamination/ mental contamination, symmetry/ordering and ruminations, intrusive thoughts. Around 2% of the population have OCD.

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Interview with Mrs Gregoretti:

What are the biggest misconceptions about OCD?

“People think people with OCD have to turn on/off light switches a certain amount of times, be organised, and have a certain behaviour to have OCD.”                            

What do you think of when someone says the word OCD?

“In society the word OCD is normally associated with people being overly organised. Whereas when I think of the word OCD I think of people having to do something to make them feel more comfortable.”

With your experience of working with people with OCD wat are some positives about it?

“Having OCD makes people unique and sometimes causes people to have a different aspect on life. In some situations people with OCD can have an advantage.”

Why is OCD misunderstood?

Although OCD is well known, it is one of the most misunderstood mentally illnesses out there due to the way it is often portrayed and spoken about in the media and talked about in everyday speech. It is not all about excessive hand washing and cleaning, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

A few myths and facts:

‘OCD is a personality choice, it is quirky and fun’ myth buster, people with OCD feel like they must do certain compulsions because of distress and anxiety. It is not a personality choice. ‘Everybody is a bit OCD’... Only around 1-2% of the population suffer from OCD but due to the misinterpretation by the media, it is regularly confused with people liking to do things a certain way.

How is OCD treated?

Depending on how bad a certain person OCD is, there can be different ways to treat it. Commonly, OCD is treated with medicine or therapy. However, OCD never goes away properly, it can be controlled and made to be easier to live with.

Famous people with OCD:

Include... Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Timberlake, David Beckham, Cameron Diaz and more!

In conclusion, OCD is a serious mental illness that many people suffer with and should not be purposely misused in anyway.

If you are interested in finding out more about this topic, here are some useful links that are worth checking out. (resources I used)

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/overview/

https://www.benenden.co.uk/be-healthy/mind/ocd-myths/

 

 

 

Thursday 10th March 2022

Restricted Russians: Are the Bans on Athletes Fair?

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The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine is having a huge impact across all areas of life.  Russian and Belarusian athletes have both been sanctioned due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  There are however, split opinions over whether these sanctions are fair.  Various sports have taken different approaches to this situation, some deciding to allow athletes to compete under neutral flags whereas in others they have been banned all together.

Attacks from Russian troops began in the early morning of the 24th February.  Russian president, Vladimir Putin announced that he had launched a "special military operation" into Ukraine.  Over the past few weeks, the situation has slowly progressed with areas of Ukraine now under full Russian military control.

So what sanctions have been put in place?

Football

Chelsea Football Club owner, Roman Abramovich, has been sanctioned by the UK government.  Abramovich has owned Chelsea FC since 2003. However, his role is now potentially in jeopardy.  After the Russian billionaire announced that he would be putting the club up for sale, he is now thought to be unable to sell it due to recent changes.  He has been prohibited from making transactions with UK companies.

Further restrictions within the football world have also been put in place.  Russia have been suspended from all competitions by UEFA and FIFA.  World Cup play-off matches involving Russia and Belarus, which were due to take place in March, have been cancelled.

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Olympics

Russia, who have already been given restrictions within the Olympics due to the doping scheme of 2017, and Belarus have been prevented from competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics.  The International Paralympic Committee had originally planned to allow for the athletes to compete with neutral flags however they faced heavy criticism for this.  Now, these athletes shall not be allowed to compete at all.  In the Summer Olympics, Russian and Belarusian athletes have been banned from competing in all events with immediate effect.

Formula One

Several F1 drivers have shared their opinions over what decisions need to be made amid the Ukraine invasion.  Four time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, had some very strong views in regard to the race in Russia.  He stated that “[He] should not go, [he] will not go.”  In contrast to this, Russian driver, Mazepin showed confidence that the Russian Grand Prix would go ahead and he showed great enthusiasm to race there. 

The Russian Grand Prix, which was due to go ahead 25th September, has now been officially cancelled.  The FIA has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix which will now no longer take place in the future.  The race was due to move from Sochi to St Petersburg in 2023.  The FIA has allowed for Russian drivers to continue to race under a neutral flag however Motorsport UK has restricted them from competing in the UK.  Russian sponsored team, Haas have released their Russian driver, Nikita Mazepin and ended ties with their title sponsors, fertiliser company Uralkali.  Mazepin’s father Dmitry is said to have close links with President Putin and both him and his son have been included in the EU’s sanction list.

 

Many people have very different views over these sanctions.  Are they fair?  Some say that the athletes themselves have done nothing wrong and therefore shouldn’t be punished.  Others however, argue that if these athletes succeed in their specialised areas then they will bring their country “undeserved glory”.  The majority of people are in agreement that Russia’s actions against Ukraine are unacceptable, the consequences they have for Russian and Belarusian athletes however have caused much more debate.

 

Reference Links

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/60568139

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/60552453

https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11668/12562138/chelsea-owner-roman-abramovich-sanctioned-by-uk-government

 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine…. why?

Why did Putin want to invade Ukraine? And what’s the damage that has been caused? Well Putin wanted assurance that Ukraine does not join any European institutions like the EU and NATO (an intergovernmental military alliance among 28 European countries and 2 North American countries.).  President Putin declared Russia could not feel "safe, develop and exist" because of what he claimed was a constant threat from modern Ukraine. As well as causing the existing peace deal with neighbouring countries to be torn up. He has shattered peace in Europe and thrown the continent's entire security structure at risk. This war has received the name “Putin’s war”, as the German chancellor has come to call it.

