Junior Isabelle Moore provides us with the Daily Dose regarding the Wellness Walk, the Illinois High School Musical Theater awards for Urinetown, and the athletic schedule for today.
Junior Isabelle Moore provides us with the Daily Dose regarding the Wellness Walk, the Illinois High School Musical Theater awards for Urinetown, and the athletic schedule for today.
This spring, the musical Urinetown, performed by the LFHS Theater Department and directed by Mr. Wanninger and Mrs. MacBlane was an overwhelming success. In fact, it is now being awarded with three separate Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards, inlcuding Best Actress (senior Gracie Stockton), Best Director (Mr. John Wanninger and Mrs. Kelly MacBlane), Best Tech Director (Mr. Dennis Mae), and Best Scenic Design (sophomore Ryan Eleveld). Stay tuned to The Forest Scout for features on each of the nominated candidates
The official press release from the LFHS Theater Department is included below:
“The Lake Forest High School Theater Department is excited to announce it was the recipient of three nominations in this year’s IllInois High School Musical Theater Awards competition sponsored by Broadway in Chicago for our production of Urinetown. These nominations included a Best Actress nomination for Gracie Stockton (senior) for her role as Hope Cladwell, Kelly MacBlane (Social Studies/Theater) and John Wanninger (English) for Best Direction and Dennis Mae (Tech Director) and Ryan Eleveld (sophomore) for Best Scenic Design. This Illinois chapter of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (The Jimmy Awards) serves as an annual national celebration of outstanding achievement in musical theater performance by high school students and schools throughout the state. The Lake Forest nominees were selected from 74 competing schools from around the state of Illinois. On June 5th, Gracie will get to participate in a workshop led by Adam Jacobs who is currently performing the role of Aladdin in the National Touring Company of Aladdin here in Chicago. She will then have the opportunity to perform in front of a panel of professional judges for a chance to compete at the national competition in New York City. In the evening of June 5th, the winners will be announced as part of a performance by all acting nominees on stage at the Broadway Playhouse in Chicago. Mrs. MacBlane and Mr. Wanninger are proud of the entire cast, crew and orchestra for their achievements with this show. This is the first year Lake Forest has entered the competition.”
Catch the interview with Bailey Lawrence, Annalise Craig and the rest of the cast as they discuss the motivation behind their award-winning video “The Wall” that recently won the Midwest Media Educators Association 7-Day Film Challenge top prize.
Spring break has come and gone, and the large influx of vacation photos have subsided with the excitement catalyzed by a week off of school and a few days spent in an exotic destination. In our generation, however, whenever someone goes out and does something different from their everyday, routine life, the immediate need for pictures is evident; and is dually evidenced on our Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook feeds. It is an important part of our lives in the current technological empire we live under. Everyone–and I do mean everyone–is posting. Cute pictures they have with an ocean backdrop in a swimsuit, candids with their friends with golden rays of sun behind them, and more serious, glamour shots in an attempt to pass as a model of high class–all in an attempt to make other people jealous or to try and add something to their almost profile. During break is one of the most post-heavy times of the year; everyone’s posting their brand new clothes next to a beach or on top of a mountain. I’m not saying that this is a horrible thing, but it can definitely shape the way we see our classmates.
Within this current generation, there are far more pictures that leave the older generation confused. They never understand the need for a picture at every possible checkpoint on your vacation that was designed to help you unplug or relax, or why instead of looking at the camera we are staging a laughing fit, attempting to capture the moment’s purest form as opposed to the second when we are looking into the lens as a group.
Well, parents, it’s all part of internet culture.
Students like myself are just trying to get good pictures, and we’re always on the hunt. Whether we want to post them on Instagram, Facebook, or VSCO right then and there doesn’t matter. What does matter is we have those pictures for as long as we want. We can use them as backgrounds on our computers or for throwbacks when we need a little pick-me-up during the end of the school year slump.
There is an entirely different issue, however, that arises when scrolling through the vast extent of pictures upon our return to Lake Forest. These pictures have at sometimes been more adventurous than the average picture and people are more willing to post beach or swimsuit pictures more freely because it has become welcomed by society.
