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Costs and other college conundrums

Posted on 22 April 2016 by admin

The sad truth about being an art student 

By: JASON WATERS
Production Manager

 

Getting everything together financially and making sure that I can attend the college that I would like is a stressful and often disappointing taste of the tumults of adult life. According to collegeboard.org, the average tuition for a public out-of-state school in 2015 and 2016 was $23,893. This price jumps to $32,405 for private institutions.

As an art student looking at colleges specifically targeted towards computer animation and game design, my ideal schools each have costs of over $50,000 per year. Because of this I am attending community college; however, with financial aid never getting it quite right with my schedule and my never knowing what I should do to correct it, I really am not sure where I will be in six-months time.

Going to school and getting my life together should ideally be less taxing on me emotionally and there are things that can be done to fix this.

First of all, colleges are overpriced. Certain schools that are in high demand, such as the art schools I am interested in, have no incentive to lower their tuition costs. Students are clambering to grab a spot in their program and the school can charge whatever they please and make a killing.

Second, the advising system at Meramec has screwed me over. There is poor communication between the different departments (Academic Advising, ACCESS, and Financial Aid). So much so that I was incorrectly advised on what classes I should be taking and was dropped from financial aid. Third, as a byproduct of being in the incorrect classes I am not where I should be academically. If I wanted to transfer anywhere it would be without my associates and I would possibly have to be in school for a longer period of time, defeating the purpose of going to Meramec.

In Clark Hall, all the departments are separate. Because of this, it is difficult to coordinate myself between Advising, Financial Aid, and the ACCESS office. I often find myself having to deliver instructions from one department to the next. This is especially frustrating because sometimes I do not even know why I need to ask what I need to ask and my questions are often met with confusion.

This is the result of poor communication between departments and a disparagingly faulty setup. It would be easier if the departments were conjoined or have at least some kind of routine contact. I understand not being able to move the departments for financial reasons but if there was a worker in each department that specialized in the others it would ease communication.

There should be more regulations on the costs of college. Because in-demand colleges can charge however much they want, it is exactly what they do.

I understand the business model but as a student I am not a huge fan.

The types of restrictions in place could be state level but more importantly they should take into account the demographic of students who apply, as well the expenses of the college itself. It should be made affordable while still supporting and maintaining the school’s standards.

 

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Unsurpassable mountains: knowing when to move on

Posted on 22 April 2016 by admin

What to do when big dreams die

 

By: BRITTNEY FARROW
Opinions Editor

 

One of the hardest things we can do in life is accept the fact that sometimes we do not get what we want.

This April would have marked the year I graduated college. If things had gone the way I had planned, I would have been buying my cap and gown and mailing my graduation announcements; I would have been sending out resumes and thinking about the next step of my career. Instead, I am in the same place I have been for some time now: making a road map of where I went wrong, and trying to figure out exactly how to get to where I want to be. It is hard not to feel discouraged when our lives follow a course so different from the one we envisioned, and yet we have to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made. We are allowed to grieve for the years we lost to our specific, personal circumstances, but we cannot let them hold us back.

I realized halfway through my sophomore year of college that I was sick — really sick. At the time, I lived in Arizona and my parents lived here in St. Louis. Because I needed their help and support, I decided to move back in with them, and when I did I practically started over in school.

Then, sometime last semester, I realized I was extremely unhappy with the degree path I was taking; I just could not accomplish what I needed to in order to move forward.

Knowing that switching my major would push me back even further, I decided to do so anyway, hoping it would benefit me in the long-run.

So far, it has been a good decision for me, but it is still hard to think about how far behind I am, and how that might allow me to be perceived by other people. I have always cared too much about what other people think of me, and I have always allowed that to affect my perception of myself.

Still, I know I am not alone in dealing with personal obstacles. It is something that happens to almost everyone — and frequently.

All my life, cooking has been my father’s passion, and he worked really hard throughout my childhood to advance in his career and achieve his own goals. Then, sometime two years ago, a review of his cooking was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; zero out of five stars, the food critic said. This devastated him.

His career and his own self-esteem are still recovering from the blow. Where would he go from there? What would he do next?

Thirty years of stress and sacrifice sabotaged by a journalist with a with a mean vocabulary and a keyboard.