 

In late 2021, Russia began positioning and installing big numbers of troops close to Ukraine's borders. President Putin repeatedly denied planning an invasion, but then he fought a 2015 peace deal for the east and acknowledged areas under rebel control as independent. These are the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk P. in the Donbass  region of eastern Ukraine.

We’re already clear of president Vladimir Putin intentions, of overthrowing the democratically elected president (Zelensky) and seeking to take control of Ukraine. However the Ukrainian people are resentful of giving up and continue to protect their precious land. Ukrainians have already suffered an exhausting eight-year war with Russian commissions. And the military has called up all soldiers aged 18 to 60 years old.

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The impacts on everyday people

More than 2 million people has fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion. And according to the UN figures, the number of Ukrainian refugees neighbouring countries have received are:

  • Poland 1,204,403
  • Hungary 191,348
  • Slovakia 140,745
  • Russia 99,300
  • Republic of Moldova 82,762
  • Romania 82,062
  • Belarus 453

In those countries bordering Ukraine, refugees can stay in reception centres if they do not have friends or relatives to stay with. Here they are given food and medical assistance if needed. Trains have been packed and traffic jams have gone on for miles, with people desperate to escape the conflict. Unfortunately these refugees don’t know whether they will return home, and if they do come back- what will be left? Unfortunately male members of families are forced to stay behind and say goodbye to loved ones going over the borders. And many young children have had to leave their parents behind and refuge alone. According to the UN commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, said it was “the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since WW1.

Thousands of anti-war protesters have been imprisoned and independent Russian broadcasters have been taken off the air, bombs have rained down on Ukrainian cities but what can the west do? Although Nato's defensive alliance has made clear there are no plans to send combat troops to Ukraine itself. The West is targeting Russia's economy, financial institutions and individuals. For example they have frozen Russia central bank foreign=n assets. and major Russian banks have been shut out of the international swift payment network, which allows smooth and rapid transfer of money across borders

 

 

 

TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIE

 

  • Zelensky abandons Ukraine after being giving the option by western countries
  • Russia and Ukraine have been fighting for over 8 years
  • President Zelensky voiced Paddington in the Ukrainian Paddington dubbed movies

 

  

ANSWER:  OPTION 1 IS THE LIE

Despite there being controversy on Zelensky supposedly “abandoning” Ukraine and fleeing to Poland, he has continued to show that this situation is not a joke, despite being a comedian earlier on.  He continues to fight for his country and is known as a world hero.

Should we follow the five second rule?

 

Many of us will have followed the five second rule at some point in our lives, whether that is as a child or more recently. Most people find no shame in admitting this fact to friends and family. But can this rule have an impact on our health?

For those of you who are unsure on what the five second rule is “A notional rule stating that food which has been dropped on the ground will still be uncontaminated with bacteria and therefore safe to eat if it is retrieved within five seconds.” “Apparently, the 5-second-rule dates back to Genghis Khan, the Mongol ruler in the 1400s.He implemented the “Khan rule” at his banquets where if food fell to the floor it could stay there as long as he decreed. The idea being, food prepared for Khan was so special that it would be good for anyone to eat no matter what.”

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 Surprisingly, scientists have actually tested this rule!  And recommend not picking up and eating food straight from the floor as lots of bacteria lives on the floor and you may not be able to see it. Ruth Frechman (spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association) said “At least, wash it first,". "Bacteria is all over the place, and 10 types, including E. coli, cause foodborne illnesses, such as fever, diarrhoea, and flu-like symptoms." One student I asked said “If the floor looks genuinely clean then I will follow the five second rule but if it looks dirty then I will not”. It think that the majority of the British population would agree with this statement as we don’t want to waste food so that we can be environmentally friendly; but if we can see dirt we won’t eat it.

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I asked a few teachers whether they used the five second rule and 66% of teachers said they did use it but one said she used the thirty second rule!

When I think about the five second rule it makes me think of other people in less fortunate parts of the world and how grateful they would be for any kind of food. “Globally, one in nine people are hungry or undernourished. 2.37 billion people did not have access to enough safe and nutritious food in 2020.” So the food we are throwing away because it touched the floor could save someone’s life.

Therefore it is clear to see that the five second rule is not correct and in fact can be dangerous for our health. It also shows us how easily influenced our society can be today.

 

 

 

Reference links:

https://www.lexico.com/definition/five-second_rule

https://www.actionagainsthunger.org.uk/why-hunger/world-hunger-facts#:~:text=Globally%2C%20one%20in%20nine%20people%20are%20hungry%20or%20undernourished.&text=2.37%20billion%20people%20did%20not,and%20nutritious%20food%20in%202020.

Social media: what impact does it have on teens?  

Social media has undeniably become a huge part of everybody’s lives. However overtime, many different views and opinions have surfaced, some claiming that it has positive aspects, others claiming that social media is not as glamorous as people may think.

The negative impacts of social media

Although social media can be a fun and exciting place, many teenagers can agree that it’s not paradise. This can be a range of things, such as the following:

 

  • CYBER BULLYING: cyber bullying is a form of bullying which takes place online. It has unfortunately become very common, especially amongst teenagers and young children. Cyber bullying is one of the main causes for mental health issues and problems, making the internet a scary place for some. Sameer Hinduja said that over 60% of students who experience cyber bullying reported that it impacted their ability to learn and feel safe while at school. Teens are exposed to cyber bullying and other distressing interactions whilst on social media if not careful.