I’m not saying that no one should have a positive body image or that no one looks beautiful when they post their super cool pictures in a triangle suit. But, I am saying that these students need to be careful with what they put out on social media. The internet ca be n an environment fueled by untrusted sources and strange people. As teenagers, we never know who stumbled upon our VSCO account or if an employer somehow saw our most recent Facebook photo. After all, we’re teenagers–whether we’re freshman or seniors–and we’re still vulnerable to other people’s comments about us. Not to mention, we are at times overtly sensitive to our body images.
Every single person in this student body deserves to feel confident in their looks and not be worried about what everyone else thinks. Yet, when students post these pictures on their Facebook or Instagram, it, even without direct intent from the user, still forces us to compare. Does my body look like hers? Would I have the audacity to post that? What will people comment if I post this?
A lot of times, we post to see how our classmates will respond. We’re curious by nature, and what better way to start a conversation than by letting everyone know where you are and what you’re doing. I get that. But the internet is full of dangerous conversations, and social media perpetrates that danger more so than any other entity.
I know that many different followers have access to these pictures. Yes, even the person that you blindly accepted without knowing who they are and the guy or girl you barely know in your English class that just started following you. I’m not saying that every single person you meet on the internet is horrible, but I do think it needs to mentioned that safety is of the highest priority.
There are predators online who are waiting for you to post another picture–even one that you may have found harmless and cute–with a malicious verbal intent in mind. Our generation is constantly shown the negatives of having a public profile on any social media. We have been scorned so in depthly that it’s a part of us now. We all know the basics: don’t share any personal information on the internet, be careful who you friend, and make sure what you post is how you want to be thought of. It’s difficult sometimes to understand the full depth and scope of what we are posting on social media because even though we have been told a great number of things, many students are still not careful or thoughtful when developing their online shadow.
Most of the kids in this school have had their Facebook profiles developed before they hit the age of 13. This much is obvious as evidenced by the vast amount of birthday notifications that show up on our app, suggesting that we send best wishes to someone who is interestingly turning 23 while also being a member of the junior class. It’s easy to lie on the internet–it’s easy for us, but also easy for others. Many students in this generation were brought up while social media technology advanced dramatically. Most students saw the birth of the iPhone and the shrinking of the television as much as anyone else. Along with that, many students saw the positive aspects of technological advancements and connected them to all parts of the internet. Those positive benefits have outweighed the notion that internet predators are real because we haven’t witnessed anything firsthand.
There are a lot of students who use the internet constantly. This isn’t a Lake Forest problem, but rather a problem for the country and world at large. 56% percent of 13 to 17-year-olds use the internet several times a day, which is not uncommon since our generation relies heavily on social media. We talk to our friends throughout the school day by texting them or sending them pictures. At this point, social media has become somewhat of a chore. It is difficult to constantly keep up with the fast pace and omnipresent need to keep Snapchat streaks alive or make sure you are posting the “socially acceptable” amount of posts on Instagram. Constantly cleaning up your life online can become tedious and excessively large stress to many of the students in the high school.
I recommend that if you feel yourself getting sucked into the internet too much every now and then, just unplug. Stop and think about this. You wake up and don’t immediately have to check your phone for any late night texts Snapchats. Only do these things if they bring you joy; if they add unnecessary stress, don’t do it. All of these social media devices were created in order for kids to post the fun stuff they are doing and to share something good that happened in your day. Rather, at times they have been turned into the complete opposite and have taken over the lives of many students and friends.
I have had a few friends who decided to completely delete their Snapchats and Instagram, like Amalia Ligouri-Coneff. Although it was hard to reach her at times, it was interesting because she seemed happier. There were definitely a few times that she was curious as to what a certain Snap story might contain, but overall she was happy the app was deleted.
“Deleting social media for a bit was liberating in many different ways. At the time, I deleted Snapchat because I felt like it was taking up so much of my time and it was something I didn’t enjoy at all. I just felt socially obligated to keep streaks and keep up with everyone’s stories. I was afraid that if I stopped responding and lost some streaks that people would think I don’t want to talk to them,” Logouri-Coureff mentioned.
“I deleted it so my friendships would be more than just “streaks” or pictures of their faces. I felt like I never really talked to my friends through it. it was just something that was fun at first but had become more of obligation than enjoyment.” In describing the feelings that followed in succession, Louri-Coureff explained, “When I deleted Snapchat, I talked to my friends more and felt more connected to them. It showed me how social media, while often fun, can take a toll when trying to create long lasting friendships. Since I re-downloaded social media, I stay off of it more because I don’t want to spend my life doing trivial things that don’t bring me happiness and that’s what social media is to me.”
