Category Archives: Feature

Misconceptions about mental illness

AMINA IDOUI/ Staff Writer

When the times get tough, it can be tempting to shut yourself off from others and try to handle problems on your own. Your friends are here for you, though, and likewise, we should be here to support our friends through their struggles. But when your friend is dealing with a mental illness, how do you help? What can you do?
It all depends on being open-minded and accepting. Most importantly, it is to be an ally for them.
Stand up for your friend, and understand that depending on which condition they have, their condition may speak for them, causing them to say things and do things they may not really mean.
Communication is just as important. Ask your friend how they really want to be treated. Be willing to listen to them, and educate yourself about their mental illness. Each one affects people in different ways, so using the internet or just asking your friend about it will help you be a better ally to them.
“If you have someone who is bipolar, I’d want you to treat them differently than someone who has anxiety,” Traci Barker-Ball says.
One of the worst things you can do for your friend is to not validate them, or to disregard them.
“It’s not just for seeking attention, it’s for seeking help,” school psychologist Joan Shin says.
“[Their support] is a nice balance between knowing they’re there and I can go to them if they aren’t,” a Poway High School student with anxiety said.
Ultimately, the best strategy for supporting your peers is to be very empathetic. You may not understand exactly what they are dealing with, but you can be supportive by being willing to listen and by standing up for those who need to.

Art by: Jonathan Ballestero

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Durbin drives through the dirt

adam-durbin

By: Hannah Williams

Ever since he was five years old, junior Adam Durbin knew he had a passion for BMX biking.
“I love racing BMX and mountain bikes because it’s an adrenaline rush that you can’t really get in any high school sports,” junior Adam Durbin said, “I love how it has taken me around the country and the world to race my bike. What’s not to love about that? Being able to travel the world and do what you love.”
BMX, where competitors race at a speed of about 25-30 mph, includes eight riders racing on dirt and asphalt tracks going over jumps, turns, and other obstacles. Durbin has won multiple local races in BMX, two state championships in 2013 and 2015, a national championship in 2016, and has been selected to represent the United States of America at the world championships in England in 2012 and Belgium in 2015.
“BMX is a time where I only have one goal: to win. And if I don’t win, it’s time to learn from my mistakes and fix them so I win the next one,” Durbin said.
He has quite a few sponsors, such as Fly Racing and Ellsworth Bikes, which help him get where he wants to be.
“The best experience I’ve had in all my years of racing would have to be my 2013 state championship, because not only was it a long shot to win, but there was a lot of drama between me and another competitor,” Durbin said.
In BMX, athletes can cross over the line after they are 30 feet out of the gate and cut other competitors off to an extent. Since the other athlete had a fairly decent head start, he crossed over Durbin, and buzzed his back tire and crashed. Durbin’s opponent was not harmed, so he got up and finished the race.
“After the race, I went to go shake his hand, but he punched me in the helmet. The kids’ dad ran over and yelled at me, before pushing me to the ground. After all that, I thought I wouldn’t be able to race because there is a no tolerance rule about fighting. However, the owner saw what happened and he said ‘You’re all good. No grown man has the right to put his hands on someone else’s kid.’” Adam got to race in the final, and ended up winning the state championship.
After high school, Durbin hopes to achieve his ultimate goal: to make a career as a professional racer.

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Fun suggestions for Summer 2014

JACK CHINTALA. Staff Writer.

This summer, many teens will be enjoying their time off by going to the beach and hanging out with friends.  Summer is a time that is meant to be enjoyed, but there are some activities students can do to give them an edge when school starts in the fall.

One of the most helpful things a student can do over summer, if they are of legal age, is to get a job.  Getting a job gives students independence and a consistent source of income.  It can also give the student job experience he or she may need when they enter the work force.

Another helpful activity a student can do is to take online classes over summer.  While usually not as fulfilling as classes held at Poway High, these classes can help a student regain credits they may have missed the prior year, or give a student extra credits so they can take certain classes they may want to take.  These online classes may also help a student review a subject that may not be their strongest.

Another activity a student can do over summer to give them an edge is to prepare for the ACT and SAT.  This may not seem like the most fun activity, but there are also no due dates for studying over summer.  Students can study on their own schedule and not have to worry about as many other commitments.  Studying over the summer may also help boost the student’s chances at getting into the college of their choice.

One more activity a student can do is practice their sport.  Without school in the way, students will be able to better refine their skills over summer.

There is no school in summer for a reason, but that does not mean school should be completely forgotten.

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