 

  • PEER PRESSURE: some teens maybe feel pressured to have a perfect social life, and social status. Roughly, 4 in 10 of teenagers say they feel pressured to only post content that makes them look good to others, or something that will get a bunch of comments and likes.

 

  • SELF IMAGE: teens may struggle with self-image due to social comparison, which can lead to people feeling unhappy with themselves, or they can find themselves struggling with pressure, and anxiety.

 

  • LACK OF SOCIAL SKILLS: social media is an amazing way to communicate with others, but it does lead to less face-to-face interactions. This can lead to poor social skills, making it hard for teens to socialize with others.

 

All these things contribute to mental health and can severely damage someone’s view on either themselves, or life. Not only is social media slightly damaging for young audiences, but it is also looked down upon by some adults and parents.

Researchers and surveys have proven that over the recent years, platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Tiktok have become very popular amongst the ages of 11-16, which some parents believe can be very damaging for their child, as they fear they are being exposed to too much. Research tells us that 68% of parents believe that social media affects their teen’s ability to socialize properly, 56% believe their teen has an unhealthy desire for attention and approval via social media, and 67% of parents have felt concerned their teen is addicted to social media.

The positive side to social media

Although social media is perceived as negative in some ways, social media can also be an amazing community for young teens and children.

 

  • MENTAL HEALTH SOLUTIONS: yes, like we discussed earlier, social media can be damaging, but social media platforms can also be a warming, and helpful place when it comes to mental health. There are many resources online that offer support to those who are struggling. For example, Kooth is an online website that specializes in mental health. Not only does social media do this, but it also helps bring people together, share experiences, gives you someone to talk to, etc. This can make people feel better about themselves and remind them that they are not alone.

 

  • POSITIVE MOTIVATION: social media can create inspiration for young teens, inspiring them to try new things, reach for their goals, and can also teach them to become independent. Role models and other motivating figures can also be found through social media, who can help teens become more focused on the positives and help them gain healthy habits.

 

  • ENTERTAINMENT: genuinely, social media is a very entertaining place, and can help cheer up someone’s mood. Social networks have a wide variety of topics to explore, making social media appealing to everyone.

 

  • FRIENDSHIPS/COMMUNICATION: social platforms like snapchat, Instagram and more, give people a chance to communicate with others online. It’s very possible to create online friendships, which makes social media a more positive place for everyone.

 

  • EDUCATION: Statista research department said that during a global online user survey in February 2019, a significant share of respondents said that social media has gave them much more access to information, communication, etc.

 

 

 

The different perspectives on social media:

Q: how does social media impact you?

From a younger perspective:

“I really like social media, it’s a good way to connect with friends. Getting likes and comments on my posts is really positive, and really boosts my confidence. I feel comforted by Influencers and celebrities like Charli. The way she posts about her acne makes those who do have acne feel more normal, and in that light social media does impact you positively, as it gives a realistic perspective.”

From an older perspective:

“It doesn’t hugely impact me, because I don’t personally post on social media. But I will say I’m extremely glad social media wasn’t as prevalent when I was young, because I see the negative sides of it as an adult, particularly one that works in a school with young people. I do however, think that it’s good for keeping in contact with people around the world.”

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What do you think?

We can see that social media can be a negative space for many, especially young teens. It can be damaging for mental health, and degrading for self-image. However social media is not all bad, it can be a very encouraging and inspirational place, helping people make good choices, and making healthy habits.

The Best Misfits Songs (according to non-fans)

Misfits is a punk band formed in New Jersey 1977 and are known for combining many genres of music and mixing them with horror themes and gothic imagery, as well as iconic logo plus influencing larger bands such as My Chemical Romance and Metallica. Though their genre is often debated at times, there is no doubt they were the pioneers of the horror punk scene. With a large variety of genres to create their own sound, what do people who DON’T listen to them about their most popular songs?

 Dig Up Her Bones – American Psycho, 1997
The second track of their fourth studio album, American Psycho, Dig Up Her Bones is known as one of their most popular songs. Sung without their most well-known member Glenn Danzig, its music video and lyrics would most likely shock a conventional audience.
Gathering some research from people who have never listened to them, they commented that they wouldn’t listen to it in spare time and it has a “Weird song name.” In terms of the music video, they called it scary.

Skulls – Walk Among Us, 1981
As the 9th track of their debut album, don’t be fooled by the calming dragging of words, managing to hide its violent lyrics. When asking others who don’t listen to them they mentioned it was better than the first song but it wasn’t their type of music. When asked about the lyrics they said it was “Very dark and a lot of Putin.” One first-time listener also said that the lyrics were “Open to interpretation but difficult to interpret.”

Scream – Famous Monsters, 1999
Scream is their 7th track in their second album and last one without Danzig, starring Michael Graves on vocals. A non-fan, aged 14, said that there was probably a dark storyline behind it. Furthermore, a teacher commented on how it sounded very angry.

Saturday Night – Famous Monsters, 1999
This song is also on the Famous Monsters album, being its 8th track (right after scream), compared to it, it is a lot more slower and more like a power ballad. But when asking someone they said, “Easier to listen or sing to,” However they continued with saying that it “Wasn’t something to listen to everyday” and the lyrics were quite dark.

Helena – Famous Monsters, 1999
Based off a movie of the same name, this song is also on the Famous Monsters album. With violent lyrics yet again, it was obvious that people who weren’t into horror did not enjoy the frightening tendencies revealed in the lyrics. They called it dark and scary, however on a positive note about the actual music they did mention that there was a catchy beat and they’d like it if they ignored what he was actually saying.