So if you don’t feel happy on social media, just delete it and move on with your life. No one, especially me, would ever blame you.
You get home and fling off your shoes and saunter on into your house. You grab a quick snack and head up to your room. You change into some comfy clothes and throw your homework on top of your bed, but then you pull out your phone. You tell yourself “I’m just checking my Snapchat,” “Only five more minutes,” and “I can do it in study hall “, but what you don’t do is throw your phone down and start doing your homework until the sound of your parents’ feet on the stairs send you into a frenzy. The papers you were supposed to be doing are thrown around the room sailing under the bed and around the floor under the desk.
Doing your homework right when you get home is a better idea than waiting until the next day. It is true that teachers give out a lot of homework in high school, and it is definitely a lot, of course dependent on the course load you’re taking. I’m not saying that people who never do their homework when they get home are horrible students, but they should try to find time to set aside in order to finish their homework.
Some students at the high school have a job outside of school or sport events until 9 at night. it is understandable to not finish your homework until the next school day in your study hall, but if there is any chance you could possibly finish your homework when you get home, be sure to take that opportunity.
Finishing your homework early in the evening is a great thing because it opens up a lot of other opportunities for the rest of the day. Even though most students don’t get home until 4:00, it is important to sit down and do the work then while the material is fresh in your mind. If you finish your homework you can have a small amount of time set aside to relax before the next school day, or even get a jump on the next day’s work.
I know that not all people have the time or the energy to do their homework right when they get home. I don’t blame any of you, but I think there is a better way to get the work done that needs to be completed. Homework points are some of the most beneficial grade boosts, but when you forget an assignment it can also affect your grade dramatically. So my question is: why not just do the work?
I understand that some students just don’t understand the topic or that they are so tired from a long school day that to actually raise their pencil and put words on a page seems like a chore. Still, homework points are a great way to bolster your grade and show a teacher that you are invested in the class. If you need help from a teacher and they know you’ve done all of the homework prior, they will be much more willing to take time out of their own busy schedule to help you.
In other words, just try to finish your homework. It will help you in the long run with grades.
In The Forest Scout’s Ask Us column, students contribute questions for staff writers to answer based on their own personal experience as a high school student at LFHS.
Should I tell my parents if I received a poor grade?
There are at LFHS, of course, students who earn high grades easily. They run from class to class receiving A’s and B’s seemingly without a care in the world, using their natural intelligence to carve through the myriad of difficult concepts that the high school curriculum presents. Still, however, there is also a population of students who don’t receive the grades that are heralded by many as “acceptable” marks. There are students who apply themselves to a class but don’t get what they want out of it. They try their best but can only get a C. Aside from this, there are also students who don’t try, and just barely scrape by exuding as little effort as necessary. When any student receives a bad grade, the first thing that a majority of us do is try not to think about it. There are the few who run to their teachers begging for a higher grade or for a retake, but since we are in high school and on the cusp of becoming actual adults, most teachers don’t allow for retakes or extra credit. There are plenty of students who receive the occasional C or D grappling to achieve mastery of a difficult concept, so it is important to know when to go ask for help.
I’m not saying that you should beat yourself up for getting a bad grade every once in awhile. It happens to the best of us; it doesn’t mean you aren’t smart or that you aren’t capable. Many students have other things going on in their life and it is hard to be on top of every single thing that is thrown at you on a day-to-day basis. However, this doesn’t excuse getting C’s or D’s.
Whenever you get a bad grade, don’t sweep it under the carpet and play an avoidance game, tell your parents. They may be disappointed, but it is important to get it out in the open so that they can help you. Parents can be more forgiving and helpful if you don’t wait until the last second to tell them you didn’t do well on an exam. Don’t deflect the blame to your teacher, or your lab partner, or your schedule. Accept responsibility, be open about it, and ask for help. They could actually do something compared to telling them at the end of the quarter when there is nothing anyone can do and they have every reason to be angry.
It is an important and very mature part of growing up to tell your parents if you get a bad grade. This inevitably leads to a discussion about how you are doing in class and whether or not you should change courses or seek out the help of a peer or adult tutor. Whenever you try to bring up an uncomfortable situation like this, it is way more mature to talk the problem out and devise an action plan together.
