>>  Freshmen vs. Seniors

The Divide Between the Top and the Bottom of the Heap

BY: Sophia Moore


Everyone knows about the rather shaky relationship between Freshmen and upper classes. The whole school seems to love to hate Freshmen and the trope seems to be a cliché in most High Schools. Though, what is it about Freshmen that people dislike so much? Does the dislike increase as people progress through high school? Maybe the dislike transformed into indifference for the underclassmen over the years.

Many upperclassmen say they dislike freshmen because they see these new kids as ignorant or obnoxious. The fresh energy these newcomers bring can be perceived as “obnoxious” as one senior said. However, one junior thought the “Freshmen are fine and not as bad as we all thought they would be. The sophomores are the ones acting out of pocket.” Some seniors claim that since sophomores no longer have the title of Freshmen, sophomores “act as if they are upperclassmen” and have a boosted sense of confidence which actual upperclassmen find irritating. “Sophomores”, the junior stated, “need to stay in their lane” and not get ahead of themselves just because they are no longer freshmen. So maybe, dislike, at least at SJ, may have shifted from Freshmen to Sophomores this year. Another problem upperclassman find with Freshmen is their eagerness to experience high school. The expectation Freshmen have of High School being “this great life change” can be overbearing to the higher grades who already know the reality of High School. The optimism can be hard to swallow when for the past three years students have gone through a similar routine.

The dislike for Freshmen is well known but, what about the views Freshmen have for Seniors? This perspective is hardly ever covered. Perhaps because in the eyes of upperclassmen, there is an expectation of respect from the lower years. Though, does this respect actually exist? The responses of Freshmen varied. A majority claimed they “didn’t really care” about the seniors. To the Freshmen, Seniors are just other kids in the hall. With this said, there are a few Freshmen who did state they had “some respect” for Seniors. This respect may be due to unsaid
expectations or perhaps the general deference people have for those who are older.


Even still, the dislike is not nearly as extreme from the bottom to the top. The connections between grade levels is obviously divided but, that may just be the nature of high school.



>>  2020 Line Up

A brief, preliminary explanation of the 2020 candidates to inform new voters.

BY: Sophia Moore


These past four years have been political chaos. Even those of us who could not care less about republicans and democrats have been tethered into the messiness of politics. Now, as the 2020 election campaigns have begun, some of us may feel obligated or pressured to actually pay attention. Then again, this will be the first Presidential election for most Seniors and many of us may not know how to make an educated vote. There is so much fake news and bias out on the web which clouds the actual truth. The purpose of this article is to inform you, the reader, of the fact. Listed below are four major candidates from each party with a short summary of who they are and major topics they talk about.
● Republicans:
○ Donald Trump
■ The current President. He wants to focus on immigration issues, international trade, and “Making America Great”.
○ Mark Sanford
■ Wants to focus on the country’s economic problems. This includes national debt, jobs, and spending.
○ Bill Weld
■ Support the liberties of every individual, follow the rule of law, fix corruption within the government
○ Joe Walsh
■ Wants to promote free trade, build a wall and process asylum cases efficiently, opposes abortion, and wants to allow same-sex marriage as law.

● Democrats:
○ Joe Biden
■ Former Vice President to Barack Obama. Wants to create a greener America, give more support to the middle class, and improve health care.
○ Elizabeth Warren
■ Wants to end corruption within the government, improve Social Security, and fix gun control.
○ Bernie Sanders
■ Health insurance for everyone, focus on climate change, cancel student debt and tuition fees.
○ Kamala Harris
■ Affordable health care, fair wages and affordable housing, higher teacher pay, combat climate change, and gun violence legislation.

More information about these candidates can be found on their individual campaign websites. Obviously, there are so many other things these politicians say they will do. The jury is still out on whether or not they will follow through on their promises and we won’t know until one is elected next November. For now, follow the campaign trail to stay informed about the politicians which support ideas you do. Over the next year, new information and new promises from each hopeful politician will appear. At some point, you may change your allegiance or, not even know who to vote for at the polls. At least you will be somewhat informed about who is promising what so you can vote for the America you want.



>>  2020 Line Up

A brief, preliminary explanation of the 2020 candidates to inform new voters.

BY: Sophia Moore


These past four years have been political chaos. Even those of us who could not care less about republicans and democrats have been tethered into the messiness of politics. Now, as the 2020 election campaigns have begun, some of us may feel obligated or pressured to actually pay attention. Then again, this will be the first Presidential election for most Seniors and many of us may not know how to make an educated vote. There is so much fake news and bias out on the web which clouds the actual truth. The purpose of this article is to inform you, the reader, of the fact. Listed below are four major candidates from each party with a short summary of who they are and major topics they talk about.
● Republicans:
○ Donald Trump
■ The current President. He wants to focus on immigration issues, international trade, and “Making America Great”.
○ Mark Sanford
■ Wants to focus on the country’s economic problems. This includes national debt, jobs, and spending.
○ Bill Weld
■ Support the liberties of every individual, follow the rule of law, fix corruption within the government
○ Joe Walsh
■ Wants to promote free trade, build a wall and process asylum cases efficiently, opposes abortion, and wants to allow same-sex marriage as law.

● Democrats:
○ Joe Biden
■ Former Vice President to Barack Obama. Wants to create a greener America, give more support to the middle class, and improve health care.
○ Elizabeth Warren
■ Wants to end corruption within the government, improve Social Security, and fix gun control.
○ Bernie Sanders
■ Health insurance for everyone, focus on climate change, cancel student debt and tuition fees.
○ Kamala Harris
■ Affordable health care, fair wages and affordable housing, higher teacher pay, combat climate change, and gun violence legislation.