Teenagers From Mars – The Misfits Collection, 1986
One of their tamer songs in term of lyrics, this was first written as B-side by frontman Glenn Danzig but considered releasing as a single. When asking non-fans of their music, they actually quite liked the upbeat tune of this and called it catchy. They also mentioned that this is the first one that they’d actually listen to outside of this interview.

 

In conclusion, Teenagers From Mars is probably the most liked song for people who don’t listen to this type of music.

 

The Origins of Nu-Metal

With their distorted guitars and screaming confessional lyrics, whilst also melding it with rap – a brief musical revolution ran during the late 1990s to early 2000s. Some still describe it as ‘poser music’, others saw it as a genre bringing rock back to life. Giving birth to bands like KoRn, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, System of a Down, Slipknot and Deftones, this is the fusion of hip-hop and alternative metal becoming the ground-breaking yet controversial genre of Nu-metal.

But how did it all begin?  In the year 1975 Aerosmith released their album ‘Toys in The Attic’. Little did they know, in 1986 a New York hip-hop group named Run DMC had found the record way and enjoyed the beat. Thus, a crossover occurred with the song ‘Walk This Way’. During that time, rap music was rarely played on TV (rap records barely existed), making the result of the collaboration ingenious. In their music video it perfectly articulates this, depicting a wall as a barrier for the two genres of rap and rock. Later on in the video, Steven Tyler (frontman of Aerosmith) breaks this wall and with that the music was fused together. This would create inspiration of the moulding together of different genres Nu-metal popularised, influencing nowadays music where genre isn’t as much a thing separating musicians from one another.

As well as ‘Walk This Way’, other similar innovations consisted of pairing Big Four thrash metal band Anthrax and hip-hop’s Public Enemy. In their 1991 song ‘Bring the Noise’ they, like Aerosmith and Run DMC, crossed the genre border and experimented with the fusion. A similar style was created by Faith No More, particularly in their hit ‘Epic’. With rapped verses, pounding drums and sonorous riffs, it would inevitably inspire bands like Linkin Park. The result: like marmite. Some loved it, some hated it, but either way the influences of the combining sparked something new, or rather, nu. This led to the emergence of the pioneers of Nu-metal: KoRn.

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It was 1994 and the release of KoRn’s self-titled debut album had made a breakthrough, this was widely considered to be the first ever Nu-metal album. Ross Robinson, nicknamed the Godfather of Nu-metal, discovered the band’s talent, becoming their producer and would continue to do so for many alike bands like Limp Bizkit and Slipknot. The first thing you hear on the first track of the album ‘Blind’, other than the symbolic drumbeat, stop-start motion of the alien chords was lead singer Jonathan Davis’ compelling bellow of “Are you ready?” leaves listeners to question, whether they were truly ready for KoRn and its legacy. With grunge coming to an end, people looking for something heavier, alternative rock hitting a low point and the rise of rap music – it was just about the perfect time for the new scene to start. Frontman, Jonathan agreed, stating in Metal Hammer’s 90s Rock, “L.A. was a musical dead zone. In the early 90s, it was just us and a few other bands who fought like hell to bring the scene back to life.” The genre itself, beginning in California, took the world by a storm. With many artists moved by KoRn’s work, it resulted in many bands being formed, wanting to try out this eccentric, new style of music. Even old-school metal bands followed this craze; thrashers Slayer releasing the experimental album ‘Diabolus in Musica’ in 1998 from the new trend.

But it wasn’t only rockers who were captivated by the scene, ex-NWA rapper Ice Cube talked about the movement in 1998: “These bands pumped a lot of hip hop into their music, and they were big fans of the stuff I was doing. So you had this really powerful mixture of hardcore and metal mixed with hip hop. It set a whole new vibe and the world took notice.”

However, not all responses to the genre were entirely positive. Rage Against The Machine, a political rock band formed in 1991 with a similar sound, inspired Fred Durst and others of Limp Bizkit. As a patronage Limp Bizkit covered their most favoured classic ‘Killing In The Name’. But bass player Tim Commerfield reacted to Bizkit savagely in 2015 on Rolling Stone, “I do apologise for Limp Bizkit. I really do. I feel really bad for inspiring...” In addition to this, other’s disliked how mainstream it was becoming, undermining underground metal bands. Metalheads weren’t fans of how they were grouped with the word ‘Metal’ when essentially, they weren’t really making that kind of music.

Despite all this, there’s no denying that the Nu-metal phase impacted music today. Examples include Slipknot’s Corey Taylor stating “It was a weird time because we immediately got lumped with the nu-metal side of things... But it didn’t bother us. We said ‘Look, you can label us whatever you want. We’ll use hip-hop if we want, and we’ll play grindcore if we want.’ We were able to set the standard that we weren’t a type of genre, we were our own genre.” Consequently, this led others to understand that music now is no longer such a divide, and it was possible to challenge and find a new sound. So, (in spite of critics) even more so than other genres, Nu-metal truly revolutionised the world of music.

The small weird world of Tolworth girls

  • By Scarlett 8G and Shakeeba 9A

 

Here are some weird facts and stories about the teachers and one mystery student.

 

Ms Willis- Once when she was younger, her friend who was a boy, said girls were rubbish. So she kicked and broke her toe (Ms Willis does not condone violence)

Ms Hawksworth- when she was 17 se tried to learn Russian.