There are two great outcomes in talking to your parents: You are finally taking control of your future by talking to someone who could help you and you, of course, don’t sink any deeper into an academic hole. It is incredibly important to talk to people–be it a teacher, parent, or counselor–it needs to happen in order to succeed in high school. Another great outcome is that it opens your eyes to the work ethic necessary to succeed at the next level of education. If you weren’t studying and your parents ask why you didn’t pass, it is hard to come up with an answer if you didn’t do anything to put yourself in a position to be successful. When you’re off at college, it won’t be your parents galvanizing action plans for your success, it will be you independently. Jumpstarting this process in high school helps push students to study more and work harder to try and earn higher grades.
It may be an uncomfortable topic for some students, but it is important to talk about bad grades just as it is important to talk about good grades.
When you walk through the hallways you see at least ¾ of the people with ear buds in, their music blasting while staring blankly and apathetically ahead. It is difficult for many adults to understand students’ attachment to headphones. But being a student myself, I am greatly tethered to my own pair. Our headphones are a great stress reliever. Before taking a hard test many students are seen sitting calmly listening to their favorite song, or a relaxing tune to even them out before the stress hits.
It has been proven that listening to soothing music helps students study. The background music increases focus on tasks while also improving endurance. Music also improves mood which is generally an ancillary benefit when people are trying to focus.
Students run back and forth between classes trying to understand difficult topics while also trying to keep a hold of their mental health. Listening to your favorite artist can help relieve anxiety and or stress that is caused by classes. Listening to music is a great way to escape the stress of everyday life, just like reading a book.
Headphones are small and easily accessible, making them a must-have for any high school student. A student’s favorite music is an easy way for him or her to clear their head and focus on the challenges ahead.
“Musical activity throughout life may serve as a challenging cognitive exercise, making your brain fitter and more capable of accommodating the challenges of aging,” articulated lead researcher Brenda Hanna-Pladdy said in a recent news release.
Music helps our brains stay strong throughout life even as we get older. This is imperative because it shows that listening to and understanding music in your youth can have a great effect on us even in the future.
According to Dr. Luciano Bernardi, an Associate Professor of internal medicine at the University of Pavia, Italy, music has an effect on your vitals as well.
“The idea that music has an effect on heart rate and blood pressure has existed for some time. In 1918, Hyde and Scalapino reported that minor tones increased pulse rate and lowered blood pressure.”
In its simplest form, listening to music is good for you. Music can help your heart and blood stay at healthy levels. But this isn’t new information because ancient civilizations used music for centuries before the songs we listen to today arose. People used to apply music to “heal” injured people or would use music to dance and create a more diverse culture.
Since music is healthy for your heart and blood pressure it is understandable that it also aids sleep patterns. The more you listen to music, the easier it is to sleep; it decreases stress and anxiety in order to create a more calm persona.
Jacob Jolij of the Psychology Department of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands weighed in on the issue as well.
“Seeing things that are not there is the result of top-down processes in the brain. Conscious perception is largely based on these top-down processes: your brain continuously compares the information that comes in through your eyes with what it expects on the basis of what you know about the world. The final result of this comparison process is what we eventually experience as reality. Our research results suggest that the brain builds up expectations not just on the basis of experience but on your mood as well.”
Jolij experimented with different music styles. In fact, when playing sad songs, the test subject felt sad compared to when listening to upbeat music. Not only is music good for us, but it can affect our emotions on a day to day basis. This is critical because if you need to be doing something quickly or slowly, the music that you listen to while partaking in that activity can greatly benefit your performance.
Scientists from Drexel University researched music with cancer patients and found that those who listened to music experienced a drop in anxious behavior. Moreover, the patients had healthier blood pressure levels and much better moods/emotions as music became the impetus for their emotional healing. Music, as much as anything else, has fortuitous effects on the psyche, mood, and overall happiness in someone’s life.
Music has a resounding effect on everyone’s day-to-day life. Don’t get mad if your friend is doing homework with their headphones in when you’re trying to talk to them. They are simply taking the extra step to focus and trying not to stress out.