More information about these candidates can be found on their individual campaign websites. Obviously, there are so many other things these politicians say they will do. The jury is still out on whether or not they will follow through on their promises and we won’t know until one is elected next November. For now, follow the campaign trail to stay informed about the politicians which support ideas you do. Over the next year, new information and new promises from each hopeful politician will appear. At some point, you may change your allegiance or, not even know who to vote for at the polls. At least you will be somewhat informed about who is promising what so you can vote for the America you want.



>>  Animal Rights Club Donations

Give Homeless Animals a Christmas Gift This Year!

BY: Sophia Moore


Attention all animal lovers! Have you ever seen animals at an animal shelter? Behind metal fences in an isolated, small, and dreary enclosure without constant companions. It is a sad thought. Those sad yellow walls and tile floors are less than ideal for animals. Most people who see such sad animals immediately feel a pang of pity for them. If only they could bring home every single animal in the shelter. Of course, not everyone can adopt an animal this winter, let alone the whole shelter. However, there is something you can do to make their holiday season a little more bearable. The Animal Rights Club (ARC) is collecting donations for the Prince William County Animal Shelter this year.
Starting in mid-November, there will be a donations box on each floor. On the first floor the box will be in the main office, the second-floor bow will be in the library, and on the third floor the bow will be in the office (fish bowl). The club will be collecting donations throughout the month into December. Here is a list of possible donation ideas:
● Cat food
● Dog food
● Unretractable leashes
● Blankets
● Treats (for cats and dogs)
● Bedding for hamsters and other small animals
● Cat toys
● Dog toys
○ And more!
There will be posters set around the school with the same details to remind you of the good deeds you can do for animals this year. Join this great cause to give a gift to animals this year to show they are still loved. If you want to go above and beyond, adopt one! Give a cat, dog, or rodent a forever home. There is no better gift than that. Though, if this course of action is a bit out of reach this year, donating is the next best thing.
The Animal Rights Club meets about twice every moth and has exciting opportunities for the year. For example, there will be an Animal Fair at the end of the year which will include an adoption station where you can meet your new best friend. Want to be a part of this club and help improve the lives of animals everywhere? Look out for the ARC club at upcoming basketball games selling baked goods to fundraise for better treatment of animals! Ask them questions and find out more about what their mission is within Stonewall and the greater community. Any of the members would gladly share even more tips on who you can support the wildlife community in ways big and small.



>>  Community College vs University Part II

The Pros and Cons of University

BY: Sophia Moore


Welcome back to your go to quick guide to college! This time the article will discuss the benefits and disadvantages of university. When people first think of higher education, most associate it with university. Universities in this article range from colleges like Radford to the University of Virginia. Some are very prestigious like William and Mary, others have a more party oriented reputation like Old Dominion University. Either way, most have the same advantages and disadvantages no matter their history.
Some people have high hopes for those Ivy League schools such as Yale or Harvard. Others have more comfortable expectations of schools such as George Mason. Whichever path you take, your experience will not be dictated by with the prestige of a school but rather what you make of your time there. Grow where you're planted! Anyway, here are a few of the pros and cons of choosing a university over a community college.
Pros:
● Universities generally have more opportunities for their students. Look on any university website and you are most definitely going to find exciting experiences such as studying abroad and internships setup by the school.
○ Study Abroad is an absolute must for any student. Getting an education in a new country gives people a global perspective on their passions. Meeting new people, cultures and languages is a huge advantage both in personal and professional lives as it allows you to learn how to communicate with people from all walks of life. ALSO, anyone who wants to major in language, international affairs, etc. should absolutely study abroad. Often, the school will require study abroad terms and help pay for it!
○ Internships are a great university experience as they will give you first-hand experience in your future career. You will be able to connect with professionals and get your foot in the door of your profession which will make getting a job after college easier. Many universities partner with certain companies to help their students get a great internship.
● The campus life on a university is much larger than a community college. There is most always on-campus housing, making the trip to class easier and faster. There is a plethora of facilities on campuses ranging from gyms, libraries and dining halls. Often community colleges do not have such luxuries.
● Despite the reputation for being excessively expensive, depending on the school, costs can be significantly reduced. In-state universities can be much cheaper than out-of-state universities. Often, private non-profit colleges have very good financial aid programs which give a generous hand to financially struggling families. These big schools get lots of money from students and donors which help fund scholarships for future students!

Cons:
● PRICE! Yes, some schools have good financial aid packages but the sticker price (which is often higher than what a student actually pays) is still very daunting for incoming students and families. Student debt is a huge concern for people today and the costs really add up from these colleges if the scholarships and loans are not enough. Even so, the price should not deter you from applying to see the aid you can get.
● Universities are often bigger than community colleges, putting a student in the middle of a pool of others. This can lead to a new way of learning as the teacher may not have enough time in class to go over your questions. A student may also have difficulty standing out among hundreds of other peers. However, colleges have teacher aides to help mitigate this and teachers always have office hours in place to give one on one help to students.
● Competition to get into some of the bigger universities is extreme. Some schools only accept 10% of applicants. This can make applying very daunting. As you will be competing with students from all over the world for limited spots.


Hopefully these two articles have enlightened some of the blurs between community college and university. Ultimately, there is no wrong path to take. The way in which you feel most comfortable with is the best for you. Everyone’s journey is different and going to one type of college versus another will not dictate your success. Life is what you make it. Good Luck!