Ms Durcan- Se can flip her tongue over itself, and when she was younger she wanted to be a librarian.

Ms Fenner- a few weeks ago, for fundraising for the year 13 prom, her and Mr Cunningham sang ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ together.

Ms Ross- is immune to measles.

Mystery student- can flip over bot their eyelids.

Miss Lada- doesn’t like spicy food

Mr Le Vay- Emily Campbell (old student) humiliated him on a bush craft trip. And he has won 3 eating competitions. 1. Pizza 2. Marshmallow 3.he did not specify

Ms Grieg- Left her daughter in the supermarket. (She came back to get her don’t worry)

Ms Martinez- “My embarrassing story for the paper is when I was about 16 we were going out for dinner as a family on holiday. I insisted that I wear my highest heeled shoes because I was obsessed with them. My dad kept telling me we were walking a long way to the restaurant and I wouldn't be comfortable but I insisted I wear them anyway. What my dad failed to tell me was we were walking across a rocky beach to get there. Needless to say the high heels + rocky beach didn't mix well and I ended up flat on my face in front of loads of strangers!”

Mrs Henderson- She met the naked rambler, who walks around wearing nothing but a bobble hat, a backpack and hiking boots.

Ms Di Mambro-in her first school, during her first week, her year 9 class were being annoying so when they went up to present she sat I their seats ad mimicked them, they got the message but on the way back to her desk she tripped and fell flat on her face.

Mr Forbes- when he was in primary school he had an h top (very tall hair) and he hid pencils in it.

Mr Cunningham – he was caught sneaking out from his window by his dad to go to the pub (he was in university, don’t worry).

 

The World’s at War over Wordle

By Dimitra M.

 

A website that gives you six guesses to find a 5 letter word has taken the world by storm. It all started with Josh Wardle, (can you tell by his name?), who built a word game for his partner and sent it to his family group chat. Seeing the over-enthusiasm it brought to be on the search for a single word, it was decided that it should become accessible to the wider public. The prototype started in 2013 but only after about 9 years later has it become ‘viral’ especially on TikTok. Now, it has paved the path for its descendants: Dordle, Absurdle, Sweardle ... The list goes on.

Competition/Obsession:

As with all situations, people get ruthless when it comes to winning something; which is not even the point of this game. The thing is, there is one word per day: that’s 24 hours to wait until the next word, meaning that everyone tries to get it first and spoil it for others, as one does when they watch a Euphoria episode before you. Squabble especially has added the feature of competing against 98 other players to cause a battle royale of, well, words. This phenomenon has got us sharing grey, (if we’re unlucky) yellow and green squares all over on social media: TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook – you name it, it’s on there. If you’re not a victim of this disease yet, you’re not alone, but you are part of a minority group that either doesn’t have social media or hasn’t checked it since November 2021.

Effect on the human species:

Students were asked if they have caught this ‘virus’, and evaluated their feelings upon guessing the word with their own efforts, or cheating with the help of Campbell from 8G. “It’s a fun idea, however after playing for a while it becomes a bit repetitive,” reveals Bethan Akhurst from 9E. Others have described this ‘sport’ as perplexing, pleasurable, pointless. This game gives you a taste of all kinds of emotions, even adrenaline when you have one guess left. As humans we are not sure on what to focus on; the accomplishment (in this case a word) itself, or the journey?

The descendants of Wordle:

As for words, if there are too many in this article, try an alternative to Wordle. Perhaps you like maths equations? Nerdle is the pick for you. Geography is your passion? Worldle. Although, it would be a lie if I said that Wordle is not the most liked out of all. There is a fan club, if you want to join, a hashtag and whole accounts that dedicate their posts to just posting about their solution to that day’s word. It’s a massacre over luck and acquired brain cells at that moment, hoping that you’re a calculator, a map, or a dictionary while you’re playing this chain of games.

A glitch? A coincidence? Or a tease?

The developers of this game are either too aware of the cheating schemes or just want to mess with their players. A recent event has baffled the internet because there were two different solutions of words in one day, depending on which Wordle website you visited. Furthermore, players are not always rewarded for their premier starting words. ‘Adieu’, ‘arise’, ‘heart’ and ‘audio’ are not the way to go anymore because New York Times has figured out the common tricks of the players. Yes, New York Times bought Wordle because it saw how successful and attention-grabbing it was and now Wardle can die a game inventor which has influenced people worldwide.

 

Resources:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10514539/Wordle-glitch-TWO-different-solutions-depending-site-used.html

Wordle glitch with two solutions in a day

 

https://www.cameo.com/wordlelover

A Wordle fan club in case you want to join

 

https://screenrant.com/wordle-viral-game-social-word-puzzle-why-popular/#:~:text=Near%20the%20end%20of%202021,and%20social%20media%20users%20alike.

When Wordle became viral

 

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/wordle-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-word-game-gone-viral/

Facts about Wordle

 

https://squabble.me/

https://nerdlegame.com/

Alternatives to Wordle

 

Ultimate Questions: Is it important to think outside the box?

Ultimate questions

Many people have thought about one of the endless answers to ultimate questions such as, how was the universe created? Or how did Humans get to Earth. Society has concluded that there is no right or wrong answer. Yet why do we still try to answer them? According to onlinelibrary.wiley.com Ultimate, philosophical questions are questions whose answers are in principle open to be informed, rational and honest disagreement.