Many of you have heard of spring cleaning, the dreaded time when your parents open up the old squeaky attic and pull down dusty boxes full of things you haven’t touched since you were five years old. Where you clean and uncover spider webs, but what I’m talking about is something completely different. This isn’t a new juice cleanse or face mask. No, what I’m talking about is something that will make both you and the people around you feel better.
I recently decided to clean out my whole closet (with the promise of new clothes) and was amazed by how much better it made me feel. I emptied around 5 trash bags full of shirts, pants, and shorts ranging from 1 to 8 years old. I cleaned out the clothes a younger me promised to wear and the clothes with the paint stains from years of art camp. But I’m not here to just talk about how much junk I can keep in my closet.
Rather, I know spring break is coming up, which is when the majority of students will climb in their mom’s car and head out to clothing stores for more stuff to keep their closet. But instead of just ignoring those old clothes you should round them up and donate them. Your clothes will get a new life and a better use than living inside your closet. There are many different ways to rid your closet of these clothes.
If you have any younger siblings it is a great idea to let them take a look at the clothes, either for pajamas or to wear later on for hand-me-downs. This is helpful because your parents don’t have to spend extra money on new clothes for them (sorry, sis) and they have something that was once yours, like a sort of weird family heirloom to remember you by in the years to come. You could let your friends take a look at your clothes, because if you’re anything like my own friends they constantly take them anyways.
The best thing to do with your clothes, however, is to donate them to stores such as Forest and Found, located at 1363 N Western Ave, or the Lake Forest Resale Shop, located at 222 E Westminster Ave. These practices allow these clothes to go to the less fortunate and the people who really need some help. There are also many different church drives which collect clothes for the less fortunate around town.
Donating your clothes definitely helps those in need, but it also helps your mind. As a person who is all too happy to leave their clean clothes on a chair while promising to put their shoes away later, I can attest that a less cluttered room leads to a less cluttered mind. Even though it has only been a week since cleaning my own closet, I can assure you I feel much less stressed when hanging out in my room and doing homework. There is already enough stress surrounding the day-to-day school life that if your room is kept together, it’s one less thing you have to worry about.
Neuroscientists at Princeton University looked at the behavior change in people surrounded by clutter and those not surrounded by clutter. They found that physical clutter in a bedroom or in any room in which you spend time can lead to the brain competing for attention which, of course, leads to stress. Their report states
“Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.”
In other words, if you don’t clean your room it is as though it is constantly reminding you and poking into your thoughts even if you don’t realize it. The clutter forces your mind to think about it, making it more difficult to carry through other actions. Not being able to do what you want or need to do creates more stress and makes it harder for the mind to process information.
So if you want to help your brain during the high-stress school year, set aside an hour this weekend–or any weekend–to clean up your room and give your brain a break.
Within the Lake Forest High School student population, the fact is that there are juniors and seniors who are a part of a sport only because they will receive an athletic study hall due to their participation. Still, there are many students who go through the same tedious hours of practice and work, but are unable to receive the same academic accommodations in return. All of these different assorted outside of school sports programs work hard considering the metric of hours spent practicing and performing, but they do not receive the same break in the school day as junior and senior athletes. These athletes–akin to that of LFHS affiliated student-athletes–are working and trying to complete their assignments in a certain amount of time, all the while taking difficult classes and trying to compete with other students in different areas.
It’s amazing how many of these students are working hard with no break. Lianna Wisneski, a junior at Lake Forest high school, is a part of the band and a hard-working student who is constantly studying. She is also, however, a competitive dancer. Lianna is like many other athletes in the school who work hard and complete many hours of exercise and training, but are not compensated in the same manner as LFHS’ “student-athletes.”
In fact, last year Lianna averaged 20 hours a week dancing, which led to a great deal of schoolwork outside of the building along with the countless hours of grueling exercise, creating an even greater deal of stress. Lianna dances around 15 hours a week. However, due to the extreme stress from dancing and trying to keep up with school work she had to drop five hours of dance. “Last year I danced 20 hours a week, and I was basically sick the whole entire year.” The mental stress and fatigue eventually wore her out and created an exhausted and tired teenager who would have benefitted tremendously from an athletic study hall. Even though these hours cause her to have less time to complete homework she admitted that, “ she would never drop these dance classes because of [her involvement] on a competitive team and there is a minimum of classes I have to take in order to remain a part of the company.” It’s hard to keep up with the need of her Advanced Placement and Honors courses while fulfilling her obligation to the dance company. Though she is definitely intelligent enough to stay in the class with the other students from an academic aptitude standpoint, most of them do not have to wait until 9 at night to get a chance to start their homework. Lianna added that, “It’s hard to keep up when I don’t get home until 9 at night when I still have to eat, shower, and do homework.”