It is a bitter pill to swallow when we realize that our dreams probably will not happen to us.

For some, that realization is a major heartbreak; however, it does not mean that we cannot make new dreams — that we cannot adapt and change and evolve into better and more successful people. The harder our obstacles, the more experienced we become — the more capable we are of handling what happens next.

Sometimes our achievements are not as satisfying as we had hoped, but that does not mean they are bad. It just means they are different than we would have envisioned.

Do not become discouraged by the challenges that present themselves in times of hardship. Instead, take the lessons we are given from these experiences and know — deep inside your bones — that just because something did not happen the way you wanted it to does not mean that you have failed. Failure is not a delayed graduation; failure is not a bad review. Failure is what happens when we do not move forward, and instead let our burdens keep us from finding a new path.

I can say with complete honesty that no one I know who has attempted to better themselves has failed. Maybe they have not done what they initially set out to do; maybe they were set back once, twice or dozens of times before they found a steady rhythm. Regardless of how long it took or how many times they had to fall before they found their footing, the people I know who see a better opportunity and attempt to grasp it for themselves are the people who live the most successful lives. So fall; graduate late or never; get that bad review. Whatever you do, just do not stop.

 

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My arm hurts: an argument against vaccines

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My arm hurts: an argument against vaccines

Posted on 31 March 2016 by admin

Why our trade of pain for peace of mind needs to be renegotiated 

By: EVAN CARLEN
Staff Writer

Why is it that the fear of the world is ironically pacified by needles, and their pacifier is an unbeknown solution to most of us?

Furthermore why is it that year-after-year, child-after-child, we plunge more of them into our arms to get vaccines for a laundry list of conditions. I am surprised there is not a vaccine for the common cold by now. Hear that Walgreens? Step it up.

With all the commercials and ads for flu shots and other vaccinations, it has become the norm to spend our hard-earned money on pain and a Power Ranger Band-Aid.

In any other context that would be considered absurd, but it is so ingrained in our culture that very few step back to weigh the pros and cons. This complete trust that “doctors know best” is not always the right road, albeit the most traveled.

Vaccines actually have many draw backs behind reducing the risk of an already one-in-a-million condition.

First of all, vaccines are obviously unnatural, and natural immunity is more effective than vaccination. Even pro-vaccine organizations state that natural vaccination causes better immunity. Plus natural vaccination creates immunity after a single natural infection whereas synthetic vaccination immunity only occurs after several doses. But hey, maybe you will get a Ninja Turtle Band-Aid your second time around.

Also, doctors are vaccinating for conditions that are all but harmless. This over-protectiveness towards the immune system is like keeping your child away from the possible dangers of school, and yet expecting great performance when they enter the workforce. Like children, immune systems need training to develop and perform optimally.

More drawbacks have to do with what is in the solutions themselves. Some vaccines include ingredients like mercury, aluminum and even formaldehyde.

All of these ingredients are linked to comas, seizures and oh yeah, death. Sounds like a well-balanced meal to me, but can I get a Powder Puff Girls Band-Aid this time?

Along with poisonous ingredients, allergies need to be taken into account.

Many complex proteins are found in vaccines that could lead to anaphylaxis in some people. Sure they will not get chicken pox but they will breakout in full body sores twice as bad as those associated with chicken pox.

One con of vaccines is particularly striking to me. The fact that we vaccinate for conditions that do not exist anymore is completely beyond me.

Polio was eradicated in the U.S. in 1979 yet it is still commonplace to vaccinate for it. No cases of diphtheria since 2002, but you still cannot come to school unless you pay the 80 bucks for it — sorry. The money grab is just ridiculous, in my opinion.

You do not see levees in the desert because the ocean “could” sneak back. You should not have to pay for that levee over one bucket of water, but we do.

So instead of deciding on which Band-Aid you want at your next vaccine appointment, take that time to decide whether you should get the vaccine in the first place. Your body and pocketbook will greatly appreciate you.

Plus I hear Dollar General just got in a new shipment of superhero Band-Aids.

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Generation Millennial: entitled crybabies or youth in distress?

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Generation Millennial: entitled crybabies or youth in distress?

