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The Hardships Of Holidays

Emma Schultz
The holidays are usually a time associated with warmth, giving and spending time with family. Although, for some, the holiday season evokes feelings of loneliness and loss.
Loss of a loved one can especially make the holidays a daunting and sorrowful time. Due to the nostalgic feel that the holidays usually bring, it can be especially hard not to think of memories spent with a loved one.
In addition to loss, Seasonal Depression (SAD) may play a key role in the causes of the holiday blues. Reduced levels of sunlight in the fall and winter disrupt one’s biological clock, causing moodiness and sadness.
Symptoms may include feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day, low energy, loss of interest in activities you recently enjoyed, having trouble sleeping, and changes in appetite or weight.
Less commonly, symptoms may appear in the spring and early summer instead of the fall and winter.
SAD is mostly treated with the use of light therapy, medication and psychotherapy. Although the symptoms only last for a few months out of the year, the symptoms can become serious and those who have recurring suicidal thoughts or risky behavior should seek help.
Another factor that contributes to declining mental health during the holidays is the stress of shopping and planning. With gifts to buy, family members visiting, cooking and decorating to do, it can be easy at times to fall into a “Clark Griswold” mindset: that everything has to be perfect.
According to the Principal Financial Group, 53 percent of people experience financial stress due to holiday spending.
While holiday depression and stress is common and should be understood, it is also important to note that suicide rates are the lowest between Nov., Dec. and Jan. According to the U.S. Center for Health Statistics, the suicide rate in the U.S. is highest between April and August.
The holidays can be a stressful time for many, but being surrounded by the support of friends and family can be a good tool for relaxing and enjoying winter break.

Booster Club Free Tickets

Opinion Story
Sydney Uridel
Free entry for students to a high school playoff game may seem like a good thing, but some students have different opinions on it.
All Stow students with a student identification card received free entry for the soccer and volleyball playoff games. The Stow Booster Club is to thank for this and students are very appreciative.
It is apparent that the free tickets are a great help for the teams because it helped both sports gain more necessary support.
Playoff game tickets cost close to ten dollars. More students went to the games since they were playoffs and there was free entry, so the already high prices definitely could have added up.
Some students worry it was a waste of money or could be used for something else, but I disagree because the clubs main purpose is to support the districts sports teams.
In my opinion, it was smart because it provided more support to the teams playing and offered students a chance to go to at least one of the fall games this year. The additional fan support is helpful to the teams competing.
If the teams did not have that many students watching to cheer them along they would not have had as much support as they did.
Both teams did very well in the playoffs and the boys soccer team even ended up winning district finals, making them district champions.
While it was a good idea, I also think it was a very considerate thing of the booster club to do. Not many other schools have as much support from their clubs as Stow does, so students should be thankful.
Some students may have been may have been confused why the booster club was spending money on tickets for many students but they probably did not realize that the clubs main cause is to help with things such as this.
It was a very generous thing to do and students are grateful not only for the opportunity given to them to go to the playoff games but also for the chance to give support to the sports teams.

FCCLA Veteran Drive

Sydney Uridel
It is the giving season, and one way to give back is to donate small everyday items in order to help veterans.
FCCLA, or Family Career and Community Leaders of America, was holding a veterans drive for students to bring in donations such as new or used stockings, clothing, toys, bathroom needs, bedding, and coloring supplies.
This was an opportunity to give back to the many people who have served in the past but are going through a difficult time now. The donations go to veterans and their families who currently live in the shelter, or currently moved into housing with little to no possessions or necessities.
If students donated, they had the chance to win a gift card because they were entered into a drawing once they did. The more items a student donates, the higher chance they have to win a prize.
Sophomore FCCLA member Sydney Braunscheidel was looking forward to the veteran drive and thinks students should participate in it.
“I think people should partake in this because it is a great way to be involved in the community. It is important because veterans have done so much for us and giving back to them is a small way to show how we appreciate all they have done,” Braunscheidel said.
Junior FCCLA member Taylor Thompson has more to say on this, Thompson as well thinks this is very important and will help many people.
“This will help people realize how much they take for granted and how lucky they are to have so much and get more during this holiday season. This will also give them an opportunity to appreciate and support veterans who have served in our country and are going through a tough time now,” Thompson said.
This is an important drive for FCCLA not only because of the good it is doing for veterans and the community but also because this is one of the first community service projects they have done at Stow.
“In the past, FCCLA has not done anything like this but we are planning on including more community service into our club this year and plan to continue this in years to come,” Braunscheidel said.
Students get a chance to make a positive impact on their community during the holiday season, and support veterans and FCCLA by participating in this drive.
If anyone is interested in donating, they can bring in any donation listed on the flyer seen around school and drop their donation off in room 152. This particular drive is from November 12 to December 7 of 2018. Other donations are accepted by the shelter any time.