While Lianna is running back and forth between classes–both dance classes and school classes–she tries to complete homework and finish memorizing different routines dance numbers. Since Lianna is a junior, she has been going through this process for the past two years and has formed a strong opinion. When I approached her about the angle of this article,she was excited to finally have her voice heard after struggling through these past years.“I dance the same number of hours as school sports have practiced.” Wisneski contested, alluding to the lack of fairness in the state’s policy and guidelines for granting athletic study halls. Her sentiment, of course, rings true, with extremely long excursions to hotels for workshops and competitions to go along with the practice, there is no time to sit and relax. These are Liana’s teenage years and she, like any LFHS athlete, deserves to have 45 minutes per day in a stress-free environment to complete her homework.
The school constantly asks us to stay active and get in a good, healthy shape, but this can not be achieved if they do not let all athletes have access to an athletic study hall. It’s just as important to have a healthy mind as it is to have a healthy body. “Just because I’m not doing a sport from the high school doesn’t mean I shouldn’t receive the same benefits as those student-athletes,” Wisneski argued. This dilemma can be fixed very simply by having coaches sign a permission slip saying that the student is fulfilling the necessary amount of hours in order to receive an athletic study hall. Lianna agrees with this idea because, as a voice from the dance community, she “thinks it should be based on a number of hours you put in out of school.” That, in her opinion, is the whole point of an athletic study hall–for student-athletes to be able to complete their homework. Even though there are many different issues and ideas surrounding this topic that would need to be dealt with, it is important for teachers and other students to recognize the athletes who go out of their way to keep their grades up and be part of a sport outside of the high school.
It is perhaps naive of us to think that all sports and types of athletic activities can be sanctioned within the athletic department of the high school. Though LFHS and the IHSA have made great strides in sanctioning sports like cheerleading, competitive dance, and others into certified, accredited sports here in Illinois, there will always be exceptions to the rule. If we are serious about emphasizing the health of a young person’s mind and body, we should consider all types of athletes, not just those who compete donned in blue and gold.
It may only be February, but it is important to start thinking about the summer. Any teenager you speak to has their own opinion about having a summer job. Many people are running around during the summer trying to hang out with friends, go to the beach, or even attend a bonfire, but a great majority of the high school population is working throughout the summer to earn a steady income.
There are many different kinds of jobs around the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff area. Since this is such a summer-friendly town there are a great variety of jobs for kids our age. Many students begin looking for summer work around the end of freshman year, but will most likely receive below minimum wage; many sophomores, juniors, and seniors, however, have summer jobs that they have held for multiple years.
Even if the pros heavily outweigh the cons, there are still some things to consider when looking into having a summertime job.
There is such a long list of pros when looking at summer jobs. One of the greatest parts of a summer job is earning your own spending money, which can lead to a student being able to buy themselves something or even save up some cash for college. Since you’ll be having a schedule and a boss, many students will have to exercise being more responsible. This newfound sense of responsibility is a great thing because it allows a student to become more independent and less reliant on their parents. All of these new jobs and responsibilities force kids to step up and become leaders–learning to listen but also voice their opinion when desired. A part of living in this area is that you may not know every single person, but working in your community helps students get to know kids and adults from inside the community. One of the most important parts of working during high school is to build up your resume. Soon, my classmates and I will be going to college and then will eventually graduate from college and go into the world looking for jobs. These resumes allow students to get their desired jobs, and makes employers want to hire you based on some of the work experience that you have in your past.
There is a very small amount of cons when looking into having a summer job. The biggest thing being, of course, less time to hang out with your friends and family. This also allows work to kind of rule your personal life which can certainly annoy some people. But just because you can’t hang out with your friends doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to make new friends at work.
Since there are many teenagers out there with no clue what kinds of jobs are available to them or what they are qualified for, here’s an idea of some of the best ones, and an explanation of what it could be like and how you can enjoy your time at work.