 

There are many reasons why people try to answer these ultimate, philosophical questions. Such as:

  • It provides reassurance to some people – people may fear not knowing how they ended up where they are.
  • It can help people adapt to having an open mind.
  • People can acquire knowledge about themselves – some people can learn what they believe the answer to ultimate questions is.

Paul Davies (A Physicist) says, “Ultimate Questions will always lie beyond the scope of empirical science as it is.”

Thinking outside of the ‘box’ 

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Many people have heard the saying ‘think outside the box’. You may have heard it from a friend, family member, teacher or even someone walking down the street; everyone has heard it somewhere. So, what does it mean? According to growtheengineering.co.uk “Thinking outside the box means letting go of mental constraints or default ways of reasoning we’ve boxed ourselves in and flying free to embrace new or innovative ways of thinking.” Some people have little understanding on what the ‘box’ is. And there are many answers, some of which are:

  • A new thought / idea / plan / answer / assumption
  • A metaphor for an unnecessary assumption – according to Psychologytoday.com

 

When people develop an understanding of something, some of them question why it is important that they know how it can develop them as individuals. Some of them are:

  • It can make you a better learner – When you question ideas / plans/ answers / and assumptions, you can understanding topics at a much-distinguished level.
  • You can see things for different points of view / different perspectives - Seeing things from different point of views / perspectives is really important in society, when you are able to see why someone thinks something different to you or to someone you know / or don’t know, it can develop how you approach that topic, or how you approach other people.

To argue, some of the negatives of thinking outside the box are:

  • It may lead to you losing your own moral principles. Thinking outside the box can cause you to forget your own morals.
  • It could lead to you ‘over analysing’ and becoming anxious, especially with questions such as ‘what happens after death?’

 

Lots of people have different views on the importance of thinking outside the box. So, I have interviewed a Tolworth Girls Student and a Tolworth Girls Teacher, to get different views on this topic.

 

  1. Why do you think it is important to think outside the box?
  2. “I think that it is important to ‘think outside the box’ as that is how innovations occur…think of Facebook, Amazon, hybrid cars etc. All those creators were ahead of their time…and made their inventions, part of our time. If people did not let their imaginations fly, society would remain traditional in a boring sense and change would be slower if at all existent. Creativity is important for our society for enjoyment and art and so necessary when it comes to medical and technical progress. Long live ‘thinking outside the box’!!” – Mrs Ross (R.S Teacher)

 

  1. Why do you think it is important to think outside the box?
  2. “I think it is important to think outside the box because you are not working the creative part of your brain. What is the point in having dull, tedious thoughts and ideas when you can have imaginative thoughts and ideas instead?!” – Gracie Hogston (Student)

 

 

To conclude, a variety of ages can agree that thinking outside the box is more beneficial to the mind then negative. It is beneficial because it can push you outside of your comfort zone, and allow you to unleash your full potential, thinking outside the box can help you earn and help you experience new ideas.

References:

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/chaotic-cognition/202006/the-truth-about-the-box-in-outside-the-box-thinking

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/meta.12035

 

 

 

We’re all talking about Bruno

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This new Disney movie about a Colombian family with magic powers, has taken the world by storm, with its amazing songs and relatable characters, here is my review on the movie ‘Encanto’.

One of the first things people loved about this movie, is its message. This movie is of acceptance of others flaws but also love and acceptance between family members. I think that many people either feel left out inside their own families or they feel like they have to fit a certain expectation set by your family

Another one of the things people love from this movie is the music. Within this movie, there are many wonderful songs full of emotion and culture. Especially ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ that reached No. 1 in the charts. They are catchy and make you smile, and they clearly show the character’s feelings.

A final thing that people love about this movie, is the characters and how relatable they and their positions in their family are.

For me this movie is about having an expectation set for me within my family, I enjoy listening to the songs ‘Surface Pressure’ and ‘What Else Can I Do’ and I relate to the characters Luisa and Isabella because I feel a lot of pressure when it comes to expressing my emotions and I feel as though I have to be perfect for my family. For me, this movie is a way for me to feel as though I don’t have to define myself by my family’s expectations.

 

Overall I rate this movie five out of five stars, it’s a wonderful movie with a great message with fantastic characters and songs.

 

Wheels vs doors - a debate that the world is rolling with

By Gabby  

I’m sure by now we all know about the infamous wheels vs doors debate; are there more wheels in the world or doors?  Whilst you’re reading this you may already have your opinions set in stone but here is my take on the wheels vs doors debate.

Doors

I think peoples immediate reaction to the question: are there more wheels or doors in the world? It’s doors. Think about all the front doors, car doors, lockers in schools, cupboards and many more. Surely its doors – right?  Well, unfortunately we will ultimately never know however, it’s fun to have a debate and talk about our opinions. So why could it be doors?

Some may say doors because everything requires doors to get into. In buildings, there are so many doors and think about how many buildings there are in the world today especially as economies grow and the population grows. This means that more houses are made which means more doors are made. On top of that how many apartments and hotels there are that have many doors especially in schools with loads of classrooms and lockers? Think about it, in your house off the top of your head can you think of how many doors there are including cupboards and shower doors – you probably can think of quite a few, can you do the same for wheels? Another example of doors are cars with 2-4 doors and other transport like trains with loads of carriages and doors conjoining them. Finally there are things like: toilets, garages, ovens, fridges, microwaves, cruise ships, and planes taking into consideration all the cupboard doors of the overhead lockers. Finally, not to be dark or anything but coffins have 2 doors and think about all the billions of dead people in coffins. Surely its doors – right?