Posted on 31 March 2016 by admin

Why young America should keep whining, despite criticism

By: BRITTNEY FARROW
Opinions Editor

Years ago, as a child, my goals for my future were bright. Like most kids, I wanted to be successful. When I thought about what my life might one day be like.

I could see myself in a big house on the beach, driving a sporty car and heading to my corner office in a building with a lobby fountain. As juvenile as it sounds, that is what I wanted. At one time, all of those things seemed possible to me.

Now, however, my big dreams are a lot different: I want to one day — hopefully — live in an apartment by myself; I want a job that does not completely suck; I want to take one brief trip to another country. In comparison, I have grounded myself quite a bit, and yet I still worry that those dreams I have – those last big hopes and wishes — will not happen.

For so many people my age, the future looks bleak. We live in a society that requires a degree for most jobs, and yet tuition rates are at an all-time high. To go to college, most of the people I know have had to take out ridiculous loans. Unfortunately, those loans often become a burden so large that graduates are entering the work field with a mountain of debt demanding to be addressed.

With that debt, they face bleak prospects: the degree they spend so much time on and worked so hard to achieve does not promise them anything.

Engineers and Bio-Chem majors become full-time sales associates at Target, or night shift servers at Steak N’ Shake. The wage they receive at those places is nearly-impossible to live on. The aftermath of such a disappointment can be devastating.

I hear people my parent’s age scoff at Millennials often; we enjoy technology and practice self-love so we must be vain and lazy.

One night, on the verge of exhaustion, I voiced my frustrations on social media. This was met with a swift, annoying response from an uncle of mine: “Welcome to the real world.” I could hear the condescending tone of his voice through my computer screen.

I am twenty-two and I work three jobs on top of my full-time course load. Every day that I am not in school I have to work. With that kind of schedule, I rarely get a good night’s sleep. I am tired constantly. I get sick more often, and my pre-existing condition becomes even harder to deal with. As hard as it is, I remind myself constantly that others have it much worse. Every time I feel like moaning and whining, I stop myself because I do not want to give anyone else the satisfaction of allowing them to think that I consider myself above this kind of lifestyle. I tell myself that this is typical, and I should not complain.

Only, my complaints are not empty — they mean something.

I could sit here and list out fact after fact about how — financially, at least — Baby Boomers had it easier. I could talk about inflation; I could talk about unemployment; I could gripe about social security. That would be fruitless. Baby Boomers are not interested in relating to a struggle they cannot see.

This issue is not a cry for attention though — it is real. It did not appear from thin air, and the limited options provided to young people deserve to be addressed.

If we suppress our problems they are easier to ignore. The best way to address the numerous issues we face as a generation is to keep talking about them — to make them known. We have to actively participate in the formation of our society; we have to play a part in electing leaders and cultivating culture.

As much as we would all like to refrain from being a nuisance, we almost have to be to be acknowledged at all.

Fortunately social media has given us the opportunity to breathe life into our worries and use them for a good cause.

Baby Boomers like to call us entitled, and they like to say we whine a lot. Since we cannot change their opinion of us, it is only practical that we embrace it and allow it to make us more active citizens. In a time like this, we need to be.  So whine, cry, and make   a scene. Do whatever you want.

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Respect for elders: does the concept still exist?

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Respect for elders: does the concept still exist?

Posted on 14 March 2016 by admin

Since my own childhood, parenting has gone soft

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End the sugar rush: healthier is better

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End the sugar rush: healthier is better

Posted on 14 March 2016 by admin

Junk food is better suited for fire fuel than for ingestion

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The big vote: is participating in elections really important?

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The big vote: is participating in elections really important?

Posted on 14 March 2016 by admin

At the end of the day, regardless of how it feels, it matters

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The ‘90s vs now: which generation of cartoons reigns supreme?

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The ‘90s vs now: which generation of cartoons reigns supreme?

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

Comparing two different eras of animation

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Let kids roll in the dirt: skipping aisle seven and heading for the park

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Let kids roll in the dirt: skipping aisle seven and heading for the park

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

Exposing children to bacteria is good for building their immune systems

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The “Free Kesha” movement: rape accusations in the spotlight

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The “Free Kesha” movement: rape accusations in the spotlight

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

How the brutal nature of the pop singer’s public legal battle will prevent other victims from coming forward

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