This is a great job in order to get a greater connection to the youth of the town. Little kids are very energetic and keep any teenager who works in a day camp very busy. The parents of these kids are expecting you to watch over their children, but there is also a part of them who realize it is your summer, too, so building a relationship with your coworkers is a great idea as well. Sophomore Bella Watters worked as a counselor over the summer and says that the greatest parts are, of course, “the kids and the people.” A great part of working at a camp is it can lead to many other babysitting offers, which obviously brings in more cash.
Lifeguarding is one of the most common summer jobs for teenagers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t parts about it that are certainly more serious than getting a good tan. There is a period of time where a guard needs to get certified, and there are different options. There are long courses to take throughout the semester such as the one here at the high school, or shorter classes that span two days. Junior Jenna Hughes is a great example of a prepared lifeguard, but one who is also enjoying the job, “I’m glad I worked this summer because making your own money to spend gives you a sense of independence” I recommend speaking to a possible employer prior to certification to see where they want their guards to become certified. Lifeguarding is a really fun job but it also a job where you need to be able to help someone if they need it. Junior lifeguard Holly Malnati worked at the Lake Bluff Pool and mentioned her praise for the position. “I loved it. It gave me the opportunity to meet people I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t worked at the pool. And I also got a really good tan.” Yes, a lifeguard’s day to day job can be very relaxing, but there are so many other parts of it.
A lifeguard needs to understand that people swimming in the lake or a pool expect the guards to save them if they need it. Junior Emmalee Rhomberg worked at the Vernon Hills pool that had lazy rivers and slides unlike the Lake Bluff Rec, making the work environment somewhat more high-stress, but she still had a great time. “I met a bunch of new people and since all of them go to a different school I made a lot of new friends.” Since there are so many other pools around us, it’s feasible to work in a different town to afford you with the opportunity to meet new people, but don’t forget to calculate in the time to get there. Lastly, a specific part of working at a pool involves helping with swim lessons or working with the swim team. Junior Amalia Liguori-Coneff speaks out about what swim lessons are like, “The Lake Bluff Pool is a fun place to work. I recommend teaching swim lessons because the kids are cute. Also, work over the summer because you make a lot of money and money is not a bad thing.” Overall, having a job at a pool is a great place to start your work career.
Even though there are many different jobs that will prepare you for life out of the high school, this is probably the most professional considering you would be working inside of a business and building connections for when you get out of high school or even college. Junior Lianna Wisneski worked as a teacher in a toddler classroom. “My hours were flexible and I really enjoyed my job. Getting paid makes it easier to save for college. I’m going to be trying to double my hours so hopefully I’ll get paid some more.” Being an intern is a great way to meet new people and try to get to know different people who could possibly help you get a job when you are out of college. It’s important to build these connections as quickly as possible.
This would be a job that could lead to many different things, whether you work at a pizza restaurant, ice cream parlor, or any local restaurant. A lot of places love having teens as waiters or hostesses. Junior Joe Thomas works at a restaurant and loves it. “The job I had over the summer was great. I could pick my own hours and it was good to know that I had some spending money in my pocket that would last me over break.” It’s another way to create a network of people, and, as an added benefit, I could get some nice meals out of it.
Babysitting is a great way to bring in some extra spending cash. It really depends on who you are working for, but some parents will have you babysit a specific amount of days a week. Otherwise, it could be at random spurts of time. Junior Natalie Notz is a babysitter and absolutely loves the freedom and enjoyment the job provides. “I enjoyed working with kids because it’s a fun way to make money, it doesn’t feel like a job because I really had fun doing it.” Babysitting is a great way to bring in some extra cash. Babysitting jobs can often last for long periods of time as well. Personally, I know of many students who return for breaks in college to babysit or get extra hours during winter or spring break from high school.
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to work over the summer, then take a word of advice from sophomore Lilly Mass and try to spend some time with nature. “I went to summer camp instead of working. It gave me a breath of fresh air, literally and metaphorically, compared to the tolls of everyday life.”
Whatever your decision becomes, make sure that you get something out of summer rather than just extended free time. Make the most of your break from school by engaging in some of the jobs mentioned above or by attending a camp up north in Wisconsin or Minnesota.