Wheels

Some on the other hand, may say wheels. The definition of a wheel is a circular object that revolves on an axle meaning things like conveyer belts which have many wheels, all the Ferris wheels and some cupboards have 4 wheels to allow them to open. Whilst cars may have 4 doors they also have 5 wheels (steering wheel) and some cars have 2 doors meaning wheels outweigh doors. Regarding transport there is also motorbikes, skateboards, bikes and scooters – all have wheels and no doors. A prime example of many wheels is a truck with 2 doors and 10 wheels! Finally, think about shopping trolleys, wheelie bins, toy cars (no doors), Lego wheels and finally how often do you replace a wheel vs a door? Think about the stock of replacement wheels.

Poll from Asking Around

Wheels

Doors

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

IIIIIIIIIII

Total = 43

Total = 11

Conclusion/ My Opinion

Overall most people tend to say there are more wheels than doors with around 80% of people saying doors and 20% saying doors. In my opinion, I too think wheels is the correct answer however in all honesty we will never know! So I guess that leaves us with the question, more wheels, or more doors?

Why do teenagers face extreme anxiety?

 

Many people try to hide their hardships, as commonly known, rather than letting them go and not being so drastically affected by them. Why should teens follow those steps? 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and the key elements to this concerning statistic have been gathered to reveal the complexity of this issue.

 

Sources of anxiety:

 

Rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the past 25 years and that can be blamed on many factors: “I would say probably academic pressure … meeting society’s expectations” reports Jannah Kamaly from Tolworth Girls’ Sixth Form.

First and foremost shown by research is the desire of well performing in their competitive environments that require skill, time and dedication such as school, a sport or even a hobby. Hannah Bradley in 9E shared her thoughts on what causes her the most anxiety, “I would say school, because it is very competitive as you try to get the best grades.”

A clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, Jerry Bubrick generalises his answer, “A lot of anxiety is geared towards perfectionism”.

Other factors that lead to anxiety are trying to find your identity, whilst trying to not get influence on your impressionable self to please society.

 

Recent obsession:

 

Users of social media tend to want to portray the best versions of themselves, being yet another cause of anxiety. Even though FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) has only been studied in the past few decades beginning in 1996 by a marketing strategist Dr. Dan Herman, it has been around for centuries. It appears that FOMO is linked to both feeling a deep envy due to not experiencing certain events and a need to engage with social media even more. “I think as human beings we are inquisitive … you’re seeing their lives through rose-tinted glasses. It’s amusing, it’s funny, however it is dangerous” claims Miss Fabregas. Even though social media is a great distraction from our inactive, mundane lives, it is also a constant reminder of all the things we are not living in a virtual world that is constructed differently for everyone.

 

Seek out real connections:

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1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England, so it is a reminder that nobody is facing an issue on their own. Whilst social media is a great place to escape, connections within our real life should be more valued. Many young people find comfort in making friendships online because it has been more convenient due to lack of pressure to meet up in the real world, but “Are we placing too much value and trust in people we've never seen in the flesh?” It is easier in the long run to know that the people you put trust into are accessible in your daily life, not only by FaceTime or text but face to face. It is also shown that people who are less self conscious and take judgements constructively, suffer less from insecurities, because they are constantly made when someone mentions them rather than already existing.

 

 

References:

 

https://childmind.org/article/signs-of-anxiety-in-teenagers/

Dr Bubrick, explanations of sources of anxiety)

 

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/

Statistic of anxiety disorders

 

https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/blogs/anxiety-loneliness-and-fear-missing-out-impact-social-media-young-peoples-mental-health#:~:text=The%20popular%20concept%20of%20Fear,with%20what%20others%20are%20doing

Consequences of FOMO

 

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-cope-with-fomo-4174664

Origins of FOMO (brief history), analysation of factors and consequences

 

https://www.abc.net.au/everyday/how-online-friendships-compare-to-real-friends/11456856

Online friendships compared to real friends

Why do we get attached to fictional characters?

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Fiction and the worlds in TV shows, movies, and books have been integrated into the lives of everyone in this day and age. Many people have created connections with many of the characters within these worlds, but have you ever wondered why? Within this article you can find the answers to this question and what others thinks of people’s attachment to fictional characters.

Before doing some research, I interviewed Mrs. Blair, an English teacher at Tolworth Girls School. I asked her several questions on the topic of attachment to fictional characters and these were her answers.

  • Are you attached to fictional characters? and why?

Absolutely! I think the characters I am most attached to are ones from books and stories I read when I was young, as there is a nostalgia to them. Many children re-read stories and immerse themselves in the same story worlds repeatedly, rather than reading a big variety of books - especially if they read a long-running series like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Shadowhunter’s, etc - so it's easy to get attached to the characters and their worlds! 

  • Do you think this is healthy? and why?

I don't see it as unhealthy - I think being a fan of an author's work is similar to being a fan of a particular film, video game, or TV show. Fandom for any of these things can undeniably become an all-consuming obsession for some people, but by and large, I think it's a hobby that brings like-minded people together. Being unashamedly passionate about something is healthy, in my view!

  • Why do you think people find comfort in fictional characters?

One reason, as I mentioned, is nostalgia - people associate characters or books with particular times in their lives and enjoy the escapism that returning to those worlds offers. Another might be that fiction allows us to live many lives and imagine situations we'll likely never face - which can be inspiring or exciting! Some fictional characters become like friends to readers, and there is a comfort in knowing that they are always there in the pages, waiting to be revisited. If you're a reader, you'll understand...!

