Volume 2 Issue I • December 10th, 2018


Participation: An Introvert’s Worst Nightmare

Blessing Njoku


Picture this: you're sitting in class, minding your own business when the teacher asks a question. You know the answer but you're so paralyzed by fear that answering this question is impossible. The teacher calls on you anyway, as you are the only person with your hand down. You are forced to answer the question while other students snicker, talk, or even laugh, as you struggle to get the words out. This is a reality for too many students. Teachers often call on quiet, reserved students, claiming that they are trying to get them more engaged. This is often not the case. Instead, that poor student feels even worse. Introverted students are being forced to do things they are completely uncomfortable with, and this forced participation often has negative effects on them. That one presentation does not automatically “break them out of their shell,” instead it makes them even more uncomfortable with themselves and the class as a whole.


 While teachers may argue that participation grades result in more engaged students, they are the worst thing for an introvert. They are being punished for their personality trait; this not something that can be unlearned. Rather than consider verbal communication as participation, teacher should also look into factors such as attentiveness; does the student have her head up? Is she consistently nodding along to points made? Is she focused on the speaker and the topic? All of these nonverbal responses are just as important as verbal communication. Introversion is not a character flaw and teachers need to make sure that they are creating an environment where all forms of participation can be heard. This can be done by looking into other methods where students can express themselves because, more often than not, the quiet students are often the deepest thinkers with the strongest opinions.





Social Media’s Impact on our Generation

Writer: Ashley Davis


You go to check your phone, 34 new notifications. Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram notifications plague your lock screen. Growing up in a digital age it can be easy to become lost in the world of social media, the number of likes and followers. Social Media, meant to connect people worldwide and enable us to share our lives online, has become a controversial topic in recent years with the rise in cyberbullying and mental health issues in teens.


Social Media reaches about 75% of teenagers in America alone, making communication a lot easier than ever before. Now, with a click of a button, teens are able to communicate with people anywhere in the world. However, others believe that social media destroys human interaction and real-life human relationships. Social media creates an online persona based on what people want to see. It gives people a chance to brag about how cool their lives may look to those on the other side of a screen by posting pictures of parties, vacations, and relationships.


Social media’s reach has transformed into a possible platform for bullies and internet trolls. 36% of teenagers reported experiencing some form of cyberbullying. While before social media the bullying ended once a student left the campus, nowadays it follows students wherever they go, creating a problem for teens and parents alike. Parents are paranoid about what their teens are doing online, who they're talking to and what they're posting. This concern has risen in recent years and is expected to increase in years to come as new platforms and features are introduced.


Despite the rapid increase in social media usage, there has been limited research concerning the long-term effects of social media on mental health. Currently, social media is believed to have led to an increase in depressive symptoms, anxiety, and low self-esteem.


Social media also has its benefits. While it is seen as a way of easy and efficient communication, it is also a great source of real-time news and updates. In a report by Common Sense Media, one in five teenagers claimed that social media boosts their confidence and enables them to be more outgoing. It also gives teenagers a chance to make their voices heard by people worldwide and encourages awareness of the world around them and how they can make a positive difference.


In the end, social media has its pros and cons and only time will tell which one outweighs the other. While it's good to be connected to people from all over, maybe it's good to disconnect every once in a while and live in the moment with those closest to you.






Parental Pressure on Career Choice

By: Yeriel Smith


Throughout our adolescent life we’ve been taught that it is essential to perform well in school in order to attain a good job, and subsequently, go into a career that will make us happy. As we get older, of course more factors come into play, such as how much money you will earn in said career, and whether or not it would be a suitable life choice to make. Often, parental figures are extremely influential on their children's career choices, especially when the guardian feels as if the career choice does not suit their  dreams for their budding adults. For some kids, they simply brush their guardians off, their minds already intent on their dreams.  In a poll given to 347 people, 78 percent reported that their parental figures did not have a major influence on their career choices.

A Preston senior, Annie Nguyen, described the conversation she and her parents had on her potential career choices. She said, “Though there is a prevalent stereotype that all Asians are pressured to become doctors by their parents, my parents in no way exhibited these behavioral traits. In fact, I wanted to become a doctor on my own. Though my parents were happy and supportive of my  decision, they expressed that they would have been equally happy had I gone into something else.” Though many other students can attest to similar experiences with their parents, others, are more susceptible to their parental figures opinion’s. This elucidates the varying reactions each person has to the pressure of guardians in regards to career choice.  While a parent's support is not necessary for success, it is very necessary for a healthier journey to success.


Remember that it is important to have a balance between accepting parental views and following your own path. It may take some convincing and having several lengthy conversations about your dreams with your parents, but make the effort to choose what you want to do in life based on their your own ideas, hopes, and dreams.





Preston Echoes 2780 Schurz Ave Bronx, NY 10465 prestonechoes@prestonhs.org