Most people who are not on the swim team or don’t have a sibling who swims think that swim meets tend to be boring. Most people believe that the swimmers jump in the pool, swim, and then get out without much fanfare or applause. What most people don’t realize are the high intensity workouts that the boys go through in order to obtain their very fast times. Boys practices are insane. They start out hard and fast and finish in similar fashion. I sat down and spoke with Alex Ortiz, a junior on the Varsity swim team about his LFHS swim and dive experience so far.
“One word ‘exhausting.’ They are tiring when you’re in the practices, but it’s extremely rewarding. It starts at 5:45 every Monday and Wednesday. Fridays are lifting, so we start later (around 6:15-6:30). We do some fun things, which is kind of a 15 minute “dryland workout” before we start swimming in the morning. Fridays we get food post-practice so it’s pretty great. If you want free breakfast and a great workout, join Varsity. ”
Most students, much like their naivety towards the demanding practice schedule, don’t understand is the high intensity of the actual meets. Every person is racing every other person in the pool. It doesn’t matter if they are on your team or if they from an opposing school, the swimmers are racing against their best time and that other guy who could possibly take their place at the IHSA State meet. Even though the boys know all of these things, they create a very tight bond with one another throughout the swim season.
“Personally, I think it’s more of a family, because when you’re older (like a junior or senior) you’ve gotten to know each other pretty well. The younger kids feel like my younger siblings and I feel like the older brother. We show them the ropes and hold them to a high standard”
“It gets kind of stressful when it comes down to one individual time that advances, because you don’t know when your final meet of the season is going to be. Even if they [your teammate] do take your spot, it may be disappointing at first, but you are later proud of what your teammate achieved. Last year at sectionals, I raced one of the guys on the team in the 100M breast and I thought I was going to do great, but it didn’t turn out that way. He beat me, but I felt really happy for him because he had trained really hard and I was proud of all that he accomplished.”
Showcasing their team camaraderie, the boys even have crazy rituals they do prior to the start of a meet. Before the national anthem is sung by one of the many swimmers, the boys file into the locker room and have a “talk up.” The boys all stand up together and walk into the locker room and are in there for around five minutes.
“I’m not sure my teammates would allow me to disclose that, but it’s not a bad thing. It’s more of a pump up meeting.”
Once the boys finally file out of their five minute meeting in the locker room, they line up against the large windows and begin their chants. The chant is a cross between the voice cracks of a young boy and the wild hollerings of an aged man. The meaning behind the boys’ chant is bizarre and unknown to anyone outside of the team.
“’Bon da Lele’ is the song. I really like it. I think it’s really cool because it’s different from any other team’s cheers. I think it might be a Hawaiian war cheer–I’m not sure. The captains lead the cheer from the window sills.”
Aside from all of their in-meet action, the boys also have a great background of community service events. Their events include their 100 x 100’s to help raise awareness for the Max Schewitz Foundation, which Coach Cindy Dell loves because she is always one for helping others in the community. The boys are big on team bonding and hanging out with each other even if they don’t have to. The team is more a family than a group of people swimming out to set individual personal bests.
“The 100 x 100’s aren’t fun, but they aren’t terrible. Every set of tens is different. The fins set is like a breath of fresh air. The last 40 are the homestretch, so you kind of blank out. At the end, we all finish at different times because of the different sets for every lane. But when a lane finishes they all start cheering on the other lanes that haven’t finished yet.”
Cindy Dell is the Head Coach of the Boys Varsity team, the JV coach for the girls swim team, and the JV coach for the Boys Water Polo team. She is an amazing person and a great leader. Even though her practices are difficult, she is a great person to get to know in your four years of high school.
“She’s like a mom. She’s very tough when she wants you to succeed. If you fail, she fails.”
At the end of a very long meet there is a great moment when all the boys get up off their chairs and go onto the bulkhead and different sides of the pool deck in order to cheer on the various relay teams. The cheers can be heard from outside the building as the boys scream for their team to pull ahead and earn those extra points.
“Relays are stressful because when you go up against teams who are around your own time and speed, a single stroke can make a difference in winning or losing. I love the sound because you know based off of the cheers inside the room whether or not you are winning or losing. Cheering is so much fun, because when you’re screaming it’s like you’re one big team as everyone in the room is focusing on one thing all together.”
Swimming is so much more than just watching some bodies swimming up and down the length of the pool. It’s about team bonding and reaching your goals through the help of others.