  • Do you think that this attachment to fictional characters affects mental health and wellbeing in any way?

I don't think it does unless your attachment is becoming so all-consuming that you are not engaging in the real world and therefore becoming isolated. Then, perhaps it becomes a problem. However, for most people, I think the attachment to characters and books is a hobby that helps them to connect to others and find like-minded friends. It's also a great form of relaxation, which is good for your mental health!

 

When researching, an article by VOX MEDIA says that people spend hours on end watching TV shows and all this time spent watching these characters can affect people’s personalities and behaviors. They say that people empathize with fictional characters as if they are real people and that we experience “psychological effects such as identification, self-other taking, and the proximity effect” The article said that we create one-sided relationships with characters, and these factors all work together to make us feel so attached to fictional characters that they seem real.

 

Also within the lives of younger children (around the age range of 5-10) they start to begin to create connections with characters in the books that they read, especially fantasy stories. Usually they begin to want the things they read within books, such as the want to be like a princess they read about, this want for something, this ambition, is a healthy thing for young children to develop as it teaches them to work for their goals.

 

In addition to this, many people who find it hard to talk to others about their emotions, may turn to the fictional characters they are attached to for comfort. Although this might seem unhealthy and antisocial, his may be the best way for someone to open up about their feeling and it could be very healthy for them.

 

Although this attachment to characters in books, movies and TV shows, can be quite unhealthy and it can cause some of us to enter a period where we are more immersed in a fictional world than reality and that cannot always be positive. It can also change people’s perspective in things. As you can see I interviewed 14 year old Bailee Watkinson, who said that when she read ‘It Ends with Us’ by Colleen Hoover she said “The book made feel lots of empathy for the protagonist. Colleen Hoover highlights a serious topic spine-chilling and emotive language and storyline/ it made me really sad but it changed the way I see authors produced their work” Also some people start to choose a person who is fictional character over the real people in their life with is highly unhealthy.

 

 

Overall, we can see that people create relationships with fictional characters due to the emotional connections we have with certain characters and that can be healthy but also unhealthy

 

 

‘That Girl’ Culture – The Toxic reality

 
 
The phenomenon which has taken social media by storm, known as ‘That Girl’. The concept is simple: be productive, eat healthy and exercise. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Yet it isn’t as easy as it seems. Major Social Media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram are filled with content creators living this ‘ideal and desired lifestyle’. According to distractify.com "‘That girl’ is the girl who has her life together — who we're often told we should aspire to be like.” And follows on to say, “She is really just a rebranded image for the girl bosses that once dominated our timelines, making us feel bad for not being in control of every aspect of our lives.” Influencers and other content creators have been suspected as the ‘perpetrators’ of romanticising this unachievable goal; when in reality, it creates a false façade.  So if there are any positives of living this lifestyle, what are they?

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“The idea is to encourage others to become the best versions of themselves.” Stated by CBC News. ‘That Girl’ is a goal that some people stride towards and sometimes; can change the way people treat themselves. Such as working out and eating a healthy diet. ‘That girl’ can motivate people to become more productive and drop bad habits. Some ways that people become more productive are:

  • Reading

 

  • Journaling

 

  • Wake up early

 

“That Girl isn't an inherently toxic trend. The issue is how people perceive things, it's ok to take inspiration from bits of a trend, but you don't have to become the whole thing." Says Keiana Byfield a 23-year-old Youtuber. But, imagine waking up at 5AM when you have only had 6 hours sleep. Is ‘That Girl’ really that healthy?

 

To no one’s surprise there are many negatives that are included in the ‘That Girl’ lifestyle. Many of which are damaging teenage Girls’ mental health. For instance, many Girls may feel disheartened if they don’t become ‘That girl’. "People usually aren't posting random, representative snapshots of their day-to-day [life]," says Dr. Elia Abi-Jaoude, a psychiatrist at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. "When you're constantly looking at the most carefully curated videos, you may think 'If that's what everyone else is doing, I should be doing the same.'" Some other negatives of following the ‘That Girl’ trend are:

  • Self-improvement can turn toxic.

 

  • Unrealistic routines

 

  • Can lose motivation if not achieved quickly

 

To gain a better insight to this Topic, I have spoken to a student to express their views and opinions on this controversial trend.

 

 

 

  1. How do you feel about ‘that Girl’ culture?

 

  1. I think that the ‘That Girl’ trend is a blessing and a curse, because waking up a 5AM every day is productive but unrealistic. Why should Teenagers change the way they go about their daily lives (adding more stress to their life) on top of the stress of school and potential personal problems?

 

  1. What can be done to make the ‘That Girl’ trend healthy and achievable?

 

  1. Don’t have the same standards for every person. Not everyone can endure the pressure needed to become ‘That Girl’. Find your own way of being productive, and don’t compare yourself to a celebrity or influencer, as they only show the positives of being ‘that Girl’.

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In conclusion, the ‘That girl’ trend can be positive and negative, Journaling and waking up early does not define whether you are or aren’t ‘That Girl’. Influencers only show the positive sides of being ‘That Girl’ and not the times where they may struggle.

 

Of course working out and eating healthy make you feel great! But the ‘That Girl’ trend forces people to always eat healthy, and always work out. But there are days where sometimes that can be tough, and the ‘That Girl’ trend constantly pressures people to work hard to improve.

If you don't get up at 6 a.m., then you're not That Girl and you're not good enough.' – Jessica Singer